6,10 “The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was on 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.”
Ezra 7:6,10 (NIV)
I love learning how things work, seeing why things play out the way they do. Causality fascinates me.
Accurately assessing why we won or lost, why we found favor or came to ruin, consumes me. Yes, discovering the invisible laws of attribution is so cool. (That’s why I treasure James 3:16, 1 Samuel 2:30, Proverbs 15:33, 16:18, 18:22, and 22:4.)
Indeed, watching the hand of God rest on someone is touching. Today’s Scripture points us to a few pivotal points in finding favor among God and men. Let’s take a look.
DEVOTED STUDY: Ezra, a captive minority in a foreign land, made it a point to really know God’s Word, faithfully learning it even though his new culture pressed him to absorb other things. Growing His identity before God was of prime importance no matter where He was and who was around.
FULL OBEDIENCE: Ezra didn’t just know the Word. He “observed” it. He put it into play. The dots connected from knowing to doing. Living according to the Word became his standard way of operating.
No hesitation. No compromise. All-out follow-through. All-out abandon.
FEARLESS SHARING: Ezra taught what he learned to others. He didn’t keep the universal laws and truths he’d learned to himself. He openly, selflessly shared his core convictions with others. He pursued others as he pursued the LORD. He lovingly gave as God fed him.
Bottom line: Ezra gave it all he had for the LORD. And as he did, he found great favor not just with God, but with men. Funny how often things work this way.
I guess Proverbs 16:7 really does have some punch (“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.“ ESV).
Reflect: How’s your Word study going? What’s your obedience index like? Is it ”Whatever He says goes”? Are you sharing what you’ve learned with others? What could/should be shared today? With whom?
A prayer to consider: LORD, coach me. Meet me at Your Word as I study it. May I embrace and fully obey what You say, entertaining no other options, living a no-compromise life.
Help me to lovingly share with others what you have so graciously, powerfully taught me. O, may the hand of Your favor rest on me. Amen.