Ezra Chapter Seven part 2, A study of Ezra 7:11 & 12, Ezra 7:13 & 14, and Ezra 7:15 & 16 with our Common Man's Commentary

Ezra 7:11 & 12

"This is a copy of the letter King Artaxerxes had given to Ezra the priest and teacher, a man learned in matters concerning the commands and decrees of the Lord for Israel: Artaxerxes, king of kings, To Ezra the priest, a teacher of the Law of the God of heaven: Greetings." NIV translation

Ezra had a reputation of being an expert in the word of God. Therefore, when God moved in Artaxerxes, he called on Ezra to lead the return to Jerusalem because he had prepared his heart, studied the law, and was known for putting it into action. Although we are not under the Law, we have to ask ourselves if we have the reputation of being men/women of God. A good way to measure this is to ask ourselves if we have people coming to us with questions about the Bible and for prayer. I am not talking about "religious" people but ordinary hurting people. When the chips are down, do people come to you for prayer, comfort, and wisdom from God?

Ezra 7:13 & 14

"Now I decree that any of the Israelites in my kingdom, including priests and Levites, who wish to go to Jerusalem with you, may go. You are sent by the king and his seven advisers to inquire about Judah and Jerusalem with regard to the Law of your God, which is in your hand." NIV translation

We see that God's favor upon Ezra led to a blessing for the other servants of God. They were all given permission to return to Jerusalem and he was given the job of seeing if those who had returned before were keeping the Law.

This same type of thing happened with the apostles as many were blessed because of the favor of God upon their lives. It happens today as well when Christians are walking in the will of God for their lives.

Ezra 7:15 & 16

"Moreover, you are to take with you the silver and the gold that the king and his advisers have freely given to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, together with all the silver and gold you may obtain from the province of Babylon, as well as the freewill offerings of the people and priests for the temple of their God in Jerusalem." NIV translation

The king not only gave Ezra the authority to go and to take the people with him but also to raise money. The king contributed his own treasure to the offering although he only acknowledged God as the God of Israel.