Ezra 8:22b-23 After all, we had told the king, “Our God’s hand of protection is on all who worship Him, but His fierce anger rages against all who abandon Him.” So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and He heard our prayer.
Ezra found himself in a dilemma. I imagine even in Old Testament times the people wrestled with the age-old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people”, so when Ezra told the king about God protecting those who honored Him in worship and punished those who abandon Him in sin, he was quite concerned about how it would all turn out. Would God protect them or abandon them in their time of need?
So they fasted and prayed, and God heard their prayer. Does that mean it will happen the same way for us? I don’t think so. I think it is necessary to fast and pray when we believe that circumstances warrant it; however, I think this process sometimes means we change rather than God acting on our behalf. I think to process of fasting and praying brings us to a deeper understanding of the ways of God. We become in tune to what God is desiring from us.
This doesn’t resolve the dilemma of why bad things happen to good people or vice versa, but it resolves the issue of whether God is good or not. He does work in our lives; just not how we think He will or should.
Even though our understanding is limited, we praise and worship You. We strive to be obedient whether or not we receive good or bad. We still ask for your protection knowing that whatever You allow in our lives will be for our benefit and not harm. Amen.