When you’ve gone ‘too far’
Ezra 8: 21-23 says...
"There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.”
Have you ever stepped out in faith, but then come to the realisation you’re in a tight spot?
That’s ok. It happens to the people of God. It happened to Ezra.
As a teacher of the law, and one of the number of people who led forays from Babylon back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city, he did just this. King Artaxerxes gave Ezra ‘everything’ he needed to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild. This included around 25 tonnes of treasure. But ‘everything’ didn’t include everything. In these discussions with the King, Ezra naturally spoke of how God protects those who trust in him. Now as they prepared to set out on their journey, he realised he didn’t have soldiers to protect them on the road. Would he go back to the King to ask? The King would almost certainly grant him this wish. However, something stopped Ezra and it was the fact he had spoken of God’s protection and didn’t want to be a hypocrite.
Have you ever stepped out in faith, on a promise of God, but now you’re in a difficult spot?
Now you’ve really got to believe? That’s okay. It’s what Christians do. We believe. We step out in faith. But like Ezra, we humble ourselves and petition God: we fast and pray.
Lord, we can’t do this without you. We stand on your promises. As we fast we remind ourselves we are weak and simply cannot get the work done without you, and we thank you for the provision that’s on the way.