Ezra 7 Commentary
Third Kings? It won’t be a bad title for the Book of Ezra. This book is as much about the goodwill of foreign kings as it is about the heroism of Israel’s nation-builders. While many kings of Israel promoted evil and persecuted the servants of the LORD, here we see the LORD at work in the lives of foreign kings.
This chapter is yet another moment when a pagan emperor becomes a tool of goodwill for Israel. His view of Ezra and his respect for the Law of the LORD is unprecedented. He wants Ezra to teach many others, even beyond Israel.
Is the LORD communicating His displeasure with Israel by pouring His grace on these foreign kings? They, and not Israelite leaders, are the heroes of the Book of Ezra. Is the LORD preparing us for the time when the gentiles would flood the corridors of the LORD’s palace? Isn’t this an indictment of a nation that was called to do exactly what these foreign kings are doing?
How does the saint feel when the LORD pours His grace of generosity on a pagan? The calling of the LORD is a privilege and not an entitlement. How we need to guard it jealously!
Ezra is a priest. He has given us his lineage tracing all the way back to Aaron, the High Priest. Born-again Christians can trace their origins to the Spirit that gave them birth. They have the man Jesus as their brother. Then comes the wider family of same-minded believers. The saint is also a priest, tracing his ancestry to the real High Priest whose office Aaron so ably represented.
This chapter teaches us to praise the LORD who puts it in the heart of ‘kings’ to act lovingly towards us. We get promoted because of the LORD and not because of our wisdom. We become wealthy not because of our hard work but because the LORD decides so. You know the difference when you look at better, more hard-working, and more honest individuals who don’t have what the LORD has given you.
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