Bible In One Year-Day 180 (Sunday, June 29, 2014)
Commentary: Ezra7-10. The background of the author, Ezra, was given in chapter7 and we could see that his ancestry took root in Aaron. He was gifted in the teaching of the word of God with unimaginable wisdom to the point that he was referred to as an expert;
Ezra 7:11 “Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.”
This was because the hand of the Lord was upon him. In the Old Testament, one of the ways of referring to the acts of the Holy Spirit was “the Hand of the Lord”. He gives the wisdom of God which is absolutely different from the wisdom of man.
Ezra 7:25 “And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.”
Ezra was a captive in Babylon who led the second set of people who returned to Jerusalem. The first set was led by Zerubbabel; those ones rebuilt and repaired the house of God. But Ezra led to rebuild the spiritual lives of the people. The space between these two returns was not immediate but spanned over about 60 years within which Esther ruled as queen. King Artaxerxes reigned after the husband of Esther. This king, Artaxerxes, ordered the return of Ezra and his people and he backed it up with a letter which was a surprise and an encouragement to Ezra.
Ezra 7:27-28 “Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem:And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. And I was strengthened (encouraged) as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.”
Ezra was a great prayer warrior and a compassionate intercessor. This marked the secret behind his success; prayer and fasting, Ezra8:21-23. From this account, we could see that he did things after he had sought the face of the Lord in prayer and fasting.
Along the line, Ezra was informed of the abominations of the leaders and the priest of his people which were tantamount to the law of God and which was what led his forefathers into captivity;
Ezra 9:2-3 “For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied.”
Ezra displayed his skill in the use of God’s words in praying. His prayer was in the power of God’s word and not of deceitful emotional display. One could answer altar call without the heart answering it. He skillfully tabled his petition before the Lord starting from humility, then referred to ancestral iniquity up to the grace which he and his people enjoyed in his time. He talked about the righteousness of God and His kindness to them even while in captivity. He cleverly recalled the commandment of God concerning the abominations of the people. God’s righteousness was presented to God in his prayers, i.e. God justified;
Ezra 9:15 “O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.”
Prayer is the most important aspect of Christian living. Unfortunately, this is the most ignored by a greater percentage of Christians. Prayer is only effectual if said based on God’s word. Ezra functioned in the manner we Christians should;
James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
When you make the word of God the basis of your prayer, heaven cannot remain blocked. Your faith must be based on the word of God. The measure of the word of God in your life is the measure of the testimony you receive because the Spirit only works with the word. This is the reason you cannot separate real and effectual prayer and the word of God. Saying prayers without the word of God amounts to chanting vain words, but having the word of God in your heart and you base your prayer on that truth, power flows with it and positive result is achieved to the glory of God. Ezra showed us how to pray, intercede and petition to the Lord with remarkable results. There is power in prayers that are said rightly.
Let us seek for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. Our reading for today is Nehemiah1-3. Keep the fire burning and alive.
JOIN OUR FATHER IN THE LORD, DR. D. K. OLUKOYA, (LIVE) TONIGHT ON HIS PRAYER LINE: +1-530-881-1030 @11:00PM (EASTERN STANDARD TIME)
Pastor Supo Abayode
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries