Summary: Do we trust God or humans when the situation is serious?
EZRA 8:21-23 AMP
“Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river Ahava, so that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our children, and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request troops and horsemen from the king to protect us from the enemy along the way, because we had told the king, “The hand of our God is favorable toward all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who abandon (turn away from) Him.” So we fasted and sought [help from] our God concerning this [matter], and He heard our plea.”
A. Ezra and His People Were in Danger
(1) They experienced anxiety at the river Ahava
(2) They had reasons to fear their lives.
B. We All Pass Through Worrisome Periods of Danger
(1) We experience anxiety over our adversaries: demons, disease,depression
(2) Anxiety robs us of joy. Peace health.
C. Where Do We Turn to in Times of Danger?
A. EZRA LEADS HIS PEOPLE IN SEEKING GOD ( vs 21)
1. He calls for fasting and prayer
(a) He looks for help in this time of danger
(b) Like the psalmist, he looks up (Ps 121)
2. This was a time desperate praying
(a) Their lives, their children, and their possessions were in danger
(b) Everything precious to them was on the line.
3. Heroes of the faith have sought God in desperate times
(a) David said,"Thy face , Lord will I seek " (Ps 27:8)
(b) Isaiah said, "With my soul will I seek Thee"(Isa 26:9)
(c) Daniel said, "Seek by prayer...with fasting (Dan 9:3)
4. Those who earnestly seek God find Him (Jer 29:13)
B. EZRA LEADS HIS PEOPLE IN SURRENDERING TO GOD ( vs 22)
1. The temptation is to look to people for help instead of to God
(a) The king could help them
(b) Soldiers could be their salvation.
2. But, in this case, their testimony for God was at stake
(a) They had told the king of God's power
(b) They had testified of God's faithfulness in the past.
3. They chose to risk all on God
4. Would we have dared do the same ?
(A) Do we trust God or humans when the situation is serious?
(B) Do we expect God to come through when we need Him?
C. GOD SAVES EZRA AND HIS PEOPLE (vs23)
1. God meets His people where they are
(a) He hears their prayers,as He has promised to do
(b) He responds to their seeking hearts
2. This text pictures our salvation
(a) We were in danger because of our sin
(b) Fear gripped our hearts over the future
(c) We sought The Lord and found Him through faith in his Son.
A. Do You Find Yourself in a Place of Danger?
B. God Loves You and Will Come Through for You?
C. Seek The Lord and His Salvation Today?