Ezra 7:10, “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.” (NIV)
We are all prone to letting ourselves become enamored with passions. For some it may be political news. The daily craving for media updates can become an obsession of sorts, as phone alerts and perpetual internet browsing often display a relentless appetite for governmental information. Others may be fixated on monetary matters. Stock patterns, personal investments, retirement account balances, and the like are an unremitting fascination when it comes to materialism. And this does not even take into account being enamored with health and wellness, entertainment, or sports. These are but a sample of the many focal points that can grab hold of our hearts, and preoccupy us. Ezra was not immune to this. There was something that enamored him, except that it was spectacularly noble. Ezra’s attention was daily directed toward the Word of God.
The biblical record of Ezra is very favorable. Scripture denotes that he was a studious individual. He was trustworthy. He was full of integrity. He was willing to lead his community. And he did not shy away from taking on difficult tasks. Therefore, it would seem that Ezra could have chosen many self-serving roads, and profitable professions. But, instead, Ezra chose to dedicate himself to a life of godly service, guided by three responsibilities: to study God’s Word, to live God’s Word, and to teach God’s Word. And thus Ezra prioritized his life, his entire existence, within God’s framework. Ezra viewed himself as a vessel – a vessel that sought to have divine knowledge, truth, and love poured into it so that it could then be poured out into the world.
Ezra 7:10 indicates that Ezra’s study of God’s Word was not for selfish reasons, or ambitions. Nor was his personal examination of Scripture a cursory, obligatory overview. No, Ezra devoted himself to God’s Word because it mattered to him. Ezra adored the Lord, and so he cherished God’s message. Ezra continually, and fervently, mined the Bible, like one who mines for treasure. He obviously viewed the Bible as a spiritual treasure, and it is. Not all believers will be scholars, like Ezra, who allocate hours daily to Scripture. But we can, and should, desire to be enthusiastic students of the Bible. In short, the only thing that should enamor us should not be a thing at all – it should be God Who enamors us.
Kevin Orr (9/16/2018)