Is the hand of God upon you? Study, Observe, Teach

Of Ezra Scripture says “the hand of God was upon him.”

Ezra did three basic things with the law of the Lord.

  1. Study
  2. Observe
  3. Teach

Ezra devoted himself to studying Holy Scripture. He was “well-versed in the Law of Moses, which the LORD, the God of Israel, had given.”

Ezra also observed the law. We ought not teach until we observe.

Finally, Ezra taught. One who studies cannot help but share. One who shares must reflect upon, speak out of, and show forth from observance, what he or she is teaching.

The hand of God was upon Ezra. When the hand of God is upon us, we can’t help but study, observe, and teach what God is showing us. Is God’s hand upon you?

Some weep and some rejoice

There’s a great story in Ezra about when the second temple foundation was laid. Half the exile returnees rejoiced and half wept. No one could distinguish the sound of weeping from the laughing (Ezra 3:11-13).

What do we make of this story. The exiles had come back from Persia with a calling to build the temple that even Cyrus the King of Persia was behind and thought commissioned by God Himself. God seems to have one intent, though it seems He directs His people differently over time, to build, not to build. The intent seems to be that God wants to be present with His people, and He’ll do whatever it takes to do that, whether it means building the temple or tearing it down.

Weeping. Laughing. Building. Tearing down. Sometimes we can’t tell the difference. What was happening was that God’s people were together and you couldn’t tell laughing from weeping.

In churches, synagogues, and mosques, sometimes you can’t tell the difference between crying and laughing. People come seeking God together and inevitably people are either suffering or rejoicing, or maybe some of both. What’s important? Seeking God. Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics, Backsliders: seek God. Seek how He has revealed Himself.

I believe God has revealed himself in three major ways through time. As Creator with authority over the universe. As Savior calling us to his Lordship. As Spirit inviting us into His life. Whoever you are, wherever you are from, whatever you have done, whatever religion you have grown up in, seek God. I believe this is how God has revealed himself over time. I don’t limit God to this but this is how historic Christianity sees God revealed. Orthodox Christianity shortens this revelation to the word, “Trinity.”