Here comes Ezra!
Lord, may Your gracious hand be upon me and may I hear You through Your Word.
Read Ezra 7:1–10
 After these things, during the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,  the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub,  the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,  the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,  the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest-  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.  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 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.  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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat portrait is provided of Ezra?
Today’s passage provides a wonderful portrait of Ezra. Verses 1–5 tell us that his lineage goes back to Aaron, making Ezra a priest. Verse 6 tells us that he taught God’s Law; he must have been determined and worked hard to become an expert in it (6). Verse 10 shows us that Ezra did not just “talk the talk,” but he also “walked the walk.” He longed that others would also walk with God—hence his teaching ministry. Ezra’s family tree, training and motivation all contributed to him being a devoted man of God. It was for these reasons that “the hand of the Lord his God was on him” (6). Ezra’s example provokes us to question ourselves: how determined and dedicated are we in studying God’s Word? What really motivates us—the desire to know and love God and walk with him, or the desire to go our own way? Ezra’s story reminds us that as we devote ourselves to God we too will know the hand of God at work in us and through us.
Journal about the portrait of your devotion and then write about what you want it to look like.
Lord, help me to walk with the kind of devotion that Ezra exhibited as he walked with You.