The Place of Peace
Ezra 8:21-23 “And there by the Ahava Canal, I gave orders for all
of us to fast and humble ourselves before our God. We prayed that
he would give us a safe journey and protect us, our children, and
our goods as we traveled. For I was ashamed to ask the king for
soldiers and horsemen to accompany us and protect us from enemies
along the way. After all, we had told the king, ‘Our God protects all
those who worship him, but His fierce anger rages against those who
abandon Him.’ So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would
take care of us, and he heard our prayer.”
I love the book of Ezra because in this book we see some amazing
things transpire. We see in Ezra 7:6 and several other references
that, “the king gave him everything he asked for, because the gracious
hand of the Lord was on him.” A couple of verses later (9 and 10)
we see that Ezra, a scribe, was able to live with “the gracious hand
of the Lord upon him” because he studied the word, obeyed it and
taught it. So, over and over again we see in the life of Ezra incredible,
miraculous provision in unique ways because he lived simple
In the scripture portion quoted above from chapter 8, we come to
a point in the story of the life of Ezra where he has essentially put
the ability of God to the test. Ezra, out of obedience, was leading a
group of exiles back from Babylon to Jerusalem to set up a religious
education system. Ezra had told the king of Babylon that he and
those traveling with him, about 2000 men and their families, would
not need any protection along the way. Now, the way they had to go
took some time (about 4 months) and was over many miles of land
that had “unfriendly” people along the way. Ezra refused protection
from an earthly king. He instead chose to trust God. The result
of this choice is seen a few verses later in Ezra 8:31 and 32, “And
the gracious hand of our God protected us and saved us from
enemies and bandits along the way. So at last we arrived safely in
Do we know what God has promised us? Have we taken the time,
like Ezra, to study out the word of God so that we know what is
rightfully ours? Are we able to ‘put God to the test’ so to speak in
the areas that He has apportioned to us? Do we know where to turn
when we feel like our faith is being put to the test? When we have
need do we shake our fists at God and lean on our own devices and
methods? Or do we remember, like Ezra, where our HELP comes
from? Do we then fast and pray and get our heart right and remind
ourselves in prayer what God has promised us…and then rest in His
divine provision on His divine timetable?
When we learn to live the journey this way, we then can proceed,
like Ezra, from Babylon (the place of confusion due to mixure) to
Jerusalem (the place of peace) with only a short stop at the Ahava
Canal (the place that means ‘I will subsist’). Let’s no longer live in
confusion or subsistence but walk unashamedly and boldly to the
place of peace in our lives. Let’s live the Word; let’s obey the Word;
let’s live in the abundance the Word provides! And let’s live in Peace!!
Knowing our Provider and walking with Him and with His “gracious
hand” being on our lives! And expecting His miraculous provision in
unique ways in our lives!
11/8/2012 03:03:43 am
I Love this blog. Thank you for the encouragement. "lets live in the word, lets obey the word... lets live in Peace". what a great reminder to walk boldly in our Lord!
11/8/2012 07:57:20 am
Noelle, Thank you for the reponse:) As we walk in obedience, peace is our portion. There is really no other way to live! Miss you!
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Shanda Harris is a lover of Jesus, dedicated wife, mother of 6 and the Women's Pastor at Epikos Church in Bend, Oregon.