ezra: oops, now we’d better pray

Ezra is leading a group of people back to Jerusalem from captivity. He stops and considers how dangerous the journey will be: “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, ‘The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.’ So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty” (Ezra 8:21-23 ESV).

I’ve never noticed this little section in quite this way before. God–I said you were powerful, so I couldn’t ask for help, so you’d better come through. How often do we boast about God and then use human means to do the things we boasted he could do? How often do we resist boasting about God so he won’t have to prove himself because we are afraid he won’t come through?

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