Synopsis Ezra 8:16-25 6/25/2020
Ezra assembled the returning exiles near the Ahava river in Babylon. As he prepared for the journey back to Jerusalem, he recognized the potential for danger.
The caravan was carrying a large amount of wealth. So, it was susceptible to thieves. As a result, Ezra ordered a fast. And in this way, the group prayed to God for protection.
Ezra recognized that fasting harmonizes the body in a unique way to the will of God. His intent was to ensure that the whole community was entirely united with God during this passage.
Fasting shines light on the natural weakness of my will. Without it, I have the tendency to think that I’m fine – to think that I’m under control. But when I fast, I become acutely aware that I am not under control.
My body has something to say when it comes to self-denial. And like an unruly child, it does its best to intimidate and dominate my soul. Fasting is nothing other than standing up to the bully child even though it is always easier to give way.
“No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.” 1Cor 9:27