Firm Resolve to Live For Him



In the high school class on Wednesday, we re-cently studied Ezra. In our study of Ezra, we came across a verse that stuck out, being Ezra 7:10. That verse says, “For Ezra had firmly re-solved to study the Law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordi-nances in Israel.” This verse certainly has spe-cific application to Ezra being that he was a priest (7:11) and he was a scribe (7:6) who was skilled in the Law of Moses. 

It was essential that Ezra was educated in the Law of Moses because that was to be of a priest and Levite, but also the circumstances that Ezra found himself in were crucial. Ezra was coming with people hardly had a relation-ship with God. There was much guidance that Ezra was going to have to give to these people and he does exactly that. We see in Nehemiah 8; Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the peo-ple, and they mourned and wept at hearing it. The day following that, Ezra read the Law to them again and they are going to restore the Feast of Booths, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles. In Ezra 9 and 10, we see Ezra’s reaction to sin committed by the people, the prayer he prays to God, and people reacting to Ezra’s example of doing as he did. They ulti-mately put away the sin. So clearly Ezra was devoted to God. What I find interesting though is the three pieces of application that we can take from Ezra’s example in Ezra 7:10. Ezra was resolved to study God’s word, practice it and teach it. We can do that as well! 

First, the importance of studying the Word of God. In a school test, if you don’t study and don’t have any knowledge of what’s expected on the test, you won’t do well. Likewise, if we want to be continually pleasing to God and have a relationship with Him, we need to study God’s word. Notice as well that it doesn’t just say that Ezra studied God’s word, but firmly resolved to study the Law of the LORD. Other versions say Ezra set his heart, devoted himself, determined in his heart, prepared his heart to study the Law of the LORD. In application, are we firmly resolved to study God’s word? Look what God’s word can and should be for us. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105). Psalm 1:1 talks about how a person is blessed that doesn’t associate with the wicked. Verses 2 and 3 say “But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, And on His Law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in what-ever he does, he prospers.” In application of those two verses, you are blessed if you mediate on God’s word day and night and look at what verse 3 leads to for you and for me! Not to mention the words of God lead us to forgiveness of sins, a relationship with God that will last eternally if you and I desire it to. 

To the next piece of Ezra 7:10, we need to practice God’s word. As we are firmly resolved to study God’s word, we learn what to practice in order to please God and what to stay as far away from as possible. We can say that we love God based on what we have read in scripture. We can be just amazed of what God has done for us, but if we don’t put what He has told us into practice, we don’t actually love Him. In John 14:15 Jesus says, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” You can’t love Jesus and not put what He says into action. It can’t be done. Do we practice loving others as Christ loved us (John 13:34), do we practice loving our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48), Do we practice watching what we say to others (Ephesians 4:29). There’s more to do which is going to be learned from being firmly resolved to study God’s word and striving to live it out in every single moment we have. 

To the last piece of Ezra 7:10, are we looking to teach the word to others? We can teach others the gospel when we physically open the Bible with them or mention scripture to them, but we also can teach them the gos-pel by how we live our lives. Just as we talked about in the previous para-graph, if we are practicing God’s word, others are going to see it. Matthew 5:16 says “Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heav-en.” We shine with the goal of having others see God in us, and ultimately for them to have a relationship with Him, like we do. To offer 3 examples from scripture and our lives on what teaching God’s word could look like, when we see someone reading their Bible in public, we could be like Phil-lip and the Ethiopian Eunuch of Acts 8. Introduce them to Jesus or guide them to a greater understanding of the passage they are reading. Perhaps the person reading their Bible in public already knows Jesus. Then you’ve gained another brother or sister to talk to and relate to in our pursuit of eternity with Christ! When we are in a situation that doesn’t look like there is any way we can share God’s word, do we look to live like Paul and Silas in Acts 16, who had been beaten with rods and then were thrown into prison and still shine bright and lead the jailer and his entire house-hold to believing in God and being baptized. 

Another massive example is our in our homes. At the end of the book of Joshua, Joshua tells the people to choose who they are going to serve. The LORD or the idols their fathers served. Regardless of their choice though, Joshua says “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Parents, grandparents, those who desire to be parents in the fu-ture Lord willing, do we or will we have the same resolve? We must make sure that our kids are growing up “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4)” 

Are we going to be like Ezra. Firmly resolved to study God’s word, to practice it and teach and aid others to do the same?