Vol.5, No. 39 – October 11, 2020
Influencer . . .
This Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses . . . the hand of God was on him. –Ezra 7:6
Capital City of Persia
Nobel Prize Man of the Year is awarded to our man, Ezra
Ezra, the leader of the awesome expedition to Judah, today has been awarded the coveted Nobel Prize. The “Leader of Judaism” is a consolidator, reformer, builder, and accomplished author. He belongs to the great triumvirate of our time. Moses, Samuel, and Ezra wrote and worked to keep the Divine Record intact. Ezra is the historical figure of our times. He lays the ruling foundations for the future. Persia and other nations is indebted for his codifying Israel’s laws, and indebted for the formation of the Scripture Canon. Please send your congrats via your fastest camel.
Well that was kind of fun.
Tradition tells us that Ezra was the organizer of the synagogue, the founder of the Order of the Scribes, and he helped settle the canon of the Scriptures. He also arranged the Book of Psalms; and may have even written Psalm 119.
When you really need someone to do a project, do some work, get involved in representing you interests, you need to find someone already busy. Ezra is that busy person. He is never too busy to do what is needed. Ezra and his best friend, Nehemiah, are the recognized two-some in their day. One rebuilt the people in Zion, and the other rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.
In rebuilding the people, Ezra cultivates, first, his own personal relationship with God. The order is important. You cannot attempt to influence others regarding Almighty God, unless your relationship is right with Him. You cannot effectively win others to the truth of Christ, unless that truth has its place in your own heart.
Enthusiasm for the Gospel is kindled by the Gospel’s enthusiasm.
What was the secret of the tremendous influence Ezra exerted from the throne of Persia, to the slaves in the marketplace?
- His commitment is a model for us. According to Ezra 7:10, Ezra prepares his heart. Wholeheartedly, without reservation, he set his sail, knowing that he is without the ability to control the gale. The set in our sail determines the way you go.
- His commission, expectation, challenges us. King Artaxerxes responded to his request with a simple word: Go! Thus, Ezra takes a few thousand peasants 900 miles across the barren Syrian Desert. The desert is loaded with bands of hijackers. Ezra’s band is loaded down with millions in gold (the Temple wealth). Ezra accomplishes the 900 miles in four months—a phenomenal pace of 7.5 miles per day.
- His consistency inspires us. He walks his talk. He practices what he says.
You will not lean on the arm of the flesh if you are trusting in the living God.
Ezra trusts in the living God. How do we do in that theatre of life?
- Who is our model?
- Where does their commitment lie? Should we reflect their model?
- What is our commission, God’s expectation of us?
- Who gives us our commission?
- God’s Word is reliable for our commission.
- Who carries the best consistency?
- Jesus has modeled consistency for us, and provides us the ability to be consistent with His presence in our lives.
- What we say, think, and do comes from what we place in our hearts.
How important are the memories of what God says to us?
So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty. –Ezra 8:23
Often timing is important to how we function in life:
- The wrong decision at the wrong time is a disaster
- The wrong decision at the right time is a mistake
- The right decision at the wrong time is unacceptable
- The right decision at the right time leads to success
Ezra trusts God; he seeks out God’s advice and direction before rushing into his effort. How do we do in seeking God’s direction? God is always leading; we need to follow.