Morning
August 29

Ezra 7:9-10 9He 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. 10For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.


Three times in Ezra chapter 7 we have the expression, "the gracious hand of his God was on him". He did certain things because of God's hand upon him. He had favor with the king and was given whatever he asked for because the gracious hand of God was upon him. He was on his way with more exiles and finances and sacrifices to assist in the rebuilding of Jerusalem and to offer the sacrifices the king had sent. Ezra must have made some kind of impression on the king, but I think he would say that this came about because the gracious hand of his God was upon him.

Of course, God has no physical hand, so what does this mean? When a few generations pass, the apostles would lay their hands-on others so that they would be healed or filled with the Holy Spirit or sent out into a ministry calling. Their hands represent God's hand to bring God's children to the fullness of His call upon their lives. The picture of God's gracious hand upon us should give us a rush of joy and encouragement. Surely every born-again child of God has the hand of the Lord upon him in some degree. What can bring that out in a greater display like that which we see in the life of Ezra?

In the above verses we have the reason why. He devoted himself to studying, obeying, and teaching the Word of God. It's a simple, clear and powerful answer clearly seen in the passage. It is available to every reader. It is the call upon every reader, for whatever your calling is, you need to study and observe and, in some manner, teach the Word of God. There are only a few things that Scripture encourages us to be devoted to. One is the study of and obedience to the Word. The others are to be devoted to seeking the LORD (Jeremiah 30:21), to doing what is good (Titus 3:8,14) and to prayer (Colossians 4:2). It is impossible to do one without doing them all.

Consider: Would you like the gracious hand of God upon your life? Devote yourself to study, obedience, and teaching His Word.