Today’s Reading: Ezra 7-8
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Key Verses: Ezra 8:21, 23
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…so we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.
Let us learn that while fasting does not gain any special favour, it does emphasize the high level of our fervency. God responds to fervent prayer. Fasting is an evidence of a high level of fervency. James, known as the brother of our Lord, wrote that, “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) avails much” (James 5:18b). The word “river” is repeated four times in our reading. Prayer is like a river. There is a source, found in the rains and springs God provides. The river flows, picking up other little streams as it goes. Without the Jordan River, much more land would be swallowed up by the desert.
Yesterday, our key verse told us that the people “prospered through the prophesying of Haggai, the prophet, and Zechariah.” We considered a sample of the preaching of Haggai yesterday. Today let’s read from the other preacher…Zechariah 1:14-17 and Zechariah 9:9-10. Here is a repeated promise from Psalm 72:8 which is the motto that the founders of Canada chose to describe our country and to proclaim that God is Lord of Canada. Consider Zechariah 4:6b “Not by might [corporate strength] or by power [personal strength] but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” Is it any wonder that the people prospered?
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, as is recorded in Mark 9:24, “Immediately the man cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord I believe; help my unbelief!'” Dear Lord, I am encouraged by reading this story and praying the same prayer. Thank You! Amen!!! (Mark 9:14-29).
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Haggai and Zechariah had influence on the people of God. Esther, the young Jewish girl who became the bride of the King of the Persian Empire, had a profound influence. No doubt it was her presence in the palace that brought about the letter which we have in today’s reading. Every one of us have a sphere of influence. I mentioned in my first commentary on the book of Ezra a Jewish Canadian named Ezra Levant. He has an increasing influence on Canadian life and politics. Like those who spoke out against the prevailing conditions in Israel, Levant has been persecuted but refuses to be “politically correct.” Check him out. Whether I agree with him or not, I find him fascinating. You may want to encourage him by writing (his website is here).
Yours for all who use whatever opportunities we have to speak out on issues about which we care,