Friday, July 3, 2009

Ez running to the Lord to fast a good thing?

THE BOOK OF EZRA: First of all, I thought Ezra was a girl's name. But the she is in fact, a he.

Ezra was a priest and a scribe of the Law of the God of Isreal (our God) who was given a decree from King Artaxerxes to gather leaders of Israel and service the house of God. The King gave him whatever he needed because the Lord put it upon his heart. Ezra was greatly encouraged. He did as the decree stated because the hand of the Lord was upon him as well. He was to set the people of Israel right with God. Ezra was ashamed though to ask the king for an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help against the enemy on the road (they travelled) so they fasted and entreated God for protection and He answered their prayer (Ezra 8:21-23). They had much gold and possessions with them and offerings for the Lord. Then, Ezra discovers that the people of Israel have intermarried with pagans (unbelievers) and he really reacts mournfully(9:3-5)(10:1)(10:6). So, the people felt sorry and put away their pagan wives and children. Ezra, and all Israel made an oath and issued a proclaimation for all to gather and whoever did not would separated from the assembly and all his property confiscated.