On verses 1-5: 57 years have passed between the end of chapter 6 and these verses in chapter 7. During this 57 year gap, the events described in the book of Esther take place.
Now in chapter 7 Artaxerxes is king over Persia, while Ezra, a Jewish priest who grew in Babylon, is accompanying a second group of Jewish exiles from Babylon back to Jerusalem (v7).
Notice that we are seven chapters into the book of Ezra, and it is here – over halfway through the book – that Ezra, the man after whom this book is entitled, appears on the scene. If Ezra wrote this book, the fact that Ezra’s name and appearance are not mentioned until here shows Ezra’s humility.
Ezra’s genealogy is listed in verses 1-5. Ezra’s genealogy shows that Ezra’s story did not begin or end with him, but that Ezra was part of something bigger that God was doing. Ezra’s genealogy also shows Ezra’s priestly lineage, how he came from a long line of priests originating with Aaron the first high priest.
What can we learn from this? Realize that your story does not begin or end with you, but that you are part of a bigger story that God has been writing for generations, a story that happening before you came into being and one that will continue on after you die. Also, always remember who you are and where you came from. As one who has trusted in Jesus, you are not just anybody, but you are a royal member of God’s family and a priest in His kingdom. You come from a long line of priests that originates with the greatest high priest of all, Jesus Christ. When you know who you are and where you come from, it allows you to serve God with humility and confidence.
Ezra 7:6 (NIV) 6 this Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the LORD, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was on him.
On verses 6-10: Twice in this passage it says about Ezra that “the hand of the Lord his God was on him” (v6 and v9). In other words, Ezra enjoyed the presence, protection and favour of God on his life. Why? Verse 10 gives us the reason: it was because “Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (v10).
What can we learn from this? Because Ezra loved the word of God, Ezra enjoyed the presence, protection and favour of God. Likewise, the more you love, study and apply God’s Word, the more you will experience and enjoy His presence, protection and favour. Like Ezra, may you be a lover of God’s Word, a diligent student of God’s Word, and one who teaches God’s Word to others both through your words and through your actions.
Heavenly Father, thank You that those who love Your Word, who diligently study Your Word and who carefully apply Your Word get to enjoy a special portion of Your presence, protection and favour. May I be someone who loves Your Word, studies it diligently, and applies it carefully to my life. When I do so, not only will You bless my life, but You will bless others through me as well. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!