Heavenly Father, what a rich heritage Ezra had. Usually I just skim over the names listed in genealogies, but somehow this time, these names seemed familiar.
I know Hilkiah – during Josiah’s reign, he was the priest who found the Book of the Law that had been lost in the Temple. He brought Your Word back to the people so they could hear Your Word and have their hearts respond with humility. They returned to worship You. I prayed just last week that I would hear all that Your Word has to tell me, and that my heart would be responsive and humble too.
I remember Zadok. He was the priest who remained loyal to David when David’s son Absalom was chasing him out of Jerusalem. Zadok prayed for David, offered sacrifices, and escorted him with the Arc of the Covenant. Then at David’s request, he stayed behind to be his spy. And I prayed that I would have the loyalty and support of my friends, and be a loyal support to them.
Phinehas, Aaron’s grandson, stands out as a man who was so zealous for Your Word that he drove a spear through a Midianite woman and her Israelite lover who were flagrantly breaking Your Law. This turned back Your wrath from the people and stopped a plague. You gave Phinehas a covenant of peace and perpetual priesthood for he and his descendants. Father, I desire to have that zeal for Your Word.
And Aaron, Moses brother, who You spoke through when You freed Your people from Egypt’s Pharaoh. He became the first High Priest, entrusted with carrying out Your Law. You separated him from the other tribes to be Your representative in intercession for all Israel. Only the High Priest could approach You.
O Father, what a rich heritage for Ezra, who is now the one taking a copy of Your Word back from the Babylonian exile to the people. He will be Your representative in the land, reading and teaching Your Law once again to Your people.
Father, let me be like Ezra and all those in his line. Like Aaron, I can now approach You personally and come boldly before Your throne of grace because of Your redemptive work on the cross. Give me a desire to obey You like Phinehas, and help me be loyal and an intercessor like Zadok. Make my heart humble to Your Word revealed by Hilkiah and returned to Your people by Ezra. Thank You Father for each one in this line, who zealously guarded and revealed Your Word to others. Let me do the same. Amen