After preparing his heart, Ezra knew the hand of the Lord was upon him supplying mercy and strength to accomplish his purpose in the Lord. He would not journey alone.
“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 7:10.
In preparing to seek the law of the Lord, Ezra reveals the path to integrity.
Ezra Sought the Law of the Lord:
“This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given…
Ezra the priest, a scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel…
a scribe of the law of the God of heaven…” Ezra 7:6,11,12.
A ready scribe is translated as an able scholar. In this instance an able scholar of the words of the God of heaven.
To live a life of integrity there has to be a common standard by which integrity is measured. That standard is fulfilled in One and shown to us in His word.
Integrity will be found in:
“…delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:2.
One who understands,
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes…
“More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:
One whose heart is set to know the word of the God in heaven.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.” Psalm 119:105,106.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2Tim.2:15.
Once heard and received, a man of integrity will seek to do the word.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer,
he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way,
and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
But who whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein,
he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work,
this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22-25.
Seeking to know the word and putting the word to work in our lives leads to our teaching of it by example and speech.
“And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until the midday,
before the men and the women, and those that could understand;
and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law…
And Nehemiah…and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto the people,
This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.”Neh. 8:2,3,9.
And no one complained about the preacher being too long winded. Now, that is a work of God.
We look at another example of integrity as we read the apostle Paul’s instructions to Titus. His words give us the definition of integrity.
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine…
In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works:
in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned;
that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” Read the whole of Titus 2 for the complete instructions.
The walk of integrity is not a one time commitment but a daily journey of preparing the heart to seek, to do, and teach.
How’s your walk?