A Prepared Heart
"Ezra the son of Seraiah . . . the son of Aaron the chief priest . . .went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses 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" (Ezra 1:1-10). "So king Rehoboam . . . did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord" (2 Chronicles 12:13,14). What a contrast between Ezra and Rehoboam. Ezra was helpful in teaching Israel the law; Rehoboam was instrumental in the cause of division among the tribes. What a difference preparation of the heart made. May we suggest some things that may have contributed to the preparation of Ezra's heart?
(1) The influence of godly parents. Ezra's father was a priest and possibly one who taught the law. The influence of such a man could tend to lead his children to God. Blessed are the children of the righteous.
(2) Seeing the consequences of disobedience. Ezra had been in captivity and saw firsthand the results of disobedience. This could well have had a part in helping him to see how much better it is to please God.
(3) Moral uprightness. Consider what it did for Joseph, David, and Esther. "Remember thy creator in... thy youth" (Eccl. 12:1).
(4) Purity of mind. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23).
(5) Ezra's knowledge of the law, Israel's history, and the promises made to Abraham, Moses, and David could motivate him to please God. Also, Ezra may have known of Daniel, who would have been a good role model.
How well have we prepared our heart to seek the law of God, to do it, and teach it to others?