By Jesse Campbell
I used to skim through the genealogies in the Old Testament; the lists of names that put your tongue in danger of being bitten when you try to pronounce them. They seemed directed at someone from a different era and context like a Jewish historian of Ezra’s own day or some overachieving seminary student. Then, a reading of Ezra 7 struck me. These names connect Ezra to the roots of the priesthood itself and show an incredibly deep legacy of priests. God had been at work for generations before Ezra was born to equip Ezra for this work and now here we are reading from the Holy Spirit’s work through Ezra’s own legacy. The work God did through the decades between Aaron and Seraiah led to Ezra’s being “a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which Yahweh, the God of Israel had given.” Such testimonies of entire lineages cause us to think about our own legacies and how God will work through our own descendants. It makes us stop for a moment and look over our shoulder, behind ourselves in time through family histories, to the spiritual lineages that brought us to where we are now. Take a moment to thank God for the legacy that precedes you and commit to God any legacy that is in His will for your future.
Ezra was walking into a complete mess while walking to Jerusalem, but “the hand of Yahweh his God was on him” according to verse 6. Again in verse 9, we see that “the gracious hand of his God was on him.” God saw Ezra coming generations before he arrived on the scene and equipped him to this enormous task of restoring the proper worship of God.
As someone who works with the people who work with students, take the time to restore proper worship in your own heart where it is necessary. Repent from lingering sin, do the good you know you ought to do, and ask God for the blessed awareness that His hand is upon your ministry.
Jesse Campbell is our new Explore the Bible owner and editor for Lifeway Student Ministry.