Monday, January 07, 2008

Ezra's Study of Scripture

As part of my daily devotional time, I've been reading from D.A. Carson's devotional resource titled For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Treasures of God's Word. There are in fact two volumes in this series - I am using Volume 2. This corresponds to my plan of reading 4 chapters a day in God's Word as I mentioned in my prior post. Quite honestly, this is one of the best devotionals I've ever found. I used it several years back and I'm working through it again this year. While many and most devotionals leave much to be desired, Carson's daily offerings are filled with some great insight and offer much more "meat" than most.

As such, I'd like to comment on what Carson says about my reading in Ezra 7 this morning, looking specifically at Ezra 7:10, which states "For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel." Carson highlights three aspects of this as it relates to anyone that is charged with the responsibility of teaching God's Word on a regular basis.

One, Ezra devoted himself to the study of the Law. Carson rightly states: "There is no long-range effective teaching of the Bible that is not accompanied by long hours of ongoing study of the Bible." I wouldn't argue with this one bit.

Two, Ezra devoted himself to the observance of the Law. Carson points out that while it is easy to study God's Word simply as a means to the end of teaching, to do so misses the mark. Those who study also need to apply what they've learned in their marriages, finances, priorities, values, etc...

Lastly, Ezra devoted himself to the teaching of the Law. Simply put, it's quite easy to get wrapped up in oneself and thereby never share with others what you've learned. However, this too misses the mark. Like Ezra, one needs to also be willing to share with others the truth of God's Word.

I trust that this will help you as you reflect on the power of God's Word to impact not only your own life, but the lives of countless others.