Read Ezra 8
Genealogy of Ezra's companions; Ezra proclaims a fast; treasures delivered to priests; Ezra's prayer and confession.
I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, My God . . . we have forsaken Thy Commandments (Ezra 9:6,10).
Ezra, the priest, not only prepared his heart to seek the Law of God, but he wanted all of God's people to know God's will through it. His purpose for going to Jerusalem was to teach in Israel statutes and judgments (7:10).
It took four months after leaving Babylon for Ezra and his 1,800 followers to complete the 800-mile journey and arrive in the Holy City. He was heartbroken over the low moral and negative spiritual condition that prevailed.
Fifty-seven years had passed since Haggai and Zechariah, through their prophetic ministry, had inspired the nation to seek the Lord God of Israel (6:21), but there had been no prophets to teach God's Commandments to the new generation. Without the continual reading, studying, and teaching of God's Word, we can quickly find ourselves in a similar spiritual condition. Scripture teaches of itself: Where there is no vision (God's Word), the people perish: but he that keepeth the Law, happy is he (Prov. 29:18).
Ezra read and taught the Scripture, and it resulted in a great, sweeping revival (see Ezra 10:12). Our Lord's words to His disciples confirm the necessity of knowing the Old Testament when, beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27). Surely they had a good knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures, but they needed a further revelation of Christ in His Word. Jesus is revealed throughout the Old Testament in a vast number of Messianic promises. These can be found from Genesis and throughout the books of the prophets. They foretell the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Today, the Holy Spirit indwells every believer, and we should pray that He will guide us into all Truth (John 16:13). He is the One who helps us to walk uprightly before God. He helps us to make the right choices. He will help unfold the Word of God to us. As we allow Him, the Holy Spirit will teach us the Word of God and its deeper meanings. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26).
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Ps. 119:105).
Thought for Today:
In humility we should yield to the Holy Spirit and follow His leading.
By Ezra, who mourned over the sins of the people of Jerusalem (Ezra 9:5). Twice it is recorded that, when Jesus looked upon Jerusalem, He also mourned for the people (Luke 13:34; 19:41).
8:29 chambers, storerooms; 9:3 mantle, robe; 9:7 confusion of face, shame, confessing to following God but living like the world. As the people of God, we are to come out from among them, and be . . . separate (II Cor. 6:17); 9:8 a nail in His Holy Place, a secure hold on the promised land; 9:12 wealth, well-being.
Pray for Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville TN • Staff: Chris Robison • Government Official: Sen. Mike Lee (UT) • Country: Greece (10.5 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Greek and English • Government restrictions on witnessing to others about Christ • 87% Orthodox; 8% Old Calendar Orthodox; 2% Catholic; 1.2% Muslim; .5% Jehovah's Witness; .3% Protestant; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for spiritual prosperity (I Chr. 4:9-10).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 6
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 1:1-2