Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 8, 1962

Ezra, A Model Teacher

Jesse G Jenkins, Fort Worth, Texas

"For Ezra had set his heart to seek the law of Jehovah, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances." (Ezra 7:10) Ezra lived during the days of the restoration of the Jews to Palestine from captivity in Babylon. In these days the temple and wall of Jerusalem were rebuilt. In our text we notice four notable characteristics of Ezra that caused his work for God to be successful.

1. He had set his heart. He had determined his course. Without a firm resolution of mind Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubbabel would not have been able to endure the persecution that befell them in their work of restoring God's order. Today, we must "set our affections on things above." (Col: 3:2) Without this firm resolution of mind, neither shall we be able to endure in the Lord's work. There are still many Tobiahs, Sanballats and Geshems who expend their energies trying to discourage and hinder God's people from accomplishing His work. (See Neh. 2:10-19; 4:1-7.)

2. He had set his heart to seek the law of Jehovah. No doubt here were many other things of the day that could have occupied Ezra's mind. But he made the wise decision to put the Lord and his law first in his life. The law of the Lord was of such a nature that it required some seeking (diligent study) for Ezra to understand it. Nevertheless, it could be understood. It is so with the law of the Lord today. It can be understood (Isa. 35:8), but it takes diligent study to rightly divide it. (2 Tim. 2:15; I-Teb. 11:6)

3. He had set his heart to seek the law of Jehovah, and to do it. Ezra realized that seeking and knowing the law of the. Lord was not enough; he had to do it I His example must be followed today. "Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 7:21) "Take heed to thyself, and to thy teaching. Continue in these things; for in doing this thou shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee." (1 Tim. 4:16) There are many more people in the Lord's church who know His will than there are who are doing His will. Like Ezra of old, let each one strive to do it!

4. He had set his heart to seek the law of Jehovah, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances. Knowing and doing the will of the Lord was so inwardly rewarding that he set his heart to teach others that they to may share with him his many blessings. Today, we desperately need to awaken to the fact that it is not enough to learn and obey the commands that make one a child of God, but that acceptable service demands that we teach others the statutes and ordinances of Jehovah. Only by doing and teaching (service) can one be accounted great in the Lord's kingdom. "Whosoever shall do and teach them (the Lord's commands), he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:19)

Ezra has set the example for all teachers. A teacher of righteousness must set his heart, seek out the truth and do it. Then and only then is one in position to effectively teach others.

A good teacher must follow this order. Some have tried to teach without first seeking out the truth. They have had more zeal than knowledge, and the result has been service unacceptable to God. (Rom. 10:1-3) Some have tried to seek out the truth and then teach others without doing it themselves. Such are hypocrites; their efforts only hinder the Lord's cause.

If you desire to have part in building the Lord's house, then set your heart to seek the law of Jehovah, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances that have been commanded by the Lord.