What I like about Ezra’s story is that he shows us what everyday faith looks like. Though it is easy for us to read about Biblical characters and view them like movie characters, ideal representations of this or that personality or attribute, the fact is that those Biblical characters were people, too. They were ordinary. Ezra was completely and totally human.
And what Ezra teaches about faith and prayer is that most of the time our prayers are not necessarily exemplary–nor do they have to be. One would think that Ezra, being the scholar and man of God that he is, would have trusted God all along. Surely a Biblical hero should have no doubts, no wavering to his faith.
Ezra was the N. T. Wright or Ravi Zacharias of his day. According to his own mini-biography, “He was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses,” and, “a man learned in matters of the commandments of the Lord.” He was a premier Bible scholar.
Ezra was so educated in the Law, and so able to teach, that he was sent by the king of Persia back to Jerusalem for the purpose of re-educating the people of Israel. Israel had been captive in the region of Babylon for many years. Their temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed, and many of the people simply forgot about God’s Law as they faced war, servitude, and then the everyday business of life in a foreign land. Continue reading →
Yesterday afternoon we went out to lunch with some friends from church. On the way home my wife, Sara, made one of those hints that she often makes when she would like to do something, but wants me to be the one to “decide.” She said, “I kind of want some ice cream,” in her almost-talking-to-herself-but-really-hoping-I’m-listening voice.