Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 24, 2015

Lesson from Ezra and his group of exiles so that “we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him”

Today’s devotion comes from Ezra chapter 8.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+8&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. 22 For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, “The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him.”  23 So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He listened to our entreaty.

31 Then we journeyed from the river Ahava on the twelfth of the first month to go to Jerusalem;  and the hand of our God was over us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the ambushes by the way.  32 Thus we came to Jerusalem and remained there three days.

35 The exiles who had come from the captivity offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel:  12 bulls for all Israel, 96 rams, 77 lambs, 12 male goats for a sin offering, all as a burnt offering to the Lord.”  Ezra Cahpter 8:  Verses 21-23 and 31-32 and 35.

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Today is Christmas Eve.  I planned on treating it like a holiday, not working, and not writing a devotion.

But, today’s Scripture convicted me that I should write a devotion.

We notice that Ezra and his group of exiles humbled themselves and sought God.

I thought:  “I likewise need to humble myself and seek God by at least writing this devotion.”

It is easy for me to feel entitled to take time off from seeking God.

I did not like my attitude.

But, I like the humble attitude and the actions of Ezra and his group of exiles in seeking God.

“The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him.”  Verse 22.

We notice that God delivered Ezra and his group of exiles from the enemy and the ambushes and that they safely came to Jerusalem.

We also notice that when they arrived, they made offerings to God.  And, we notice that God detailed in His word the total number of each animal offered.

God also takes note of each time we read His word, each prayer that we make, and each time we attend church.  They are more precious to Him than each animal offered to Him.

“4 “Since you are precious in My sight,
Since you are honored and I love you,
I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.
5 “Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
And gather you from the west.
6 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring My sons from afar
And My daughters from the ends of the earth,
7 Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”  Isaiah 43:4-7.


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