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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

Encounter God And Walk With Him In Humility


 

Today’s Readings:

Ezra 9:1-9 (7:6)

"This Ezra was a scribe who was well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given to the people of Israel. He came up to Jerusalem from Babylon, and the king gave him everything he asked for, because the gracious hand of the Lord his God was on him” (7:6 NLT)

 

It is extremely easy for a learned and successful person to be full of himself and elevate himself in pride. But this was not so with Ezra. In preparation for his divine assignment, God showed special interest in Ezra from birth. Who then is Ezra? He was a born priest, from the lineage of Aaron and a gifted scribe (7:6). He studied the Law of the Lord, for academic purpose, to teach it and he lived it.

In Israel, the duty of a scribe was to recount information by writing it down, who today can be likened to a secretary. During the Jews exile in Babylon, the duty of Ezra doubled as a priest and scribe. It was suggested that he could have been an official in King Artaxerxes court on the affairs of the Jews. He was, therefore served as a copyist, preserver, and interpreter of the Law.


During the 50 years which followed the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, the moral status in Judah was at its lowest. The priests were poor leaders to the people, the Sabbath was not kept neither was tithes paid. There was wide spread of divorce and intermarriage with the pagan nations around (Mal.2:14-16). Because the small remnant of Jewish community were desperately searching for identity in order to establish a direction, they get carried away and were unduly influenced by the surrounding pagan world. This is why Israel was in dare need for help, as our nation is today. God now assigned the religious reforms and administrative direction to Ezra and Nehemiah (Neh.2-5). At Ezra's request, the king appointed him to lead an expedition of Hebrews exiles back to Jerusalem to reform the morals and administrative direction.


Unfaithfulness is a great sin against God either by trespassing on holy things or violating sworn oath. This was why Judah was evacuated from the Promised Land and carried away captive to Babylon in the first instance (1Chron.9:1). Israel was under a covenant oath with Yahweh, they were not supposed to intermarry with pagan nations around them, who were the initial occupier of Canaan - the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 7; Nehemiah 10). Israel should remain faithful to God as the nation God would use to bless the world (Gen. 12:1-3, 7). They are the ‘holy seed’ fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Isa. 6:13; Matt.1:1). Again, the pagan nations - their foreign gods and strange, as well as frequent immoral and religious practices were always a constant threat to Israel's faith and commitment to Yahweh (Exod. 20:3-5). Which today, many to not have regard for this covenant oath, which also relates to all believers.


A lesson to learn from Ezra, he could have been the number one person to succumb to the sin of pride. But he did not. He did not only know the Law, he lived it. When he got back to Jerusalem and was given bad report about the remnants living there, in humility, he tore his garments in grief and prayed a wholehearted prayer on behalf of the people (vv. 5-15). A higher purpose guided his knowledge and position, that is, his love for God and his kinsmen - the Jews (v.15). He understood the magnitude of their sins. In humility, he repented and trusted in Yahweh's compassion and loving kindness showed to Israel in the past.


Pride leads to all kinds of terrible sins. Pride is completely against the mind of God. Pride makes us not to honour and appreciate God as the Creator God and the One in control of the universe. Pride will make us to bow down to lesser gods. Having heard the word of God, the faithful were convicted of their sin and they moved in repentance with fasting, confession and prayer.


What do we do?

1. As nation and community of faith, we are to retrace our steps back to God, the way of our fathers-in faith, repent of our sin and generational sins of idolatry, especially sins connecting to dark powers. Our forefathers, out of ignorance and fear had made covenants with the devil which have put us in bondage and affecting our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God is merciful, he will forgive.

OLUFUNMILAYO TITILOLA ADEKUSIBE


Prayer:

1. Father fill me with your love that will long to do things pleasing unto you,

before self. Free me from the soft deceit of self-pride, in Jesus name.

2. Father forgive my sins, sins of my family and ancestral sins, especially, sins

connected to dark powers, in Jesus name.

3. Father give me understanding of the secrets of Your kingdom, and the Law

of understanding of man, in Jesus name.

4. Power to encounter God in a new way and to travel with Him fall upon my

life, in Jesus name.

5. Father empower me to respond positively to your mystery of the kingdom

faith and obedience, in Jesus name.

6. Father raise the likes of Ezra and Nehemiah for your Church and nations,

in Jesus name.


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