Ezra … was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given. Ezra 7:6.
More than two thousand years have passed since Ezra “prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it,” yet the lapse of time has not lessened the influence of his pious example. Through the centuries the record of his life of consecration has inspired many with the determination “to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it.”
Ezra’s motives were high and holy; in all that he did he was actuated by a deep love for souls. The compassion and tenderness that he revealed toward those who had sinned, either willfully or through ignorance, should be an object lesson to all who seek to bring about reforms….
There is no such thing as weakening or strengthening the law of Jehovah. As it has been, so it is. It always has been, and always will be, holy, just, and good, complete in itself. It cannot be repealed or changed. To “honor” or “dishonor” it is but the speech of men….
Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise, and this preparation they should make by diligently studying the word of God and striving to conform their lives to its precepts. The tremendous issues of eternity demand of us something besides an imaginary religion, a religion of words and forms, where truth is kept in the outer court….
If the saints of the Old Testament bore so bright a testimony of loyalty, should not those upon whom is shining the accumulated light of centuries, bear a still more signal witness to the power of truth?
Shall we let the example of Ezra teach us the use we should make of our knowledge of the Scriptures? The life of this servant of God should be an inspiration to us to serve the Lord with heart and mind and strength. We each have an appointed work to do, and this can be accomplished only by consecrated effort. We need first to set ourselves to know the requirements of God, and then to practice them. Then we can sow seeds of truth that will bear fruit unto eternal life.
Conflict and Courage p. 260
—–Asking for prayers for a 15 month old little girl who is having major seizures following brain surgery to remove two tumors. Her name is Ava. She needs a miracle. Susan
—–Please pray for my brother, Lloyd, that God would work a miracle in his body and heal him completely! Kathy
—–Please pray for Martha who had a kidney transplant. Her body has started to reject it and now she has developed a bowel obstruction. Jenny
—–Please pray for my three cousins, Larry, Connie, and Harold. Rose
About 1900, my grandfather, Edwin Harmon, joined the National Guard. The National Guard was different in those days: it was not just a “weekend adventure.” It was like joining any other branch of the armed forces. The camp was completely made of tents instead of having buildings as they do now.
My grandfather had two tentmates. He never told me the name of one of them, but his tentmate Moon and he used to have a lot of fun together. Moon was the exact opposite of my grandfather. Moon was full of fun and laughed a lot. My grandfather was quiet and a little shy and even when greatly amused, he only smiled. His father had not allowed his children to laugh, so my grandfather hardly knew how. He was always pleasant, though, and felt drawn to this friend who was so outgoing.
He and Moon couldn’t sleep one night. Somehow their supper had not been sufficient to hold them until breakfast. The more they talked about how hungry they were, the hungrier they became. As they talked about their plight, Moon suggested that they sneak into the tent that housed the kitchen and find something to quiet their growling stomachs.
The moon was shining brightly, so they had to be very careful not to be seen. All night long, guards walked between the rows of tents and made sure all everyone stayed where they belonged. Ed poked his head out of the tent door and looked carefully one way and then the other. He saw no one. He tiptoed outside for a better look, but no one was around. He motioned for Moon to join him. Quietly the two young men tiptoed toward the tent kitchen.
When they had almost arrived at their destination, a guard saw them. He shouted, “Halt! Who goes there?” Ed and Moon didn’t hesitate for a moment. They both took off running. Disobeying an order brought a hard punishment, so did being outside of the tent at night. They were in trouble if they were caught no matter what. Soon more guards came running. The commotion awakened the sergeant, who joined in the chase. They were in deep trouble now.
Finally the young men reached the tent kitchen and dove under the canvas. Once their eyes adjusted to the darkness, they tried to find a place to hide. Moon went one direction and Ed the other. As he looked around trying to find a place to hide, he saw a large wicker basket in one corner of the huge white tent. Inside this basket were loaves of unwrapped bread. Ed lifted the lid and found that the basket was about one-fourth empty. Carefully, he climbed inside and closed the lid. Then he wriggled down into the middle of the loaves and waited for the inevitable.
Soon he could hear the soldiers enter the tent. He held very still, sure that they could hear his pounding heart. The sergeant was “barking” orders to his men. They were searching everywhere. Ed could hear them even looking inside the oven of the huge, iron cook stove. Suddenly the sergeant’s eyes lit up. “The breadbasket, of course!”
Walking over to that huge wicker basket, he drew his sword. “If he’s in there, I’ll find him.” he loudly proclaimed. He stuck his sword into the basket many times. My grandfather remained motionless. He could feel the loaves move as the sergeant pierced some of them near his head. Once the flat sided sword blade slid across his belly. Still Ed did not move. He barely breathed.
After what seemed liked hours, the sergeant said to his men, “Well, I guess no one is in there.” The guards left. Still Ed did not move. He listened intently for any sound that might indicate that the guards or the sergeant were outside waiting for him. Finally, when he was sure everyone had gone, he wriggled up through those loaves enough to lift the lid slightly. He peered out into the empty kitchen.
Sneaking out of there and into his tent, was not an easy matter as the guards were on the alert, but Ed finally reached his destination. There sat Moon on his bed grinning at him. Ed asked him to tell of his adventure and where he had hidden, but Moon would not. His only comment was, “I’m not telling. I might need to hide there again sometime.”
How often we experience trials of our own making. How often we must suffer the consequence of our own wrongdoing. Even though my grandfather did not get caught, there were still consequences. Because of his little escapade, he had to go about his duties after hours of lost sleep without showing any tiredness. The sergeant, no doubt had known that he was in that basket and was careful how he used his sword, but still he could have accidentally stabbed my grandfather. In those far-off days, that could have been fatal. Ed couldn’t enjoy his breakfast the next morning as the sergeant walked up and down between the long tables of men and watched carefully to see who would not eat the bread. He was sure that the man who had hidden in the breadbasket would not eat the bread knowing that it had been soiled. My grandfather and Moon ate the bread heartily!
God’s Holy Word says, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal 6:7-9 This is a principle that deals with every aspect of our life. Whether it is mild reaping like my grandfather’s experience, or whether there are much graver consequences, this principle holds true.
Let us cast all our care upon our Great Burden Bearer, being sober and vigilant, because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, is walking about, seeking whom he may devour. <1 Peter 5:7,8> Let us submit ourselves therefore to God resisting the devil and his temptations, for we have the promise that if we do he will flee away. Let us not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.