Decree in hand, Israelites gathered, Ezra heads out to Jerusalem to fulfill God's call upon his life. They carry with them royal treasures that would be needed for their offering at the temple. Ezra 8, lists all the family heads who returned with Ezra to Jerusalem. Ezra led the people so cautiously to the House of God, it encourages me to depend on God like he did. Why here's why
- God is able to bring the right people into our lives- (Ezra 8:18-20)Az Ezra left with the Israelites he had no Levites with him, so he sent a few people to get some attendants for the temple. About 258 people joined him from Casiphia. Here's what he testifies " v18 Because the gracious hand of our God was on us, they brought us Sherebiah, a capable man, from the descendants of Mahli son of Levi, the son of Israel, and Sherebiah's sons and brothers, 18 men;". God is able to send the right people in our way, as we make this journey towards fulfilling His plan in our lives.
- God is willing to guide, if we're willing to ask Him-At no time did Ezra think he could go about the work in his hands, on his own. He sought direction for every single step. "21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.
22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.
23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer." I sometimes think, ok God knows, so I need not ask Him. Ezra knew God's hand was at work, he could have thought, God would take care, but he did not leave it at that. He went ahead and prayed with fasting. Later we read "31 On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way". Sometimes we tend to get complacent with God and forget to invite God into any new happenings in our lives, assuming God will do something. Sometimes, in His graciousness God does intervene, but it develops our relationship when we pray when we seek Him and invite Him into our lives, like we would a best friend.