How important is the Bible in your life? The book of Ezra attributes God’s blessings toward Ezra to the fact that he was careful to study and obey the Bible. He read it carefully. And then did what it said.
Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king. He had begun his journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. (Ezra 7:8-10 NIV)
Ezra and his group of returning exiles made the trip from Babylon to Jerusalem in four months. I don’t how long this would normally take, but four months seems to have been faster than normal. And Ezra attributes this to the gracious hand of the Lord.
Obeying the Bible
In what seems like a parenthetical statement, it is explained that Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of God’s law, the Torah. In addition, he devoted himself to teaching his people those same laws.
There does seem to be a correlation between the two. Having God’s gracious hand on you. And devoting yourself to learning and obeying the word of God. When we draw near to God, he will draw near to us (Jam. 4:8).
Is Ezra’s example only for the few? Or is his devotion and obedience to the word an example for all of us? I believe it is the latter. We may not all be able to spend hours a day studying the Bible. But most of us can spend more time than we do. And, even more important, to do what it says, being doers of the word and not just hearers (Jam. 1:22-25).