19 Oct 2014

Be Like Ezra

Religious 16 Comments

We covered this in church today and it really struck me (Ezra 7: 9-10):

9 [Ezra] 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. 10 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.

Note that the gracious hand of God was on Ezra because he did the following, in this order:

(1) Study the Law of the Lord,

(2) observe it,

(3) teach it to others.

My pastor ended on a note of humility, saying, “Now if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, ‘Well if I only preached what I practiced, I wouldn’t have too much to say.’ And that’s right, but  I’d be saying it with much more power.”

16 Responses to “Be Like Ezra”

  1. Gamble says:

    Who needs Christ when you have the law…

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Who needs humility when you have Gamble?

      • Gamble says:

        Nice attack Bob. Point is, law was pre Christ and served only to highlight need of the coming Savior. We have NO power, we live by the gift of salvation.

        Nobody can even come close to meeting the requirements of the law. This is the entire problem with Judaism, it is legalist and not grace based.

        Have you and your church been Judaized.

        BTW, the entire book of Ezra is all about Jewish men getting married to non Jewish women and how this is a huge legalistic problem.

        I will give you a little tip. You can either view Christ thought he lens of the OT, or you can view the OT through the lens of Christ. You decide. I choose the latter.

        • John says:

          I think generally it’s important to be careful characterizing religions negatively, particularly in an offhand manner that favors one major religion over another. It can be needlessly offensive. Also, I think it is somewhat oversimplified to describe Judaism as legalistic. I think most scholars would resist that notion.

          • Gamble says:

            I characterize all religions negatively.

            Salvation is a personal relationship.

            Regarding Judaism as legalistic, the pre Christ law is the backbone of Judaism. The Jews that ignore both the law and Christ, well you know what I am going to say.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Gamble, you routinely criticize me, with sarcasm, on my Sunday posts. Then you have the audacity to come back “nice attack Bob”?

          If you want to entertain the notion that maybe there is another Christian on Earth who gets it as much as you do, here’s some clarification: My pastor actually explained that for us, we should study “the word of the Lord” the way that Ezra, as a devout Jew, studied “the Law of the Lord.”

          • Gamble says:

            [My pastor actually explained that for us, we should study “the word of the Lord” the way that Ezra, as a devout Jew, studied “the Law of the Lord.”]

            Now you tell me this.

          • Gamble says:

            But even then you have to be careful not to get into a knowledge derived salvation. IT was a gift. Be grateful.

          • khodge says:

            What is true of Ezra also is true of Christ. Christ studied, observed, and taught the law. To know Christ you have to know the law as he did.

            • Gamble says:

              Moses law or the Jewish law of at minimum 670 daily rituals?

            • Gamble says:

              Matt 5:17
              Jesus Fulfills the Law
              17″Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18″For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.…

              John 19:30
              When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit

  2. MG says:

    Oh, Ezra the prophet, not the blogger.
    Breathing a sight of relief…

  3. Richard O. Hammer says:

    The quote from your pastor would be easier for me to grasp if he had said it the other way, “…practiced what I preached…”.

  4. knoxharrington says:

    I bet old Ezra was one of those guys you love being around. I can see him haranguing, admonishing and encouraging people to do the following:

    “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.Leviticus 25:44-46.

    “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.” Deuteronomy 21:18-21

    “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.” Leviticus 20:13.

    I know, I know – Bob meant the laws he agrees with interpreted in the light of the New Testament. Of course, Ezra is an Old Testament guy and undoubtedly he stood for all these propositions including the “benign” ones found in the Ten Commandments. Slavery, killing disobedient children, and stoning people who engage in consensual sexual behavior – sounds like Ezra was an awesome guy we would all do well to emulate. As Grace the secretary would say in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “he’s a righteous dude.”

    • Gamble says:

      No man is righteous.

      • Grane Peer says:

        No, man is righteous.

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