Back up on the Journey

Read Ezra 8:21-23

Read that a few times. I’m going to. Ezra kind of cracks me up here. He tells Artaxerxes, “God’s with us and will take out anyone who opposes us.,” (well, that’s my interpretation). Yet, he really wants some soldiers to come along and ensure the safety of his people, their children and all their stuff. He’s human. He knows God’s for him but he’d really like some tangible/visible back up on the journey. I get that. I understand knowing that God’s for me while secretly hoping there’s a safety net or bridge whenever I have to step out in “faith.” Ezra had a greater problem though, he’d proudly declared God’s resolve to the king who then offered him his support. Had Ezra asked for soldiers the king probably would have given them but then Ezra would damage God’s standing in Artaxerxes’ eyes. If your God’s so powerful, why do you need my soldiers?

praying-hands-paintingSo, Ezra does what only a true God lover can do, he humbles himself before God, declares a fast and asks God to be their guard, to be who Ezra declared Him to be before the king. That places God’s reputation back on Himself. What then does God do when His people humble themselves, fast and pray? Well, just look at the end of verse 23… “He listened to our entreaty.” Yep, He likes it when we actually trust Him to keep His promises without seeking some back door, loop hole, last ditch layer of support, protection, humanity. Oh that we’d believe He’s God, He loves us and He’s got this.

Father, help us put our faith and hope in You, where it belongs. Let us be comforted, supported, and guided by Your hand and Your will that You might be glorified in us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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