Tag: Ezra 7-8

Fasting for protection!

Scripture reading for May 6th: Ezra 7-8

Were you ever in a strange land and carrying lots of money?  Mary and I went to Russia in 1999 to adopt our two daughters.  We had to travel by plane and train literally half-way around the world.  We were told that we needed about $3000 dollars in cash to use in the process.  For us this was a lot of cash to carry around in a strange part of the world where the average wage was around a hundred dollars per month.  We knew we needed God’s gracious hand on us as we traveled and we prayed for that!  God answered our prayers and we have two beautiful daughters as proof of God’s favor and protection!

The book of Ezra records another trip taken by God’s people where they traveled by caravan across 800 miles of dangerous territory with lots of valuables–25 tons of silver and nearly 4 tons of gold.  (Ezra 8:26-27)  Ezra had spoken to the king about the power of his God–the creator of Heaven and Earth.  Ezra had told the king about God’s power to save His people and now the rubber met the road.  He called the people together who would be taking the trip and asked them to fast and pray for God’s protection over their caravan.  (Ezra 8:21-23)  They set out after consecrating themselves and their valuables to the Lord for His protection.  Their trip was uneventful and nearly 4 months later they arrived safely in Jerusalem!

We are reminded today of the importance of being consecrated to the Lord.  Prayer and fasting are not ancient disciplines that are outdated in the twenty-first century.  They are as needed today as ever.  We travel this world that is full of dangers both physical and spiritual.  We have valuables more precious than gold and silver–our sons and daughters, our grand-children, our fellow human beings!  Prayer and fasting are needed to preserve their lives and souls!  In God’s gracious hands, we will arrive safely at our destination in the heavenly Jerusalem!

“The gracious hand of our God is on everone 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.” Ezra 8:22-23

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Fasting for safety!

Scripture reading for May 5th: Ezra 7-8

Were you ever in a strange land and carrying lots of money?  Mary and I went to Russia in 1999 to adopt our two daughters.  We had to travel by plane and train literally half-way around the world.  We were told that we needed about $3000 dollars in cash to use in the process.  This was a lot of cash to carry around in a strange part of the world where the average wage was around a hundred dollars per month.  We needed God’s gracious hand on us as we traveled!  God answered our prayers and all went well and we have two beautiful daughters according to God’s plan!

The book of Ezra records another trip taken by God’s people where they traveled by caravan across 800 miles of dangerous territory with lots of valuables–25 tons of silver and nearly 4 tons of gold.  (Ezra 8:26-27)  Ezra had spoken to the king about the power of his God–the creator of Heaven and Earth.  Ezra had told the king about God’s power to save His people and now his faith was being put to the test of reality.  He called the people together who would be taking the trip and asked them to fast and pray for God’s protection over their caravan.  (Ezra 8:21-23)  They set out after consecrating themselves and their valuables to the Lord for His protection.  Their trip was uneventful and nearly 4 months later they arrived safely in Jerusalem!

We are reminded today of the importance of being consecrated to the Lord.  Prayer and fasting are not ancient disciplines that are outdated in the twenty-first century.  They are as needed today as ever.  We travel this world that is full of dangers both physical and spiritual.  We have valuables more precious than gold and silver–our sons and daughters, our grand-children, our fellow human beings!  Prayer and fasting are needed to preserve their lives and souls!  In God’s gracious hands, we will arrive safely at our destination in the heavenly Jerusalem!

“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.” Ezra 8:22-23

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Traveling mercies!

Scripture reading for May 6th: Ezra 7-8

We are all on a journey through this world.  Each day we face spiritual opposition from our enemy Satan.  He desires to steal all the riches of our knowledge of Christ and kill or destroy us and our faith.  (John 10:10)  We must prepare ourselves each day to walk with God in His power and guidance to be successful and arrive at His Temple in heaven!

Ezra had been chosen by the king of Persia to lead this group because he was a priest of the Lord and a man familiar with the Law of God.  God knew that the spiritual foundation of rebuilding His temple would be the most important part. Not only was the Lord’s temple in disrepair, but His people needed a new foundation of truth and obedience.  Ezra was a man known as a teacher who was learned in the law of God. (Ezra 7:10-12)

Ezra knew that his mission to Jerusalem from Babylon would be dangerous.  The caravan route that his team of leaders must take was full of bandits and most would take armed soldiers if they were carrying valuables.  Ezra’s team was carrying lots of valuables.  In fact, the weight of gold was nearly 4 tons and the silver was nearly 25 tons!  This did not count all the gold and silver vessels that had originally been taken from the Temple and were given by the king of Persia for the restoration.  (Ezra 8:24-27)

Ezra called his team together for a fast to humble themselves and petition the God of heaven for a safe journey.  He had told the king that the hand of God was upon them and now he knew that they must trust God by faith to protect them.  (Ezra 8:21-23)  Ezra felt that to ask the king for soldiers would deny the God that they served.  God answered their prayer for protection!  All the people and valuables made it to Jerusalem and were weighed in at the temple building site.  The glory went to God!

Where God guides and His people walk by faith in Him, He provides abundantly.  As you continue your journey through life, remember to be dependent on the Lord each day for His guidance and protection.  We all could use “traveling mercies” for our journey!  May God bless you and keep you this day and make His face shine on you!  (Numbers 6:24-25)

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Fasting for Safety

Scripture reading for May 6th: Ezra 7-8

Were you ever in a strange land and carrying lots of money?  Mary and I went to Russia in 1999 to adopt our two daughters.  We had to travel by plane and train literally half-way around the world.  We were told that we needed about $3000 dollars in cash to use in the process.  This was a lot of cash to carry around in a strange part of the world where the average wage was around a hundred dollars per month.  We needed God’s gracious hand on us as we traveled!  God answered our prayers and all went well and we have two beautiful daughters according to God’s plan!

The book of Ezra records another trip taken by God’s people where they traveled by caravan across 800 miles of dangerous territory with lots of valuables–25 tons of silver and nearly 4 tons of gold.  (Ezra 8:26-27)  Ezra had spoken to the king about the power of his God–the creator of Heaven and Earth.  Ezra had told the king about God’s power to save His people and now the rubber met the road.  He called the people together who would be taking the trip and asked them to fast and pray for God’s protection over their caravan.  (Ezra 8:21-23)  They set out after consecrating themselves and their valuables to the Lord for His protection.  Their trip was uneventful and nearly 4 months later they arrived safely in Jerusalem!

We are reminded today of the importance of being consecrated to the Lord.  Prayer and fasting are not ancient disciplines that are outdated in the twenty-first century.  They are as needed today as ever.  We travel this world that is full of dangers both physical and spiritual.  We have valuables more precious than gold and silver–our sons and daughters, our grand-children, our fellow human beings!  Prayer and fasting are needed to preserve their lives and souls!  In God’s gracious hands, we will arrive safely at our destination in the heavenly Jerusalem!

“The gracious hand of our God is on everone 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.” Ezra 8:22-23

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