Ezra’s pedigree is listed initially in this chapter; in part to authenticate he was in fact of the Aaronic priesthood line. We also read Ezra was a “skilled scribe in the Law of Moses”. This refers to his ability to comprehend and give himself to learning the Word as well as sharing the Word. He had been given “all his request” that was based on the favor of the Lord; he had the touch of God on his life.
We see in the latter part of this paragraph that Ezra “prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord and to do it”. To be prepared is to have one’s heart fixed, purposed and determined. For this man of God it was so he would be able to “teach statues and ordinances”; which deals with the Law in general and the application of those statues. As ministers of the Gospel, we too ought to have hearts that are fixed, purposed and determined to study the Word as Paul admonished Timothy.
The favor of God was so awesome on Ezra’s life the king not only sent him to Jerusalem; but also paid freewill offerings for “the house of their God in Jerusalem”. As with most investors in ministries, they expect to use the offerings for their intended designation. Regardless of what our gifting may be, we are required to be ministers of integrity and ethics. There was a stipulation that after having paid for all the items required by the Lord that any surplus be used as directed by the Lord in the ministry.
Another indication of the favor on Ezra was he along with all those involved in the work of the ministry would be exempt from taxes. The king desired “to beautify the house of the Lord in Jerusalem” and received mercy for the king and all his “counselors” and “mighty princes”.
A closing benefit of favor we discover in this chapter was Ezra was “encouraged, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me”. This encouragement gave him boldness to solicit the “leading men” of Israel to go with him.
Favor comes as a result of from a “prepared heart”! Let’s keep our heart’s fixed, purposed and determined; God favor will be released and He will move on our behalf with men and circumstance.