God…and who has extended his good favor to me before the king and his advisers and all the king’s powerful officials. Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me. Ezra 7:28 NIV
We can’t work hard enough, try to be good enough to earn God’s favor – we have favor because we are found in Jesus Christ. Having said that, there is a favor that comes from an immersion and alignment with the word of God. We are to be excellent students of what God’s word says and transformed by it’s application.
Ezra is brought onto the scene of the return of the Jews to Jerusalem after their 70 years of exile. They rebuild the temple and then the walls. Notice two common themes about Ezra’s life in the following passages – his identification as extremely knowledgeable of the laws of God and the favor of God’s hand upon his life.
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. Ezra 7:6 Notice favor with his supervisor was connected to being excellent in his understanding of scriptures
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. 10 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. Ezra 7:9 Notice his dedication to study and apply what he was studying. He practiced what he learned and others noticed the congruence of the two. He practiced what he preached.
And you, Ezra, in accordance with the wisdom of your God, which you possess, appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice to all the people of Trans-Euphrates—all who know the laws of your God. And you are to teach any who do not know them. Ezra 7:25 Notice that Ezra was a conduit for spreading the understanding that he possessed. He was to find others of like mind to be in leadership and he was to teach those who did not know the law. Be the conduit of the knowledge about God to others through teaching His word.
Ezra’s favor was directly linked to his relationship with God that was connected to his mastery of the laws of God. As you are doing your Bible reading, share your insights with others. Challenge yourself to remember where the great themes of love and forgiveness are found within the Bible. Know that there are many who have never heard some of the great stories and you could be the one to share them. Master a gospel presentation that fits your style. Integrate Bible verses into your testimony of salvation and how God guides you with His word daily.
You don’t have to be an expert at the beginning. Build your wall of understanding one brick at a time. A brick properly laid forms a great foundation for years to come in your life. Find verses that relate to these brick themes – God’s love, redemption, forgiveness, removal of sin, confession, repentance, calling, working with the Holy Spirit, Jesus life, death and resurrection. Make sure that you can find your way through the Bible to verses that bring you life and encouragement.
May God’s gracious hand of favor be upon your life as you love and integrate God’s word into every aspect of your life.
Blessings Love y’all