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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Holding Faith

Today's Verse:

For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. ~Ezra 8:22


Yesterday, our devotion centered on a man named Ezra. Ezra is introduced to us in Scripture as a ready scribe. This term defines him as a man who was an exceptional expert with the handling of God’s Word. He was the main man in the kingdom of Judah who could give the people the mind of God on spiritual matters. As a ready scribe, he was a man of God. A man of God is a man who is in God’s Word. However, there is another trait that stands out this morning about Ezra, the ready scribe. He was not only an expert concerning the Word of God, but he is also an expert as a man of faith. This morning, would you consider with me Ezra and how he models faith for us?


Ezra is orderly in his faith.

After he received permission from King Artaxerxes to lead the Jews back to Jerusalem for resettlement and the worship of God, he stopped at the river that runs to Ahava for three days. During that time, he studied and prayed over the men who accompanied him. It occurred to him that there were no Levites among the men to do the work of God. Immediately, he sent a delegation of trusted men to bring with them proper ministers for the work. Then we read in v. 21, “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.” Ezra was very orderly in how he lived his faith. He sought a right way for him and their children. An orderly faith does not trust in the flesh, but always has its reliance upon the will of God. An orderly faith walks by faith and not by sight.


Ezra is outright in his faith.

He and his men were in dangerous territory. He knew that they were being watched and followed by people who wanted to attack and rob them. However, he was so persuaded in his heart in doing the will of God, he trusted completely in God’s power and protection as they made their journey. He could have asked for the king to provide him an army to accompany him. Instead, he told the king, “The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.” An outright faith believes in the power of God regardless of how the circumstances appear. The men who were with him probably thought it would have been wise to have had the king’s army with them. Instead, they see firsthand the power of an outright faith that believed and saw the hand of God upon them through Ezra.


Ezra is obedient in his faith.

A key component in faith is obedience. As Ezra and the men settled back into Judah, they came to the shocking discovery that many of the Jewish leaders had married strange women. Over the years, the Jewish men compromised their complete belief in God and married pagan women who still practiced the worship of idols. Many years before, Moses commanded the Jews that they were not to intermingle through marriage with the women of the other nations. This discovery caused great grief and sorrow to Ezra. It was a problem that had become widespread. Ezra could have turned his back on this and ignored it. Instead he was obedient to God’s Word and led the nation to a time of repentance, contrition, and correction of this matter. This would have been considered suicide to his popularity. However, he was not thinking about popularity: he was thinking about God’s holiness and righteousness, and he was uncompromising in leading the people to be obedient.


Ezra is outstanding in his faith.

God answered the prayers of Ezra! God made it known that His hand was upon Ezra. The entire congregation of Judah saw the courage and steadfastness of Ezra and followed his leadership. There was no blemish in his faith practice. Ezra was a man who had an outstanding faith.


Ezra was a man who held his faith steadfast. Be of such faith that God will move people, problems, and possibilities through you in a way that you cannot.


Have a faith-filled God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Judges 6-7

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