Notice Ezra’s preparation for Yahweh’s work: “Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).
“Ezra had set…” – Ezra’s education did not occur by accident but was driven by a fixed purpose. We can imagine long hours of study which seemed innumerable, hours of reading and studying Holy Scripture which extended into years, hours bathed in prayer and fasting and punctuated by cries to Yahweh for discernment and wisdom in the word he studied.
“Ezra had set his heart…” – His preparation consumed his whole being in devotion to Yahweh. It was organized so that his intellect, his will, his emotions and his soul were directed by the passion to know Yahweh more intimately.
“…To study the Law of the LORD” – It was a careful study, to examine attentively all the details of Yahweh’s revelation from Genesis to Deuteronomy. It examined the foundation and the bonds of grace on which his relationship with Yahweh depended, and he marveled at the grace which established his people as Yahweh’s special treasure.
“…And to do it” – The purpose of this education was much more than the satisfaction of an intellectual curiosity or the preparation for an academic career. Before teaching others, his own heart needed to by purified and molded by Yahweh’s word. His passion and devotion had to be directed so that they would manifest themselves in obedience. He had to grow accustomed to the walk of repentance and obedience himself before he could direct the steps of others on the same path.
“And to teach… in Israel” – With a heart transformed by Yahweh’s word, Ezra was ready now to announce it to others, to explain it so that others could be transformed and made obedient to the Lord also.
“His statutes and rules” – Ezra is going to teach with authority. He not only will teach to inform others but as Yahweh’s ambassador, to demand a response of submission and obedience on the part of his listeners. The authority with which he preaches will surpass his own influence and even that of the king of Persia; he will be covered with the authority that comes from above, the authority of Yahweh who thundered above Mount Sinai to the point where the people said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die” (Exodus 20:19).
“Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel” (Ezra 7:10). May Yahweh continue to raise up preachers and teachers of His word in our generation that, well prepared in His word and with submissive and obedient hearts, would teach with authority to direct our people in repentance and obedience to Him.