Today’s Reading: Ezra 6-7
Today’s Reflection: Ezra 7:9-10
9) For on the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylonia, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, for the good hand of his God was on him. 10) For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.
After the temple of the Lord was rebuilt in Jerusalem someone was needed to teach the returned exiles how to obey God’s law and serve Him in His sanctuary. Ezra, a scribe skilled in the law of Moses (Ezra 7:6) was sent for this purpose. As he re-instituted the keeping of Torah law, Ezra shows us an example of what a teacher of God’s Word should be.
1) The Hand of God was on Ezra. Ezra was chosen for the task of rebuilding the spiritual knowledge of Israel by God Himself. Even though He worked through the decisions of the leaders of the Persian empire and the leaders of the returned Jewish exiles, in truth it was God who assigned Ezra to this task.
Leviticus 10:8, 10-11 – 8 “And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying,10) You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, 11) and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.”
2) Ezra set his heart to study the Law of the Lord. Long before the return of the exiles, Ezra had dedicated himself to the understanding of God’s law. By so doing he distinguished himself and made himself a suitable choice to teach God’s law.
2 Timothy 2:15 – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
3) Ezra obeyed the Law of the Lord. Understanding God’s law wasn’t enough. Ezra also sought to obey what he had come to understand.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
4) Ezra desired to teach what he knew of God’s Law to others. Lastly, Ezra wanted to share what he knew. His study of God’s law had allowed him to build a relationship with God based on faith and love and the great desire of his heart was to see others receive instruction that would allow them to enter into relationship with God as well.
The same characteristics distinguish the teachers of God’s Word today: chosen by God, dedicated to the study of His Word, obedience to God’s law and a desire to share this knowledge with others. The teaching of God’s law is a blessing and solemn responsibility for those so chosen.
James 3:1 – Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.