EZRA - Chapter 7 - The Revivalist Print E-mail

EZRA – Chapter 7 – The Revivalist

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

January 12, 2016, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

National sin comes as a result of many individuals committing their own sins.  National repentance and revival will come as each individual deals with his own individual sin, just as if he were the only sinner.  Ezra took the burden of sin to himself; then revival and reformation followed.

When a nation comes into agreement with sin, then it becomes a national sin. 

 

One of the remarkable things about the Book of Ezra is that Ezra himself does not appear until chapter 7.  Like the principle of Zerubbabel and Jeshua, the ministry of Nehemiah (civil governor) and Ezra (priesthood) is a type of the King-Priest principle.  It is believed that the Lord God has a King-Priest ministry in every generation.

 

I have asked the Lord to show me where this spiritual dynamic is presently operating in the United States.  I cannot see an anointed civil leader in Washington.  I am sure they are in place, but it is not apparent to me.

 

When I was in Washington, D.C. a couple of years ago, the Lord spoke to me that I couldn’t trust any branch of government.

 

It has been about 60 years since the Temple was completed under Zerubbabel and Jeshua.  It has been about 80 years since the first return to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel.  It is probable that the prophecies of Malachi were delivered at this time. 

 

The people were back in their land.  The altar and the Temple have been rebuilt.  Their religion had been re-established.  Zerubbabel had been the man of the building, but Ezra would be the “man of the Book!”  This ready scribe had asked and been granted request by Artaxerxes to return to Jerusalem.

 

Ezra 7:1: “Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia…”

 

The Artaxerxes of Ezra 7:1 is the Persian King of Ezra chapters 7-10 and the book of Nehemiah.  He was the son and the successor of Xersus I of Ezra 4: 7-23 and the Book of Esther.  He was the step-son of Esther.  He was generous to the Jews and to Ezra and Nehemiah in particular.  Nehemiah was his royal cupbearer. 

 

It was Artaxerxes’ decree in 445 B.C. that permitted Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem as Governor of civil affairs and to rebuild the walls and fortifications that marked the beginning of the 70 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy (9: 24-27).

 

This King had a remarkable faith and attitude toward God.  I am persuaded this is due to the influence of Ezra, Esther, Nehemiah and Daniel.

 

Ezra went to Jerusalem to teach the Law of God.  The royal decree was made on Ezra’s behalf, who gave thanks unto God. 

 

The people of God had largely failed in the realization of the purposes of Zerubbabel and Jeshua. 

 

The ministry of Ezra is a type of the Melchizedek priesthood, that more excellent ministry, which flows out of the Most Holy Place (Heb. 7-8).

 

Ezra’s ministry speaks of the Overcomer:

 

  1. 7:2  - Ezra was a descendant of Zadok (Ezek. 44)
  2. 7:7 – This took place in the seventh year of the King.
  3. 7:10- The LAW of God goes froth from Zion. (Mic. 4:2).
  4. 7:12- Ezra received perfect peace from the King.
  5. 7:14- Ezra was sent by seven counselors (a type of the seven spirits of God).
  6. 7:21- Ezra was given an unlimited provision.
  7. 7:22- Ezra walked in the 100-fold provision.
  8. 7:22- Ezra walked in the 100-fold principle four times (4 x 100).
  9. 7:25- Ezra was given authority and judgment.

 

Ezra was of the priestly lineage of Aaron, Eleazar, Phinehas, and the Zadok Priesthood.  If he had not possessed an ancestry such as this, he would have lacked the authority needed to fulfill the role in his nation’s life which he undertook.  This genealogy does not include every name in his line of descent, for between Aaron and Ezra were over forty generations.

 

Ezra was not only a priest (descended from the original high priest), he was also a teacher, which means an instructor in and interpreter of God’s law through Moses. 

 

Ezra 7:6: “This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all his requests, and according to the hand of the Lord his God upon him.”

 

With Ezra were six kinds of people: The sons of Israel, the priests, the Levites, the Singers, the porters, and the Nethinims.  There were 1754 males, 100 talents of gold, 750 talents of silver.

 

They left the first day of the first month and arrived on the first day of the 5th month.  It took 120 days for Ezra’s caravan to move from Babylon to Jerusalem, “according to the good hand of his God upon him.”

 

7:10: “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.”

 

Before we can deliver the word, we must prepare our heart.  We must find the word, do the word and impart the word.  This chapter gives us no hint of the initial delay and disappointment, the fasting and prayer, and the dangers of the journey, which will emerge as we move forward in the full account beginning in chapter 8.

 

At the Persian court his title, “teacher of the law of the God of heaven” (vs. 12) may have been equivalent to secretary of state for Jewish affairs.

 

The letter of authority written for Ezra by Artaxerxes is a picture of the grace and provision for the Church by the life and death of King Jesus.

 

  1. 7: 13-14 – Go to ensure the proper observance of the Divine Law.
  2. 7: 15-18 - Supply: a grant toward the cost of sacrifices.
  3. 7: 19      - Supply: an issue of Temple vessels.
  4. 7:20-23  -  Open the treasury for the claim of extra supplies.
  5. 7:24-26  -  Exempt the Temple officials of every grade of tax, and set up a   judicial system.

 

7:11-17: “Now this copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the Lord, and of his statutes to Israel.  Artaxerxes, king of kings to Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.  I make a decree, that all of the people of Israel, the priests, and Levites in my realm, which minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with you.  Forasmuch as you are sent of the king, and of his seven counselors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of your God which is in your hand; and to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem.  And all the silver and gold that you can find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem; That you may buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.”

 

These seven counselors speak of the seven spirits of God.  Ezra was given all the gold he could find in all the province of Babylon!  This was to buy speedily the sacrifices. ---A QUICK WORK!

 

Rom. 9:27-28: “”Isaiah also cries concerning Israel.  Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.  For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.”

 

7:18-20: “Whatsoever shall seem good to you, and to your brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.  The vessels also that are given you for the service of the house of your God, those deliver you before the God of Jerusalem.  Whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of your God, which you shall have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king’s treasure house.”

 

Jesus the King has decreed and “loosed” the finances on this side of the river (veil) for that which Ezra does required!  This is unto the (unlimited realm) of:

 

  1. 100 talents of silver ---unlimited redemption.
  2. 100 measures of wheat – unlimited Word of God.
  3. 100 baths of wine – unlimited Joy of the Lord.
  4. 100 baths of oil and salt – unlimited Spirit of God.

 

This is the 100-fold principle of Matt. 13:23.  The total = 400 made up of 4 x 100 reveals the principles for God’s whole creation.

 

Verse 22 says in addition to this “without prescribing how much” ---unlimited.

 

Verse 23 reveals the sovereignty of God in Artaxerxes’ administration:

 

Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven; for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?   Also we certify to you that touching any of the priests, Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or minister of this house of God, it shall be unlawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.  And you Ezra, after the wisdom of your God, that is in your hand. Set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach them who do not know.”

 

This “wisdom of your God” is the wisdom “from above” - - supreme intelligence such as belongs to God and given as a gift to those whom the Holy Spirit chooses.  The wisdom of God as evinced in forming and executing counsels in the formation and government of the world and the scriptures.

 

James 3:17:

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

 

The word for “hand” means “power”.  The  Word and Wisdom of God was in the hand of Ezra.  There are blessings to submitting to the five-fold ministry of Eph. 4:11 metaphorically described as the “Hand” ministry.

 

The power, wisdom, consecration, direction, and presence of the Lord’s HAND is manifest on Ezra/Nehemiah for the work the Lord God commissioned them to do.

 

  1. Ezra 7:6: - Answered prayer.
  2. Ezra 7:9 -  Moving out of confusion and into peace.
  3. Ezra 7:28 – Strength to assemble in the day of restoration.
  4. Ezra 8:22 – Goodness and protection.
  5. Ezra 8:18 – Wisdom and understanding.
  6. Ezra 8:31 – Deliverance from the enemy.
  7. Neh. 1:10 – Great power
  8. Neh. 2:8   -  Supply to meet the need – unlimited supply.
  9. Neh. 2:18 -  Ability to move others to action.

 

 

7:26: “And whosoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.”

 

Verses 27-28 is the prayer of thanksgiving of Ezra:

 

Blessed the Lord God of our father, which has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the House of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.  And has extended mercy unto me before the King, and his counselors, and before all the King’s mighty princes (“gibbor= “strong men”).”

 

God can put things into men’s hearts which would not arise there of themselves, and into their heads too, both by his providence, and by his grace, in things pertaining both to life and godliness.  If any good appear to be in our own hearts, or in the hearts of others, we must give the glory to God who put it there, and bless Him for it.  When government leaders act for the suppression of vice, and the encouragement of religion, we must thank God who put it into their hearts to do so.

 

Verse 28 reveals the formidable array of the King’s mighty prices that Ezra had to brave.

“And I was strengthened as the HAND of the Lord my God was upon me and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.”

 

Ezra was a man of courage, yet he attributed his encouragement not to his own heart, but to God’s hand.

 

For all who follow after Lord and called into the ministry, we have one testimony and one testimony only of the grace, wisdom and strength on our life.  “I was strengthened to undertake the services as the hand of the Lord by God was upon me, to direct me and support me.”  If this is not so, then we all fall.

 

Ezra 8:22: “…The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him; but His power and His wrath is against all them that forsake Him

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of Principles of Present Truth by: Kelly Varner; the International Bible Commentary, F.F. Bruce and Matthew Henry’s Commentary.  Comments and conclusions are my own as led by the Holy Spirit and not meant to reflect the views of those from whom I gleaned.

 
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