READING: Ezra 7-10
Let me get straight to the point today: I want to be more like Ezra in today’s reading. Let these images sink in as you evaluate your own life in light of these words:
- He knew God’s Word well: “He was teacher well versed in in the Law of Moses.” (Ezra 7:6a)
- The Lord blessed him: “The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was upon him.” (Ezra 7:6b)
- He was committed to his task: “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).
- Others recognized his calling: “Artaxerxes, king of kings, To Ezra the priest, teacher of the Law of the God of heaven.” (Ezra 7:11)
- Others recognized his wisdom: “And you, Ezra, in accordance with the wisdom of your God, which you possess, appoint magistrates and judges.” (Ezra 7:25)
- He was brave in God’s power: “Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage.” (Ezra 7:28b)
- He fasted and prayed to seek God: “I proclaimed a fast . . . So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” (Ezra 8:21, 23)
- He leaned on God’s power rather than human power: “I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, ’The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him.” (Ezra 8:22)
- He deeply grieved sin around him: “While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God . . . He ate no food and drank no water, because he continued to mourn over the unfaithfulness of the exiles.” (Ezra 9:6)
- He was unafraid to call people to repentance: “You have been unfaithful . . . Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.” (Ezra 10:10-11)
If I could model even a few of these characteristics, I trust God would be pleased.
- Use the list above to do a self-evaluation.
- Like yesterday, use your list to guide you in praying for God’s hand to be evident in your life.
PRAYER: “God, make me a little more like Ezra today.”
TOMORROW¹S READING: Nehemiah 1-3