The Favor of God. Something I desperately want. This morning Ezra gave me some clues on how to get it: “…for the gracious hand of his God was on him. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel” Ezra 7:9b – 10 (NLT).
Favor. We have probably seen it in our lives, but didn’t know that is what it was. We have probably been without it in our lives and didn’t know that that is what was missing. It sounds like from Ezra’s life, it is definitely something we not only want, but need to know how to get.
Ezra studied the Word. He spent time reading the Word, so he could understand who God was and what his God required of him.
Ezra obeyed God’s law. Because of reading it, he knew the way to go; he knew what actions would bring God’s favor.
Ezra taught those decrees to others. He didn’t just keep this life-giving truth to myself. Ezra didn’t say, “It’s a personal thing; I don’t discuss my religion.” Just the opposite. He taught it!
The outcome for Ezra: his enemies even blessed him. King Artaxerxes, the ruler who was holding the Israelites captive, gave them permission to go home! Not only that, check this out: “If you need anything else for your God’s Temple or for any similar needs, you may take it from the royal treasury.” Ezra 7:20 Wow…take whatever you want from my royal treasury! Then the king told the neighboring countries “Give Ezra whatever he requests!” That, my friends, is why we want the favor of God in our lives.
So how did Ezra respond to this incredible gift from God? He fasted and humbled himself before Him. Ezra never once thought it was about him; he knew all along that any thing he had came from God Himself.
Friends, let’s start this cycle in our lives:
– study, obey and teach God’s Word
– Experience the favor of God in our lives
– Fast and humble ourselves before Him in gratitude
What a powerful way to live!
Lynn, you know what I really appreciate about this post? It demonstrates to me again how personal God's Word is to each of us.
I too wrote on the Ezra passage about the gracious hand of God today, but it spoke to me in a completely different way. It just goes to show you that God knows our individual circumstances. Next time I read this same scripture, God could apply it again in a different way. It's what keeps His Word alive and active and personal.
Sooooo enjoyed this post today.
Runner Mom says
Lynn, this post was so special. I am really trying to dig into God's Word, but I am not setting aside the time each day to really STUDY. I have my Quiet time, and then life hits! I am praying about carving out more time during the day–I might have to give up dusting or something like that!–to spend studying the Word. Thank you for sharing Ezra with us.