Summary: The story of Ezra is presented as an encouragement for us to study God’s word, practice God’s will and teach God’s law.
THE HAND OF GOD WAS UPON HIM
Ezra was a contemporary of Nehemiah. In about 457 B.C. Ezra led a group of Jews from captivity back to Jerusalem. The purpose of his journey was to restore the worship of God in the temple.
Ezra was a scribe (scholar). He was one of the first of a class of scholars dedicated to the knowledge and preservation of all the written and oral traditions of the Israelites. Ezra and those like him became the scribes, lawyers, and rabbis of Jesus’ day.
The theme of Ezra’s life and work could be summed up on the phrase, “The hand of the Lord my God was upon me.” Ezra used this phrase to indicate that God was blessing his work and to give God the credit for his success.
I. Why was the hand of God upon Ezra? READ EZRA 7:1-10
A. Ezra “set his heart.” (Vs. 10) Ezra had made a decision and he was committed to it. Ezra had made a core decision from which all other decisions would flow.
1. “...to study the Law of the Lord...” (“seek” KJV)
As David admonished. I CHRON. 28:8...Observe and seek after all the commandments of the Lord your God in order that you may posses the good land and bequeath it to our sons after you forever.”
Ezra wanted to know the “prime directive.”
2 .“...and to do it...”
As God had commanded LEV. 19:37...”You shall thus observe all my statues, and all my ordinances, and do them: I am the Lord.”
Ezra was committed to applying God’s law to HIMSELF first.
3. “...and to teach His statutes and rules in Israel.”
As Moses commanded. DEUT. 4:9-14
AFTER Ezra had an intimate knowledge of God’s Law and had applied it to himself, he then committed himself to teaching others.
B. Ezra sought God and His blessings. EZRA 8:21-23
1. Through prayer and fasting.
2. In faith and humility.
II. Because the hand of God was upon Ezra:
A. The king granted Ezra all he requested. EZRA 7:6
1. Permission for Ezra to return to Jerusalem and take anyone else who wanted to with him. EZRA 7:12-13
2. Permission to take silver and gold to Jerusalem.
a. To buy animals for sacrifice. EZRA 7:14-17
b. To buy what was needed for the service of the house of God.
3. Freedom from taxation for the religious leaders. EZRA 7:24
4. Permission to set up magistrates and judges. EZRA 7:25-26
B. Ezra was able to accomplish his goals
1. Ezra was strengthened. EZRA 7:28
2. Ezra was able to gather leading men of Israel to go with him.
EZRA 7:28, 8:15-20
3. The group made a safe trip and arrived safely in Jerusalem. EZRA 8:31-32
Because the hand of God was upon Ezra, his requests were granted, his goals were met, his strength was increase and his influence over other was increased.
All of the blessings from God grew out of Ezra’s commitment to God.
To study God’s Word.
To practice God’s will
To teach God’s Law.
If we wish God’s hand or blessing to be upon us, we must also commit ourselves:
To Study God’s Word.
To practice God’s will.
To Teach God’s Law.