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Feb 23, 2007

Impactful Living

As I read through the Book I Ezra, I found Ezra hadn't been a part of the rebuilding of the temple. He was reserved for another purpose-to teach the law of God to the Israelites(Ezra 7:10). The king of Persia, was Artaxerxes then, about 60 yrs since the completion of the temple. One thing that impressed me about Ezra is-how the King of Persia had observed him. In the letter that Artaxerxes writes to commission Ezra to carry out God's law for Israel and Judah, the king had noticed some special characters of this man exiled in Babylon, Ezra.

  • Ezra's faith -Ezra 7:12-"Artaxerxes, king of kings, To Ezra the priest, a teacher of the Law of the God of heaven: Greetings. ". This is a brilliant testimony to Ezra's God, a non-Jewish, non-Y-H worshipping king, acknowledging Ezra's God as the God of Heaven!!!
  • Ezra's Trust-Ezra 7:13-22 Artaxerxes even decrees to give from the treasury everything Ezra needed to carry out the plan of the God of heaven whom he serves. Isn't that amazing, an Iranian king providing funds to the Israelites to fulfil God's desires.
  • God's plan through Ezra-"Ezra 7:23 "Whatever the God of heaven has prescribed, let it be done with diligence for the temple of the God of heaven. Why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and of his sons?" This verse amazes me to see that, the diligence in Ezra's heart to follow God, had shown the king how important it was to follow God's plan.
  • Ezra's wisdom from God-"Ezra 7:25 And you, Ezra, in accordance with the wisdom of your God, which you possess, appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice to all the people of Trans-Euphrates—all who know the laws of your God. And you are to teach any who do not know them. " Imagine the king allowing Ezra, almost an administrative duty, of appointing offices as the need be for him. I don't think any king in his right mind would ever have given such an authority to anyone, yet this big role was handed to Ezra, for surely, I believe, the king had seen something special in the manner Ezra was conducting his ways for the Living God.

Lessons: It is possible for every believer to have this kind of a testimony before people who don't know God. The King was so impressed by the faith that shone through Ezra's living that he decreed that those who do not know must be taught the Law of God, Ezra's God. The key to such an impactful life is humble obedience to the Word of God

How could we see such results in our life?

By devoting ourselves in knowing our God, through His Word-Ezra 7:9-10" He had begun his journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. 10 For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel" While studying about Ezra I found, Ezra was actually a priestly scribe of the Law of Moses. Scribe is a person who serves as a professional copyist, esp. one who made copies of manuscripts before the invention of printing. And usually their whole life was devoted to this task, of writing, copyring proofing etc. However Ezra was going beyond his work. He devoted himself to

  1. Study the Law of God
  2. Observe or Obey the Law of God
  3. Teach the Law of God

Conclusion: We can have blessed and impactful lives, if we do what Ezra did. I am glad the Bible mentions the above things in that order. If we want the lives of people around us changed, we need to devote ourselves, 1st to study God's Word, this is the ONLY place we can find information on how to live a blessed life. 2nd to obey it ourselves and then 3rd to teach it to others. I believe the results will automatically will be visible to others, even if they don't know our God, they WILL KNOW through God's hand which begins to work in our lives, like God's hand worked on behalf of Ezra as he devoted himself to this cause.

1 comment :

Sista Cala said...

I don't know how many times I have read, studied, and taught on Ezra. One thing I know, I haven't looked close enough. Your detailed study and insights are nudging me to study the book again. Thanks for the inspiration.