LIFE IN EXILE
CHAPTER 6 The Precious Words Of God
Trembling At the Words of God
Oh, dear young brothers and sisters, it is crucial to study reverently and to obey the words of God. Such building of the house on the rock is a crucial matter of eternal concern (Matt. 7:24-27).
Ezra, the scribe and priest, grew up while exiled in captivity in the land of Babylon. Many in captivity felt they were plunged into darkness and helplessness, totally despondent and disheartened. However, Ezra “trembled at the words of the God of Israel.” Known as “a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given,” he was even regarded by Artaxerxes, king of the gentiles, as “the scribe of the law of the God of heaven.” In the land of the gentiles, away from his own country, he had, with great effort and determination, studied as well as obeyed the laws of God, while at the same time taught the people of God (Ezra 7:6-21; Neh. 8:1-18; also Isa. 66:2,5 for reference). He felt so bitter towards the sins of the Israelites for marrying gentile women as against God’s laws that he “tore his garment and his robe and plucked out some of the hair of his head and beard, and sat down astonished (Ezra 9:3,4).” Refusing food and drink, and with a heart that “trembled at the words of the God of Israel,” he heartrendingly repented, confessed and dealt with the problem. In so doing, he exerted a great spiritual influence that caused the people of God to turn back, thus saving them from the fierce wrath of God (Ezra 9:5-10:15). Ezra had set an excellent example for us.