Tradition believes that it was on this day that Ezra the priest passed away. Ezra holds a very prominent place in Jewish history, regarded as being the restorer of the Torah after the Babylonian captivity. He came to prominence at a critical time in Jewish history when the people were being restored back to the land and Jerusalem and the Temple were being rebuilt.
After several decades away from the land and immersed in pagan culture, it’s easy to see how the people could have been separated from the Torah and its message. According to Judaism, Ezra is the primary one who employed different innovations to bring the people back into a set apart relationship, reacquainting them with the God of Israel in the proper context. He instilled within them the challenge to live up to the call that had been placed upon God’s people.
Some of the things Ezra is credited with include the founding of the Great Assembly that we know as the Sanhedrin. He’s credited with adopting the block Hebrew letters, the same letters used today. It’s also believed that he established the role of the synagogue in everyday Jewish life. Suffice it to say, Ezra was a great leader in a very critical time in Jewish history.
How does this relate to us? Obviously we are living in a very critical and uncertain time, one in which Paul said many of God’s people would not be able to endure sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:3). Many are sensing how serious the need is to call God’s people back to the pure Word of God and not the watered down, feel good “gospel” so popular in our day. Moreover, many within the Body are coming to understand the Hebraic roots of the faith and the importance of understanding Scripture from that perspective. Perhaps the stage is set for those brave few who would arise up and properly lead the people back to righteousness and repair the breach that has developed in the midst of God’s people.
For those who would be so bold as to rise up in this manner, we have the promise that the Creator will guide and lead us in this process. In Isaiah 58:11-12, we’re told:
“The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your soul in drought and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach”
We may never rise to the historical heights of someone like Ezra, but we’re here for a purpose. We can fulfill our role in what God has for us to do, individually and collectively, and repair the breach and restore our lost spiritual heritage even as God restores ALL things. So as we go about our day, let’s be reminded that our individual purpose is a part of a greater plan. We must boldly call God’s people back to what is pure and true; we must work to repair the breach that has developed among God’s people so that His plan for all mankind may come to pass. Let’s serve Him today with devotion and humility.