I proclaimed a fast there beside the Ahava Canal, a fast to humble ourselves before our God and pray for wise guidance for our journey—all our people and possessions. I was embarrassed to ask the king for a cavalry bodyguard to protect us from bandits on the road. We had just told the king, "Our God lovingly looks after all those who seek him, but turns away in disgust from those who leave him."Ezra was preparing to journey to Jerusalem with quite a group of people and items for rebuilding the temple. Ezra was not without reason to be concerned about theft because later we learn that he was carrying "25 tons of silver, 100 vessels of silver valued at three and three-quarter tons of gold, 20 gold bowls weighing eighteen and a half pounds, 2 vessels of bright red copper, as valuable as gold."
So we fasted and prayed about these concerns. And he listened.
One might desire a small army to guard that much stuff nowadays as well as protecting a rather large group of people.
At first when I read this I thought Ezra had actually asked the King for help so I had to read it a few times.
Does remind me of discussions I've had in my life when I've expressed my faith that the Lord would take care of me.