THE ESSENTIAL OF HUMILITY AND SEEKING GOD
When our future is at stake, we need to follow the example of Ezra.
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.
Ezra was leading a sizeable repatriation of exiles from Babylon with somewhere between 4,000 to 5,000 people joining him in returning to their beloved homeland. This group making aliyah was in addition to the 50,000 who originally returned in response to the decree of Medo-Persian King Cyrus in 538 B.C. (Ezra 2:64-65).
HUMILITY BEFORE GOD
The returning exiles gathered at a point west of Babylon near the Ahava River to consolidate their plans for the upcoming return to Jerusalem.
During the three-day preparations for their journey, Ezra called for a fast and a day of prayer for those assembled to, “humble ourselves before our God” (8:21). This was a rare and unusual directive since God had only specified Yom Kippur as a day for corporate prayer and fasting.
Ezra, a scribe and member of the priestly line, grasped that spiritual preparation was as essential for the success of their five-month journey as was the physical preparation.
In an expression of humility, the assembled exiles devoted a day to specifically seek God’s guidance and protection until they reached their final destination.
Humility before God is essential because it demonstrates dependence upon God and acknowledges His sovereignty over every detail of life.
At critical points in our lives, it is imperative that we refrain from mundane routine, submit to God in humility and seek His guidance and protection.
Today is undoubtedly one of those days for people of faith. However, while what happens today has ramifications for decades to come, we need to remind ourselves that every action has the potential to impact eternity.
As the citizens of the United States go to the polls throughout the day, I not only urge my fellow compatriots to fulfill their civic duty and vote their conscience; but, also implore all people of biblical faith around the globe to corporately, “humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions” (v. 21).
Following Ezra’s example of humility and determination to seek God’s will is more essential now than ever.
1) Bible opened to Isaiah. By, Ken Horn, [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Seeking God in Prayer for America. By Harley Pebley (Flickr: Prayer for USA) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via contact form. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.