The Word of God Ezra2
A man was chatting with his friend who was a collector of old books. “I was cleaning out the house of a learned man who recently died and found a really old book. On the front page was written `Printed by guten something press`. It was so old and dirty I threw it out.” “What! Maybe it was Gutenberg Press. You`re crazy! Books like that sell for a million dollars,” the friend replied. “But that Bible had no value because there were notes written all through it by a man named Martin Luther.”
Gutenberg was the man who invented the printing press. Martin Luther is well-known as the one who precipitated the revival of the degenerate church in the Middle Ages. Ezra, our topic today, was one who also started a spiritual revival.
In BC 538, King Cyrus allowed the Jews who had been taken as captives to Babylon to return to their home country and begin rebuilding the temple. About 40,000 people went back to Jerusalem and after twenty years the temple reconstruction was completed. Meanwhile, back in Babylon, a scribe by the name of Ezra prospered and rose to prominence while under the rule of the Persian empire. King Artaxerxes ordered Ezra to go to Jerusalem to “administer justice to all the people – all who know the laws of your God. And you are to teach any who do not know them.” Ezra 7:25. This order began the revival of the laws of God.
Ezra was appointed as judge over the people who feared God and revered His Word and to spread the teachings of God and implement his laws as the law of the land. Just as Martin Luther challenged the Catholic church to place the Bible as the foundation of faith, Ezra persuaded the people who had compromised and walked away from God to make the law of Moses the foundation of their lives.
The Bible, which is the Word of God brings many blessings to our lives. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16, 17.
The Word of God imparts understanding.
The Bible is like a mirror which shows us our true state, that our hearts are dirty and that we are sinners. The salvation offered by Jesus is salvation from sin and the first step is to admit that we are sinners before God. In our sinful state we will not experience true satisfaction and cannot enter heaven. “The entrance of Your Words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130.
The Word of God gives guidance.
When we face a crossroad in life the Bible helps us decide which road to take. After recovering from cardiac surgery and a car accident, an American missionary challenged me to help those who need help. That night, the words from Proverbs 3:27 spoke to my heart. “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” I was moved to forsake the easy life in New Zealand and return to Japan.
The Bible is food for the soul.
“Man does not live on bread alone but on every Word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3. Food is necessary for humans to live. In order to grow and to maintain health we must eat. In the same way, the Word of God is necessary for our souls. God`s Word rebuffs evil thoughts. It acts as a sword. “Take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.” Ephesians 6:17. “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from The Savior of the world is communicated to us through this Book.” Abraham Lincoln. “You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals.” Marie Curie. The Word of God gives us understanding, guidance, nurture and victory over evil thoughts. Like Ezra, may we love God`s Word and seek to share it with others. Help us God to revere your Word, to store it in our hearts, to share it in a straightforward manner with others.