“Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, “The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer” (Ezra 8:21-23)
God touched the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to release the people of God from captivity. He allowed them to come back home, so that they can rebuild the Temple of God and the walls of the city. Ezra was among the first to come back to Jerusalem. ‘The hand of his God was with him’ (Ezra 7:9). He gathered a group of Levites, Temple servants and teachers of the Word of God. Their going back to Jerusalem was not a visit, but to settle there. They should carry all their possessions. Their families, their children will follow them too. This is a second ‘Exodus’ in Israel’s troubled history.
The king was very generous and gave them much support. ‘Ashamed’, Ezra did not want to bother him with more requests. He did not ask for ‘police escort’ to protect them along the way. He decided that all should fast and pray that God will reveal the right way to move on. In Hebrew, the word ‘right way’ means a safe journey, a straight road, no complications, no detours, no waste of time. It will be an easy, pleasant and prosperous journey to all. Spiritually, this safe journey means a way of life or a mode of action in general. Trusting and acknowledging God in all things will simplify our lives (PV 3:5, 6).
Ezra fasted to humble himself. The flesh needs to die. Any form of pride, trusting of men or boasting of wealth must die. The primary reason for the fast was to seek God and His right way of moving forward. Ezra knew that in this life there are many ways of doing things. He wanted to know God’s way. That is why he prayed and fasted. Ezra trusted the Word of God to be His guide and protection. He remembered that ‘the hand of our God is upon all who seek Him’ to do them good. The word ‘hand’ means the power, resources, the fellowship and the sense of direction. Because they seek Him, the hand of God will be with them to bless, to strengthen, to protect, to encourage and to direct their steps. Even if they make mistakes, God will over-rule. No enemy can deceive or prevail against them.
The name of God in this passage is ‘Elohim’. It means the Creator of heaven and earth, the Supreme Authority.
This is their testimony: Elohim appreciated their fasting and prayer in the secret place of the Most High God. He answered their prayer. He rewarded them openly. All of them arrived safely in Jerusalem.
In Christ I declare:
I and my family, led by the Holy Spirit, we shall fast and pray!
God will answer our prayer!
We are seeking God and His right way for us ahead!
I, my husband and my children shall fulfill destiny!
God is our Helper, Provider, Doctor, Protector and Friend in our life’s journey!
God Almighty, Elohim, the Creator of heaven and earth is our God!
Our enemies who attack us shall surely fail!
No weapon formed against me and my family shall prosper!
God rebukes the Devourer for our sake!
To the glory of God!
In Jesus name