It is a little startling, reading how Ezra was a scribe, how he was skilled in the law of Moses.
We may best know scribes from the gospels. They were among those who fought Jesus at every turn. Their learning made them reject Jesus. For instance, they knew that no prophet arose from Nazareth, that the Christ would be born in Bethlehem. They were right, but it made them reject Jesus since they knew He was from Nazareth. They never bothered asking where He was born. They thought they knew. As Scripture warns us, knowledge puffs up.
But here we see that the hand of the Lord God was on Ezra because he had set his heart to study the law, to do it, and to teach it.
We also read in the gospels how Jesus taught that whoever did and taught the commandments would be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
We can see the difference here between Ezra and the scribes confronting Jesus. It’s all about the heart.
We’ve talked before about a heart set on keeping the commandments. That doesn’t mean there are never any fumbles, but it means that you are godly; your heart is set on God and His ways. You look to Him and go His way.
Ezra’s heart was set on the law of God, not just to be educated and rule, but so that He could obey them and teach them to others.
That’s the Great Commission right there. It’s not to get people to accept Jesus. It’s not even to just get them baptized. It’s teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded.
Ezra’s heart was set not on building himself up or showing himself off, but on carrying out the Lord’s will.
Because God’s hand was on Ezra, the king gave him whatever he asked. He gave Ezra extra and trusted him to do whatever seemed best to him, trusting that Ezra was living according to God’s will.
I found it fun to read how the king forbade collecting a tax from those who served at the temple, since the previous king stopped the work for fear that they would no longer pay a tax to him.
God had it all worked out and then some.
Ezra acknowledges the Lord’s hand in everything and takes courage in the Lord’s devoted love.