EZRA, the priest, teacher and prayer warrior
Ezra, the priest and teacher was a descendent of the High Priest Aaron. Ezra was living in Babylon, whom Artaxerxes, King of Persia, sent to Jerusalem in 457 BC, to teach the laws of God to anyone who did not know them. He was a teacher well versed in the law of Moses.(7:6) Ezra led a large body of exiles back to Jerusalem.(7:7)
“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.7:10).
When he arrived , he was shocked to discover that his people had intermingled with the pagan nations that surround Jerusalem and are following their detestable practices. Many Jews including some priests married non Jewish women.(9:1,2)
“When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled”.(9:3) ..fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God and prayed.(9:5).
His sincere confession and prayer helped people to understand their sins and they also confessed their sins.
“While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites….They too wept bitterly”.(Ezra.10:1) He was so disturbed about the unfaithfulness of his people, he ate no food and drank no water, because he continued to mourn over the unfaithfulness of the exiles”(10:6)
Because he helped people to realize their mistakes, they made a covenant to send away their non Jewish wives and children and acted accordingly.(Ezra.10)
The prayerful action of Ezra resulted in correcting a national mistake.
How devoted are we in our study and observance of God’s word and teaching it to others?
Are we keeping ourselves seperate from the detestable practices of the people around us?
How do we react when we see Christians living with the faith and practices of others?
How is our prayer for the mistakes of Christians and Churches?