ISSL Reflections February 13 2022 Ezra 7:1–10, 23–26 Post 3

VII.
A few days ago I asked what we might find to be the core of Ezra’s being. What do you notice in this passage?

VIII.
Ezra 7:1-10 (New Revised Standard Version)

After this, in the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, Ezra son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub, son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth, son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki, son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of the chief priest Aaron — this Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses that the Lord the God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was upon him.

Some of the people of Israel, and some of the priests and Levites, the singers and gatekeepers, and the temple servants also went up to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes. They came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. On the first day of the first month the journey up from Babylon was begun, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, for the gracious hand of his God was upon him. For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Ezra 7:23-26 (New Revised Standard Version)

Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven, or wrath will come upon the realm of the king and his heirs. We also notify you that it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll on any of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the doorkeepers, the temple servants, or other servants of this house of God.

“And you, Ezra, according to the God-given wisdom you possess, appoint magistrates and judges who may judge all the people in the province Beyond the River who know the laws of your God; and you shall teach those who do not know them. All who will not obey the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be strictly executed on them, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of their goods or for imprisonment.”

IX.
As I read and reread this account I am impressed by a path that emerges in Ezra’s life –

  • For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.
  • “[Ezra] was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses that the Lord the God of Israel had given…”
  • “… the king granted him all that he asked …”

It seems to me, Ezra did not “set his heart” on getting the king to grant him “all that he asked.” His heart, the core of his being, what gave him a foundation and direction for his life was not seeking the king’s approval but seeking to know God’s law.

And not just seeking to know it for himself, but “… to do it and to teach [it]…”

And that puts him in the place to have a central role in the rebuilding of Israel.

Oh, one more thing – “… for the hand of the Lord his God was upon him.”

What might you and I do to place ourselves where “the hand of the Lord” is upon us?

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}


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