DEVOTION:THIS IS AN EXPERIENCE EVERYONE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE!
In Chapter 7, we are told of Ezra’s trip from Babylon to Jerusalem. He left Babylon during the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia. We are also shown that this Ezra was from the priestly line of Aaron.
Here are some specifics about Ezra:
This Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him. Ezra 7:6
He did not traveled to Jerusalem alone:
Some of the Israelites, including priests, Levites, musicians, gatekeepers and temple servants, also came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.Ezra 7:7
Here is the time frame of his journey and how long it took him to arrive in Jerusalem.
Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king. 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. Ezra 7:8-9
He left during the seventh year of the reign of King Artaxerxes, and it took him exactly four months to get to Jerusalem. But we are told all these happened because:
For the gracious hand of his God was on him.
The Bible does not tell us much about the nature of this trip, but this must have been a dangerous trip. We will see something similar in the book of Nehemiah; however, Nehemiah was given a military escort to make the same journey to Jerusalem. But Ezra, the priest, and his companion did not receive this military escort. This explains why we are told ‘he arrived safely because the gracious hand of his God was on him.’
The question we must answer is this: Why did Ezra receive this incredible favor from his God? In other words, why did he receive a divine protection? The next verse gives us an answer.
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. Ezra 7:10
No wonder! Here is how we can answer this question.
Ezra received a divine protection because he had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.
Ezra might have looked like any other person to the Jews and Babylonians, but he was a very important person before the Lord. When he begun his journey, heaven mustered its army of Angels to give him a divine escort. When God’s hand is upon you, you have all the protection beyond your imagination.
Ezra was a valuable individual in God’s purposes. You could say that Ezra was a valuable commodity of God.
- Apart from being a child of God, how valuable are you in the Kingdom of God? Does your movement here on earth cause heaven to move into action? We saw in the book of Daniel how valuable Daniel was before the Lord. When Daniel prayed, an Angel was sent immediately to deliver an answer for his prayers.
- What can you do today in order to increase your value before the Lord?
- What made Ezra a valuable person before the Lord? Here is the answer:
- He had devoted himself to the study of the law of God. We are told earlier that this Ezra was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses. In today’s language we could say, Ezra was an expert in the Law of Moses.
- Ezra had devoted himself to the observance of the Law of the Lord. You see, Ezra was not just an expert, he lived by the law of the Lord. In other words, he obeyed the Law of the Lord.
- Ezra had devoted himself to the teaching of its degrees and laws in Israel. This is incredible Ezra lived by the laws of God so that he could teach from his personal experience and example.
- There are many today who call themselves teachers of the word of God, yet they have spent little or no time in the study of the word of God. Some claim that they do not need to go to school or any structured method for studying the word of God. They claim that the Holy Spirit will teach them. Here are some questions for you.
- If the Holy Spirit is all we need, why did Jesus Christ spend three years teaching and training his disciples?
- Secondly, are you aware that after Paul the Apostle was saved, he went into a solitary place to study for a long time before getting into serious preaching of the gospel?
- Thirdly, what do these words from Paul mean to you?
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
- I am afraid, a number of serious heresies have come out of this kind of attitude toward the study of the word of God.
- This is not to say thatit is not important to rely in the work of the Holy Spirit. None of us can do this work without the Him.
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.
This is why he received a divine protection,
For the hand of the Lord was upon him.
THIS IS AN EXPERIENCE EVERYONE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE!
Read: Ezra 7:1-10
Pastor Shadrack [email protected]