In shame, we can turn to God

Morning Devotions Friday November 6th Ezra 8:23

21 There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. 22 I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1984 (Ezr 8:21). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

There are times when we are ashamed before men. Here Ezra was too ashamed to ask the king for protection on the journey back to Jerusalem. The reason was that Ezra had professed to the king that the Lord would protect them on the journey and therefore felt that he could not ask for the protection.
Why was he ashamed?
Was it because he had doubts about God but wanted to claim a faith anyway? We do that. We have faith, but God is unseen and the world presses us to make rash statements based on their limited understanding of God. This sometimes presses us beyond where our faith level is, and then we feel that we have betrayed God.
Ezra’s shame was before God, as ours so often is. But Ezra does not then try to push on, he admits his struggle with God. He calls a fast, the people humble themselves before God and ask for a safe journey which God provides.

Whatever our shame, we can always go to God. In humility before Him He will grant that which we seek, for He is gracious towards us in ways which we cannot even imagine.

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