Obscurity claims him far more than fame could frame him. He’s a fabulous chronicler that misses the notice of greatness; he seems lost in the shadow of others more well-known celebrity.

And yet, all of Israel’s history swings upon the hinges of this man’s faithfulness and stewardship. The entirety of Church history rings with the echoes of his noble pursuits and his courageous faith. He is a formidable figure of faith who determined that his life would etch such a message that it could not go unnoticed by God, nor would be quickly dismissed by the generations who followed him.

His name?  Ezra.

His fame? He was committed to serving God with his whole life.

Ezra, whose name means “help,” is dedicated to serving God and God’s people with Hand writing God Never Breaks His Promises with marker, concept backgroundunswerving dedication that resulted in him qualifying for Priesthood and Scribe, leadership and counsel.

He profoundly affected an idolatrous nation and a pagan king. So much so, that king Artaxerxes I appoints Ezra as Administrator over the affairs of the Land of Israel.

Ezra’s appointment is more fully appreciated when considered in the context of this exilic period in Israel’s history.  Cyrus, king of Persia, asked for volunteers willing to return to Jerusalem to build the house of God. Consequently, 42,360 Israelites enjoined themselves in the mission of this first pilgrimage. They followed after David’s descendant Zerubbabel, who was a distinguishable leader among the exiles.

And yet, Zerubbabel, though he is a great leader who would marshal the largest pilgrimage of Babylonian exiles back to Jerusalem, could never quite overcome his weakness.

He made a critical mistake. He allowed problems and resistance to stop his rebuilding efforts and halt his progress. Zerubbabel, like so many of us, knows how to start well but he found it extremely difficult to keep going. His successes seemed dependant on the quality of encouragement he received from others.

As a result, the work halted. The people were on pause, and the cause seemed to blister under the brilliant rays of a Judean sun. For the longest, it appeared that frustration would triumph in its claim over their holy purpose.

Defeated.

Yes.

Discouraged.

Absolutely.

So God raises up a second exilic man. A man who is indefatigable in his pursuit of God’s will realized in his life. He is a man who obeys. A man who performs. A man who completes. A man fulfilled. A man prepared. A man who is made. A man who is accomplished. A man who will ACHIEVE.

Ezra is that man who willingly confronts the discouragers with his enthusiastic encouragement; he meets their doubt with his own vigorous faith. A man who would take the Word of the Lord given to Zerubbabel, “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord of Hosts” and enforce it (that Word) until became his second exodus reality.

Ezra was a man who would be shaped by priority before he would be informed by his mission. Because Ezra was committed to the priority of first being dedicated to the process of qualifying to be a Scribe, he carefully studied the Word to apply it and obey it in his own life. He was committed to living its commands before he practiced preaching it to others. Ezra valued the application of God’s Word to his life over the presentation of God’s Word to others. Scripture tells us, “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” Ezra 7:10. As a result, Ezra’s actions not only achieved great things but also led a national revival, impacting kingdoms and shaping a nation’s eternal future.

Ezra, willing to allow the goodness of God’s Word in his own life to confront the idolatry of a backslidden people, he humbly confessed the Word in repentance…until the nation shook with sounds of hope again.

And when he prayed and offered God a freewill offering of consecration, God returned unto him the favor of Artaxerxes, the king. Artaxerxes and his treasury were at the disposal and disposition of Ezra’s worship. Ezra’s consecration would steward the wealth of Babylon. Now, all of the heathen’s monies are ransomed for the goodwill of Ezra’s holy motive and righteous work.

Friend, when God turns your enemies into your bankers, your enemy will start writing you checks with the God-born hope that whatever you desire to do for the Lord, you will do it quickly.

f832c726-9995-4dde-b837-065c2f89e15eSo get ready.  Enlarge your territory.  Stretch your faith.

The ‘work‘ (dream) you thought had perished in the womb of pause is but a dormant seed germinating in the ground of your future achievement. Get to your mountain. Look upon your altar, for there in your confession is your revival.

Blessings to you as you ENCOURAGE YOURSELF and FINISH STRONG!

           Wendell Hutchins II

 

 

 

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