READING: Ezra 7-10
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: For what do you want to be remembered? For being a great parent? For earning awards? For having money? For gaining power? All of us have different goals in mind when we consider the totality of life.
Ezra, a scribe who led a second group of exiles from Babylon back to Jerusalem in the 6th century BC, had clearly decided what his goals would be:
Ezra 7:10 Now Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel.
With the “gracious hand of God” on him (Ezra 7:6, 7:9b) and an undying commitment to obedience to God’s Word, Ezra later prayed, confessed, wept, and fell face down before God when grieving the sins of his people (Ezra 10:1). That’s quite a picture, actually: the godly scribe on his face on behalf of people who were hardly faithful. He was a righteous man unafraid to grieve the disobedience of others before God.
All of these words, of course, speak to me as a preacher — but the words really apply to all of us. It is our responsibility to study the Word. It is further our mandate to obey what we read; to read without obedience is to treat the words as if they are only words. Obedience, then, must include teaching God’s Word to others. When others choose not to follow biblical teaching, our gut-wrenching grief on their behalf is indeed a proper emotion.
Are you studying the Word? Obeying it? Teaching it?
Do you weep when others ignore it?
PRAYER: “God, let me study, obey, and teach Your Word — and bring me to intercessory grief if others don’t listen.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Nehemiah 1-5