Prophecy Today Devotions
August 20, 2014
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For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.
For further study – Ezra 7:1-10
Ezra is the author of the book, by his name, and most likely the author of I and II Chronicles. He is a scribe and will not only record the history of Israel but will serve at the Temple in Jerusalem.
In Ezra 1-6, we see the record of the rebuilding of the second temple by almost 50,000 Jews that came back from the Babylonian captivity when the Babylonian Empire fell. Zerubbabel led these Jews back to their homeland and was the “general contractor” in the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.
With the Temple up and operating God now calls Ezra the Scribe to journey back to Jerusalem and become the Scribe at the Temple to lead the study of the Word of God. Ezra was well studied, “a ready scribe”, Ezra 7, verse 6, in the “law of Moses”, the Torah, which is the first five books of the Old Testament.
God opened the heart of the Persian king to allow Ezra to return to Jerusalem to do his “priestly duties”. Verse 6 tells us that was the case because the “hand of the Lord his God was upon him” (Ezra).
Our key verse lays out for us Ezra’s approach for teaching the Word of God which is also a great pattern for us to follow. Notice that in verse 10, Ezra “prepared his heart” first. Only a “prepared heart” will seek to know the Word of the Lord. Before Ezra would preach and teach the Word, he would “do it”. Ezra knew he could not teach that which he was not willing to live by for his own life.
The final step in the process was the “teaching”. Many times we put the cart ahead of the horse. We want to teach without first preparing our hearts. As we, I, seek to know the Word we must be living our lives by His Word before we venture out to teach it to anyone. What great principles we can appropriate for our own lives and ministries for today from the book of Ezra.
Before we leave our reading for today, I want you to notice a portion of two verses, verses 6 and 9. Ezra, before he returned to Jerusalem to be the scribe in the newly rebuilt Temple, was living in Babylon.
Ezra 7 is a record of events over 80 years after the fall of the Babylonian Empire, Daniel 5, and the city of Babylon is still standing. Babylon the Empire fell in 539BC but Babylon the city did not fall. Babylon was a thriving city some 80 years after the downfall of the Babylonian Empire.
The significance of this information is that the prophecies of Isaiah 13 and 14, Jeremiah 50 and 51, Revelation 16 and 18 about the destruction of Babylon had not been fulfilled 80 years after the fall of the Babylonian Empire.
The destruction of Babylon foretold in Revelation 16:17-21 is a yet future event that will be fulfilled at the end of the Tribulation period. In fact, the destruction of Babylon is the last thing the Lord Jesus Christ does before he comes back to the earth, Zechariah 14:4.
By the way, Biblical Babylon is located in Iraq on the shores of the Euphrates River today. It is the place where Antichrist will rule and reign over a “one world economic, political, governmental system” in the last three and a half years of the Tribulation period. The stage is being set for these Bible prophecies to be fulfilled.
Before these prophecies are fulfilled the Rapture will take place and we will leave this earth to go be with Jesus in the heavens. Current events that are taking place in Iraq, Biblical Babylon, are indeed setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled, and I believe in the near future.
PRAYER THOT: As I understand current events in light of Biblical prophecy, help me, Lord, to live in light of Your soon return.
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