READING: Ezra 4-7, Acts 10:34-48
I make no claims to be original with today’s devotion. Others much wiser than I have noted the same truths that have grabbed my attention today – but that’s precisely why I want to include these insights in this devotion.
What captures me are the descriptions of Ezra, “the priest, teacher of the Law of the God of heaven” (Ezra 7:12). He “was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses” (Ezra 7:6). More than once, we learn that the “hand of the Lord” was upon him (Ezra 7:6; see also 7:9). Moreover, he “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).
Thus, this was his life: he studied God’s Word, obeyed the Word, and taught the Word. The word “devoted” in Ezra 7:10 can be understood as “set his heart on”; in fact, hear the ways some scholars have described his devotion:
- “He is a model reformer in that what he taught he had first lived, and what he lived he had first made sure of in the Scriptures.”*
- “He loved God’s Word and God’s people. He had ‘devoted himself’ to the three things mentioned, but not as a hobby or pastime activity.”**
- “Bible study was not merely an intellectual discipline but a personal study for his own life and for the instruction of his congregation.”***
As a teacher, that’s the way I want to live: loving the Word, obeying it, and teaching it to the nations.
PRAYER: “Father, grant me grace to love Your Word and follow it before I ever stand as a teacher.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Ezra 8-10, Acts 11:1-12:5
*Kidner, D. (1979). Ezra and Nehemiah: An Introduction and Commentary(Vol. 12, p. 71). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
**Breneman, M. (1993). Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther(electronic ed., Vol. 10, p. 129). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
*** Yamauchi, E. (1988). Ezra-Nehemiah. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job(Vol. 4, p. 650). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.