3 Precious Practices

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel (ESV).

Ezra was a priest, which meant he offered sacrifices to the Lord and also a scribe, which meant that he wrote Scripture. Notice these three keywords, study… practice… teach!

First, notice the pattern of Ezra’s preparation in God’s Word. His attitude, reverence, and honor toward the word God was exemplary. Because he so treasured the Word of God, He “set his heart to study the Law of the Lord”, (v.6 He was skilled in the Law of Moses). He studied before he attempted to live a life of obedience to it, for how could he live what he did not know. Many live life apart from the Word of God, but Ezra lived his life by the Word of God. This is why one should take notes during personal Bible study, and when listening to sermons, so one lies down in green pastures and chew on the cud of God’s Word which instructs, convicts, nurtures, and exhorts the soul.

Secondly, “he did it”, he put it into practice. He might read it, but if he believed it he must obey it. Jesus said, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (John 14:21). Furthermore, Jesus illustrates this when he likens a wise man to one that “hears and obeys his words” (Mat 7:24-25), “the house representing a religious life; the rain representing divine judgment. Only the house built on the foundation of obedience to God’s Word stands, so that it cannot fall” (The MacArthur Study Bible).

Finally, he “taught His statutes and rules in Israel. It wasn’t enough that he just studied and practiced the law in his own life, although this was imperative before he opened his mouth to teach that law. He was also concerned that others knew and obeyed as he did, so he faithfully taught God’s Word to Israel. He didn’t teach self-help lessons, or how to live your best life now, but God’s Word alone, “Sola Scriptura“, Scripture alone!

Steve Lawson wrote, “As a practicing physician knows and prescribes medicine, so every preacher should be ever studying, learning, and dispensing heavy doses of the healing balm of God’s Word to all his patients”.

Soli Deo Gloria: Do these three practices in Ezra’s life describe your life. Do you study God’s Word, and obey it? If you are a preacher, a parent, a Sunday school teacher, a discipler, etc…, do you prepare well, live God’s Word, and teach God’s Word to those under your care?