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Ezra: The Leader

(21)

Sermon shared by Ralph Andrus

September 1999
Summary: Simple outline on the character of Ezra
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Ezra: The Leader
Raising Your Family
Ezra 7:1-10

During the course of World War II, many people gained fame in one way or another. One example was Butch O’Hare, a fighter pilot assigned to an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. One time his entire squadron was assigned to fly a particular mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. Because of this, he would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to the ship. His flight leader told him to leave formation and return.

As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw a squadron of Japanese Zeroes heading toward the fleet to attack. And with all the fighter planes gone, the fleet was almost defenseless. His was the only opportunity to distract and divert them. Single-handedly, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes and attacked them. The American fighter planes were rigged with cameras; as they flew and fought, pictures were taken so pilots could learn more about the terrain, enemy maneuvers, etc. Butch dove at the enemy and shot until all his ammunition was gone. Then he would dive and try to clip off a wing or tail or anything that would make the enemy planes unfit to fly.... anything to keep them from reaching the American ships.

Finally, the Japanese squadron took off in another direction, and Butch O’Hare and his fighter, both badly shot up, limped back to the carrier. He told his story, but it wasn’t until the film from the camera on his plane was developed that they realized the extent he had gone to, to protect his fleet. He was recognized as a hero and given one of the nation’s highest military honors. As you may know, the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago was named after him.

************* > *Part2:
Prior to this, there was a lawyer in Chicago named Easy Eddie who worked for Al Capone. Capone was notorious for the murders he’d committed and their illegal things he’d done. Easy Eddie was good -- he was able to keep Al Capone out of jail. To show his appreciation, Capone paid Eddie well. And Eddie would receive extras, like a residence that filled an entire Chicago City block.

He had live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. Easy Eddie had a son. He loved his son and gave him all the best things while he was growing up; clothes, cars, and a good education. Because he loved his son he tried to teach him right from wrong. But two things he couldn’t give him: a good name and a good example. Easy Eddie decided his son was much more important than all the riches he had been given. So he went to the authorities to rectify the wrongs he had done. That meant he must testify against Al Capone, and he knew Capone would do his best to have him killed. But he wanted most of all to try to be a good example and to do whatever he could to give his son a good name. So he testified.

Within the year, he was shot and killed on a lonely street in Chicago.

***************
These stories may seem unrelated. But Butch O’Hare was Easy Eddie’s son.

His Times
2 Generations had gone between ch 6-7
Gone were Zerubbable, last rep. of the House of David
Haggai, Zechariah prophetic voices were silent
Eliashib filled the Priesthood was allied with Tobiah
Ahasueras set the tone with pride & lasciviousness

Jewish tradition from Talmud
1. The
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