-A gap of almost 60 years occurs between chapters 6 & 7. At this time, under the reign Artaxerxes, king of Persia, Ezra went up from Babylon to Jerusalem as a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given. He was blessed by being granted all he requested from the foreign king because the LORD was upon him. Ezra set his heart to study the Law of the LORD and to practice it, and to instruct God’s statutes and ordinances in Israel (Ezra 7:1-10). Artaxerxes issued a decree much like his predecessor Darius in favor of the Jewish people and Ezra. There was to be diligent, free-will offerings and gifts given for the House of the LORD and His worship. “Whatever is commanded by the God of Heaven, let it be done with zeal,” was his command so that his own kingdom would be blessed and wrath from the Almighty would not come against it for even his sons. No tax or tribute or toll was to be imposed on God’s people of the priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, Nethinim, or servants in the House of God. Erza was assigned to appoint magistrates and judges that they could conduct civil affairs and keep tranquility in the Land beyond the River in the righteousness of the LORD. “Whoever will not observe the Law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him strictly, whether for death or for banishment of for confiscation of goods or for imprisonment (Ezra 7:11-26).” Ezra was strengthened according to the Hand of the LORD that was upon him for blessing and favor at the words of this king. He gathered up men from Israel and they went (Ezra 7:27-28).
-*Application* God can use anybody at anytime to accomplish His will. Ezra was a willing servant who studied hard and applied a heart of wisdom to learning everything he could about his Creator and King. When God was ready, He set things in motion to raise up this man of God for the rebuilding of His nation and people. Let God use you in the same manner. Be blessed and exude His favor in your generation!
Verses to Memorize: Ezra 7:6, 10