Ezra had a fantastic pedigree. His resumé was intimidating. He was born in Babylon, like many of the other great leaders, patriots and sages which the Jewish community in exile had produced. He had trained to become a scribe. As a scribe, he was an expert in the study of the Pentateuch, the five books of the Bible credited to Moses. He was also a
priest as his lineage indicated. However, Ezra’s pedigree isn’t the story, but that he positioned himself to be favoured of God.

After all, Hophni and Phinehas were of priestly lineage, what did they make of it? What is noteworthy is that although Ezra was born in exile and grew up in a strange culture, he chose to make himself a standard bearer of the principles of
God. He devoted himself to studying God’s laws, living it and teaching it to others. He was also a man driven by a selfless course. He would have stayed in Babylon enjoying the luxury of the Palace, but he opted to go and rebuild
the temple of God in Jerusalem.

When Ezra’s preparation met opportunity, it turned out to be divine favour. Unlike what some may think, divine favour isn’t a magic wand. While it is true that we can’t patronise God to get His favour, it is also true that the eyes
of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him (2 Chronicles 16:9a). God takes pleasure in us, when we devote our lives to pleasing Him—knowing Him and making Him known. Our lives become like a fragrant sacrifice rising up to God, and like a sweet perfume, He uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere (2 Cor 2:14-15).

PRAYER: Lord, may I yield myself to the preparation ahead for opportunities that will come my way.

BIBLE IN ONE YEAR |1 KINGS 16-18 & LUKE 22:47-71

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