Torchbearers for Christ
Monday, January 22, 2018
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               EZRA – The Weeping Scribe

 

Ezra was a descendant of Aaron, the high priest, through Eleazar. From a young age Ezra was diligent in his studies and became a skilled teacher who was very knowledgeable in the Law of Moses. The Bible says that God’s hand was upon him because he had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Word of God (Ezra 7:10). That God’s hand was upon Ezra is evidenced by the fact that when he approached King Artaxerxes to request permission to lead a group of exiles to Jerusalem, all that he requested was granted. The king went as far as issuing a decree granting Ezra civil and religious authority as well as providing the finances to furnish the temple that had been rebuilt by the exiles who had returned earlier under the leadership of Zerubbabel. Ezra’s life is proof that when we walk faithfully with God, His hand will be upon us and His favour will go before us.

 

God says we should not only be hearers but we must also be doers of the Word. Many Believers study the Word of God and some become so knowledgeable that they can even teach it but they are not doers of the Word. Ezra was different. He not only prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, but also to do it. He knew the importance of showing good example to others especially those who look up to us. What kind of image do we portray to our family members, friends and colleagues who do not know the Lord? Do they see Jesus in us or do they see us as frauds and hypocrites?

 

Ezra was a good leader. This is evident by the fact that he was able to gather leading men from Israel to go with him. People will only follow a person they believe in. The people had observed Ezra and saw that his lifestyle was above-board. They knew him to be man of integrity who did not say one thing and do another thing so they were willing to submit themselves to his leadership and return with him to Jerusalem (Ezra 7:26b).

 

There are certain tasks/assignments that we are called to do but which we cannot accomplish without the help of God. Even the Word of God says “it is not my might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord. (Zechariah 4:6). Ezra knew that without the help of God they would never make it back to Jerusalem to furnish the temple and re-build the spiritual lives of the people so he admonished the exiles to humble themselves and fast so that God would see them, as well as their family possessions, safely to Jerusalem. God honored this and the Bible says that “the hand of our God was on us and He protected us from enemies and bandits along the way.” (Ezra 8:31).

 

One of the attributes/qualities of a good leader is being able to take responsibility for the wrong acts of those under ones charge. This is what Ezra did. Though he was not amongst those who had sinned against God by inter-marrying with their neighbors, which God had warned them against, he knew the gravity of the people’s sin so he tore his clothes, pulled out his hair from his head and beard, wept and called on God on behalf of the people. This also tells us that Ezra was a great intercessor. He stood in the gap on behalf of the people even though he himself had done no wrong. The Bible tells us that He ate no food and drank no water but continued to mourn over the unfaithfulness of the exiles (Ezra 10:6)

 

We should learn some lessons from Ezra. Today, more than ever before, we need to cry out on behalf of the nations of the world so that God may pour out His healing. He has already promised us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if we humble ourselves and pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways that He will forgive our sins and heal our land. We also need to pray for our loved ones who are yet to make a commitment to the Lord. God is able and just as He heard the cry of Ezra, He will hear ours.

 

The Bibles admonishes us to confess our sins and then turn away from them. Ezra  understood this important principle and asked the people to give up the strange women they had married and the offspring of such union so that there might be purity among the people and God can accomplish His plan.

 

Perhaps Ezra’s greatest accomplishment was restoring the hearts of the people. He taught the people the Law of Moses and reformed their religious life. He got them to again understand that they were not like other nations but that they were special.

 

In conclusion, we see that though Ezra was in exile, he did not let his circumstances deter him from being the best he could be. He was devoted to the Word of God and his life was such a testimony that even the king could not resist his request. May we too be like Ezra who loved the Word of God and observed it, an exemplary leader and a great intercessor.

 

Look at these Books about Ezra and Nehemiah

 

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