Ezra was a priest, a committed teacher of God’s law, a faithful scribe, and a successful diplomat. He and 1,500 of his fellow Jews made up the second assembly to return to Jerusalem from Babylon and they did so with the blessings, as well as the provisions, of the new Persian king. Ezra shared his gratitude as he took his teaching ministry on the road; the road back home. Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers, who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king, to beautify the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, and who extended to me his steadfast love before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty officers. I took courage, for the hand of the Lord my God was on me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.
This journey took Ezra and his companions five months but the final restoration of the city would take much longer. Ezra was a man of godly action and that was a good thing. The city walls were not the only things in need of rebuilding. Ezra was also used by God to rebuild the lives of the disloyal people who lived within those city walls. He was God’s man for the job and his teachings and example can encourage and influence us even today. May we too take courage for whatever God puts before us. If God is for us, who can be against us?