Greek (Septuagint): hoti Esdras edoken (AAI) (active voice = Ezra made a volitional choice in his heart to seek the law, etc) en kardia autou zetesai (AAN) ton nomon kai poiein (PAN) kai didaskein (PAN) en Israel prostagmata kai krimata
My rendering of Greek: Because (for) Ezra had made a personal choice, a choice of his will to give (devote) his heart to seek after the law and to continually practice (present tense) it and to continually teach (present tense) it in Israel (both) the ordinances and the decrees.
Amplified: For Ezra had prepared and set his heart to seek the Law of the Lord [to inquire for it and of it, to require and yearn for it], and to do and teach in Israel its statutes and its ordinances. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ASV: For Ezra had set his heart to seek the law of Jehovah, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances.
KJV: 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.
NLT: This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the law of the LORD and to teach those laws and regulations to the people of Israel. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Young's Literal: For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.
FOR EZRA HAD SET HIS HEART: (1Samuel 7:3; 1Chronicles 29:18; 2Chronicles 12:14; 19:3; Job 11:13; Psalms 10:17; 57:7)
William Orr calls Ezra 7:10 the "key verse" for he sees this as the key to Ezra's character. (Reference)
Exposition of the "Ezra 7:10 Principle" - the "secret" of Spirit empowered, Word centered, Christ exalting, God glorifying preaching and "abundant life" living (John 10:10).
The "setting" of our heart - At the outset of this exposition, it strikes me that Ezra's heart was like a compass, ever pointing to God through the supernatural working of His Spirit and His living and active word. And it was in this supernatural context of a Word saturated, God centered heart, that Ezra, a man of the Book and the God of the Book, was compelled (even impelled) to return to his beloved city of Jerusalem. May we as believers on this side of the Cross find ourselves so similarly saturated with God's love letter that it grips our heart like it did Ezra's, so that we are compelled (even impelled) to live progressively more and more with a Colossians 3:1, 2, 3, 4/Romans 12:1, 2 mindset (notes Col 3:1; 3:2; 3:3; 3:4; Ro 12:1; 12:2) and the things of this present world grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Amen. (Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus - Violin and Video; Cyberhymnal Midi)
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
3 JEWISH RETURNS
Historical Context - Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther are the last three books in the historical section of the Old Testament (Joshua-Nehemiah). These three books tell us what happened to the Jewish people after the 70 Year Babylonian Captivity and give details of the three stages of the return of the Jews (538, 458, 445 BC) to their beloved city Jerusalem. In is interesting to note that there were also three stages of exile to Babylon - 603, 597 and 586 BC!
Relationship of the books of Ezra to Nehemiah and Esther - The book of Ezra is a very interesting book because it is actually two books, Ezra 1-6 comprising "book one" and Ezra 7-10 comprising "book two". Between Ezra 6 and 7 there is a time gap of about 58 years! And guess what? During this 58 year time gap all of the events in the book of Esther took place! Then Ezra 10 is immediately succeeded by the events in the book of Nehemiah. So compressed into these last 3 historical books of the Old Testament canon, are four fascinating stories dealing with God's sovereign, providential dealings with His chosen people after 70 year period of punishment as captives in Babylon. In Psalm 137, the psalmist gives us some insight into how the exiled Jews felt about this time of exile. As you read these words filled with pathos, ponder the pain and the pull of homesickness for the city of God that must have gripped godly leaders like Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah…
The Persian Kings during the time of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther -
For (Hebrew conjunction transliterated as "ki") Don't miss this conjunction which is used in Hebrew to introduce an explanation and functions similar to a term of conclusion. The New Living Translation although a paraphrase strongly emphasizes the linkage between this passage and the preceding passages writing that…
The natural question is "What is this?" or "What does for explain?" and to answer we need to observe the previous passages where we find the powerful truth that the good hand of the LORD was upon Ezra..
The metaphor of being in someone's hand (or having their hand on someone) was common in the OT and spoke of being in the power of that person or entity. In the present context, the picture is one of God's power (His "good hand") being upon Ezra the scribe, not to defeat him but to give him the victory. This same phrase (hand of his God) is repeated several times in Ezra and gives us a clue to the "secret" behind his strong leadership, his influence with kings and his soul stirring preaching. Notice the same phrase earlier in this chapter…
Here are the other occurrences of the phrase the good hand of the LORD in the book of Ezra…
Fear of the LORD and
Here is another passage that teaches a similar truth using a different anthropomorphism (eye instead of hand)…
Here are the other 2 uses of the phrase "hand of Jehovah" or variation thereof in the life of Nehemiah, another OT saint whom God used mightily to accomplish His work on earth…
MISSING THE BLESSING
This principle regarding the good hand of the LORD is seen in the prophets words to King Asa (who sadly ignored them to his detriment)…
Lot, a righteous man (clearly a true believer - see 2Pe 2:6-note; 2Pe 2:7-note; 2Pe 2:8-note; 2Pe 2:9-note) is another sad example of a man who missed the blessing of the good hand of the LORD. In Genesis 13 the growth of the flocks of Abram and Lot led to strife and the need for them to separate. Abram gave Lot "first choice", a choice which resulted in Lot's missing the "good hand of the LORD". Note the progression in the following passages…
Lot looked, chose, and settled ("became comfortable" rather than living as an alien and stranger - see 1Pe 1:1-note; 1 Peter 2:11-note) and missed the good hand of the LORD. In Genesis 19:16 we see that Lot was so settled in Sodom that the hand of God's angels had to yank he and his whole family out of that moral cesspool! Let us remember Lot's example, lest our looking and choosing in this fleeting life cause us to miss the good hand of the Lord on our life, our family, our ministry! Or as Jesus commanded his listeners in (Luke 17:32) "Remember (present imperative = keep on remembering. Why? Because our tendency is to drift, to forget!) Lot's wife" because she lingered and looked back (Ge 19:26) and paid for her disobedience with her life.
God's good hand was clearly associated with the provision, power and protection in Ezra's ministry. And as we see seen the root of divine blessing was that Ezra was a "man of the book" (scratch him anywhere and he "bled Bible"), a man like Apollos who was mighty in the Scriptures (Acts 18:24). Ezra is a worthy model for any preacher who desires to be used mightily by the Lord.
The Pulpit Commentary comments on the good hand of the LORD upon Ezra writing that…
To reiterate, God’s sovereign hand of blessing and empowerment was on Ezra because he was a "Word saturated man" one who "marinated" himself in the pure milk of the Word and then lived out what the Spirit taught him in his studies.
As Horatio Bonar once advised…
We must study the Bible more. We must not only lay it up within us, but transfuse it through the whole texture of the soul.
Thus it was not so much that Ezra had gone through the Book so many times, but more that the Book had coursed through his heart and soul to the point that his will was in synch with will of God which is always most clearly revealed in the Word of God. Ezra was "in touch" with the Father's heart, through His Word and the teaching ministry of His Spirit, and as a result had as his heart's desire to see God glorified in his life (cp notes on same principle in the NT - letting your light shine Matthew 5:16)
Had set his heart (not his head but his heart!)
Set (03559) (kuwn) means to set up, to make firm, to establish, to prepare. The primary action of this verb is to cause to stand in an upright position, and thus kuwn can also mean fixed or steadfast. This same verb is used to describe God establishing the heavens (Pr 3:19).
The picture of kuwn in the present context is that of preparing one's heart, in this case to seek, to study, to receive the Word of Truth. Compare a similar use of kuwn in the case of Solomon's successor to the throne Rehoboam of whom the chronicler records…
Kuwn is used one other time in Ezra chapter 3, and this literal use provides an illustration of the figurative use in the present passage…
One could also read the text of Ezra 7:10 as stating that Ezra had ”Set his heart firmly" which gives the idea that Ezra was inwardly determined or resolutely steadfast. He was determined and this determination was directed toward studying, obeying, and teaching God’s Law to others—Mark it down! This pattern while not a "formula", is to be sure an inviolable order for a Spirit empowered ministry! You cannot teach with power until you yourself have practiced (obeyed) what you have studied. Do be otherwise deluded (cp James 1:22-note).
We as NT believers, like the OT believer Ezra, must continually set (because the flesh, the world and the devil continually tempt us to "veer off course") our hearts to seek, do, and teach the Word of God, for no one accidentally becomes a faithful student of God's Word. We must each make a daily deliberate decision of our will (continual choosing) to lay aside lesser things and/or things that hinder us (see Hebrews 12:1-note) in order to seek the best.
J I Packer emphasizes the critical need for each of us to prepare our hearts before we seek God in His Word noting that…
One of the many divine qualities of the Bible is this: that it does not yield its secrets to the irreverent and censorious.
Spurgeon issues a similar caveat declaring that…
God sends every bird its food, but He does not throw it into the nest.
One is reminded of Solomon's wise advice concerning godly wisdom, noting that…
If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures then you will discern the fear of the LORD, and discover the knowledge of God.
DANIEL'S SECRET OF SUCCESS
Daniel was without question one of the greatest of the Old Testament saints (cp Ezekiel 14:14) and was one who able to live godly in a radically ungodly, idolatrous culture (sound familiar?).
What was Daniel's secret? Daniel 1 explains that Daniel's secret was the same as Ezra's in that it has to do with the choices one makes in one's heart. In Daniel chapter 1 we read the key (in my opinion) to his long godly life in which he repeatedly experienced the good hand of the LORD upon all of his endeavors…
Note that Daniel 1:8 begins with "but Daniel" which begs the question of what is being contrasted? The previous section gives the context…
RELATED RESOURCE: Daniel 1 Commentary
So we see that Daniel made a choice that could have cost him his life. The phrase "made up his mind" is more literally "placed it upon his heart", where the heart reflects the "control tower" so to speak of one's life. The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew text) translated into English reads…
Isn't life really nothing but a series of (sometimes hard) "heart choices"? Perhaps what you are considering is not sinful, but is it God's best? Is it something that will allow you to redeem the time knowing how precious are these few years we have on earth in light of our eternity in God's presence? May God give each of us the grace that Daniel possessed to assess our "life options" and choose to lay on our heart those options which are the most God glorifying. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
WHAT IS THE DIRECTION OF YOUR HEART?
Scripture has a number of passages that use the identical phrase (same verb and noun in Hebrew) of directing one's heart…
Here are some other excellent cross references related to setting one's heart. If you have time study them in context to see implications of preparing one's heart --
Ezra's heart was undoubtedly prepared to receive the Word implanted by confession of his sins for it is impossible to study the Scriptures profitably with an impure mind.
The phrase set his heart conveys the idea of being firmly committed to a particular course of action with unwavering steadfastness. The verb signifies being “established, prepared, fixed” in a determined pursuit. The same root word is used to portray God’s establishment of the heavens (Pr 3:19; 8:27). Thus the expression carries the idea of a determined purpose and unwavering resolution to act in a prescribed way to bring something to pass.
To paraphrase this verse in modern terms Ezra's heart…
In Psalm 1 guarding ourselves from wickedness (not walking, standing or sitting) precedes delighting in the Word which leads to meditating on the Word. (See exposition of Psalm 1:1-note; Ps 1:2-note; Ps 1:3-note) And the more we meditate on it, tasting and seeing that the Lord is good, the more we delight in it, etc.
Heart (03824) (lebab) (LXX = kardia - see word study) refers not only to his intellect per se only but in Hebrew speaks of that which rules one's very being, the very center of human life -- the seat of affections, emotions, desires. The heart, in which Ezra purposed to study the Scriptures connotes “the totality of man’s inner or immaterial nature”
Ezra, or anyone who would follow his example, would direct the core of their being constantly toward the task of studying and pouring over the Scriptures. But to say that this function was Ezra's “ministry” would be missing emphasis of Ezra 7:10. More to the point, one might say that the study of the Scriptures was his life—his all-consuming passion. Little else commanded his attention like the task that God had set before him. Ezra gave his best effort to study, practice, and teach God’s law, each activity being observed completely and in order. At this point, we must each do personal inventory and ask - Do I truly give God my best efforts in this area? If we "stop" up the fountain, the source of life in His living and active word, we short circuit the Spirit's power in our life and ministry. Being "anemic" ourselves, we have little power and passion to pass on to those we are called to disciple.
I remember reading about John MacArthur's interview (my details may not be completely accurate) to take the lead pastor position at Grace Community Church. As I recall the story, he said that he would take the position on the condition (what I would call an "Ezra 7:10" condition) that the church would guarantee that he had 30 hours of uninterrupted study time during the week in which he could read and meditate on the Word so that he would have truth from God to bring to the congregation on Sunday. Let me ask you… Has the good hand of the LORD been upon Dr John MacArthur's ministry? I think the evidence speaks for itself. I love the heading on his website -
"Unleashing God's truth one verse at a time".
A similar story could surely be told about another well known American pastor, Dr John Piper, a mighty expositor of God's Word, one who has diligently practiced the Ezra 7:10 principle and as a result has clearly experienced the good hand of the LORD on his ministry. May Dr MacArthur's and Dr Piper's tribe increase!
In summary, both Dr MacArthur and Dr Piper have "bought in" (in my opinion) to the "Ezra 7:10" principle of church growth, feeding their sheep pure milk (see 1Pe 2:2-note) and solid food (see Hebrews 5:14-note) and thereby growing their flocks mightily in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory to God in the highest!
With such God glorifying results promised to those who practice the "Ezra 7:10 principle", why do we see so few "Ezras" in the pulpits across America today? I do not know the answer but I feel that part of that answer is that many don't truly believe Luke 1:37 which the ASV renders as…
No word from God shall be void of power.
In this Luke passage, the Greek word for "no" is the strongest word for no that Luke could have used -- absolutely no Word of God is impotent! Do we really believe this is true? Do we really believe that diligent study, practice and teaching of the eternal, inherently powerful word will unleash the power of God's hand upon us, upon our ministry and upon those we pastor? If this is your desire, perhaps you need to reorder priorities if you are the lead pastor or teacher. Perhaps you need to go to the elders and request a block of absolutely, immutably uninterrupted time during the week in order to begin to apply the "Ezra 7:10 principle". If you should be one of those who does make this decision, your church will never be the same as it begins to experience the reality of the supernatural reality of the good hand of the LORD upon it's various ministries.
Revive your shepherds, O LORD,
According to Thy word. Amen.
(based on Ps 119:25)
Now, let us return to the study of our passage and reiterate that the Hebrew word for heart represents the center or middle of something, and can indeed refer to the physical heart, organ which pumps blood to supplies life for the entire body. Of the some 850 uses of heart (lebab) in the Old Testament, the most common meaning is figurative and signifies a person’s inner being including one's mind, emotions, will, etc. Thus the heart denotes the intellect, by which one thinks, analyzes, compares, and understands a matter (1Kings 3:12; 2Kings 5:26; 2Chr 9:23; Pr 11:12; 16:23), the emotions, or the deepest innermost feelings of a person (Pr 17:22, 25:20); and the volition, the seat of the will where choices are made (Nu 16:28; Judges. 9:3; 2Chr 12:14). When Ezra set his heart to study the Word, the study of Scripture absolutely consumed his life. And even as a healthy physical heart is vital to one's overall physical health, so too the spiritual condition of our heart affects the vitality of our entire being. Little wonder that Scripture is replete with encouragements and admonitions that relate to our spiritual heart, one of my favorites being…
The New Living paraphrase accurately conveys the thrust of this Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do."
Just as the physical heart must be in good shape for our body to be healthy, so too must our spiritual heart be in good condition for optimum functioning in the spiritual realm. When the Spirit of God measures the ''worth'' of a man's life He puts the measuring tape around his heart, not around his head. Be a man after God's Own heart (cp the heart of David, Acts 13:22, not a perfect man but one who offered God a "broken and a contrite heart", Ps 51:17 - "A heart crushed is a fragrant heart. Men contemn those who are contemptible in their own eyes, but the Lord seeth not as man seeth. He despises what men esteem, and values that which they despise. Never yet has God spurned a lowly, weeping penitent, and never will he while God is love, and while Jesus is called the man who receiveth sinners. Bullocks and rams he desires not, but contrite hearts he seeks after; yea, but one of them is better to him than all the varied offerings of the old Jewish sanctuary." Spurgeon's Note).
Matthew Henry commenting on Proverbs 4:23 wrote that "We must keep a watchful eye and a strict hand upon all the motions of our inward man… God, who gave us these souls, gave us a strict charge with them. We must set a strict guard, accordingly, upon all the avenues of the soul; keep our hearts from doing hurt and getting hurt, from being defiled by sin and disturbed by trouble; keep out bad thoughts; keep up good thoughts; keep the affections upon right objects and in due bounds.
If we would "keep" our hearts "with all diligence", we wouldn't be careless, for example, about what gets into our hearts through the "eye-gate". We'd "censor" our own television viewing out of a greater concern to "watch" our own heart. And we'd even be willing to get rid of our television if it's affecting us negatively. We would rid our homes of any visual images or literature that incline us toward sexual immorality or sin of any kind. We'd not only guard what might come in; but also what might come out. We would keep our own attitudes in check, so that the words that come out of our mouths aren't reflective of evil in our heart. We'll be like David, when he prayed (Psalm 141:3 - Spurgeon's Note).
O child of God, guard well your eyes
If you effectively protect your car from theft, your home from burglary, your property from damage, your financial interests from failure, and your body from personal illness and injury, and even our borders from terrorist attacks - and yet fail in protecting this one, all-important thing as the Bible warns us - that singular failure will effect all other areas of life.
The heart of man is the worst part of his being before his conversion, and the best afterwards. It is the fountain of all his actions. The eye of God is always fixed on the heart. And believers should be carefully watchful of their hearts. Christianity is a religion of the heart. It is not a system of moral conduct. It is the life of Christ in a man's soul. Salvation is the work of God in a man's heart. The conviction of sin, repentance, faith, and, worship are all works of the heart. The kingdom of God is not in meat and drink, things of the body; but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. These are things of the heart. There is no responsibility placed upon the shoulders of a believer of greater importance than the keeping and proper government of his heart in all conditions, by faith in Christ the Lord. If we truly learn to guard our hearts, this practice will bring the beauty of holiness into our lives, and sweeten our spirits with the grace of heaven. (see here for more detail on "the heart")
John Flavel wisely observed that "The greatest difficulty in conversion is to win the heart to God; and the greatest difficulty after conversion is to keep the heart with God."
John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress, like Ezra was consumed with the study of God’s Word. C H Spurgeon read Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress every year on one occasion remarking that "He had studied our Authorized Version… till his whole being was saturated with Scripture; and through his writings… he … [makes] us feel and say ‘Why, this man is living Bible! Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his soul is full of the Word of God.’
Ralph Davies - Note the initial ki (for, because) in the Hebrew text. It explains why the good hand of his God was upon him (Ezra 7:9). God prospered the venture because of Ezra's purpose. This then is a warning against sloth and carelessness, and a sloppy view of grace. The subject comes before the verb in the Hebrew text, so there is some stress on "Ezra." On "setting the heart," the Hiphil of kun plus leb, see Psalm 78:8; 2 Chronicles 12:14 20:33(all negative); and 1 Samuel 7:3; 2 Chronicles 19:3; 30:19. The language of verse 10 speaks of a ministry that is focused in its objective (set his heart) and intense in its labor (to seek). It is both anchored and vigorous, not content with a little ministerial piddling. Note that Ezra purposes a total ministry: seek, do, teach; the cognitive, the experiential, and the didactic. Note that there are both academic and existential qualifications before teaching. The process, ever repeated, is: concentration (seek), consistency (do), communication (teach). (Ezra-Nehemiah, part 6)
TO STUDY THE LAW OF THE LORD: (Ezra 7:6; Psalms 1:2; Ps 19:7; 119:45,96, 87, 98, 99, 100)
See Related Topics:
KJV = seek, a word which conveys the idea of searching for what is lost (cp "paradise lost"), in context describing man's quest for God and what can only be obtained from Him. Seeking necessitates diligent effort in order to obtain. In regard to the Scripture the goals are to obtain the truth about God and the truth about man and then walk in light of that truth as Ezra did.
I'm not sure if R A Torrey's percentages are correct but there is still some convicting truth in his assessment that…
Ninety-nine Christians in every hundred are merely playing at Bible study; and therefore ninety-nine Christians in every hundred are merely weaklings when they might be giants.
J. I. Packer is surely correct when says that…
If I were the devil, one of my first aims would be to stop folk from digging into the Bible.
Alan Redpath (past pastor at Moody Bible Church) once advised believers to "wreck" their Bible every 10 years! Do you use your Bible every day until it eventually falls apart?
Give me the insight, Lord,
Francis Bacon said…
Let no man think or maintain that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God's word or in the book of God's works. (Amen!)
Christian author Jerry Bridges writes that…
A W Pink speaking of the work of Bible Study wrote that…
Bob Smith in his practical book Basics of Bible Interpretation writes that…
Search the Scripture's precious store
Darash is used to describe Moses when he went "to inquire (Lxx = ekzeteo) of God" (Ex 18:15). David said "I sought (Lxx = ekzeteo) the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears." (Ps 34:4) In Deuteronomy 12 darash presents a striking contrast between seeking Jehovah (Dt 12:5) or inquiring after the gods of the land (Dt 12:30) which would result in Israel becoming ensnared and enslaved even asking 'How do these nations serve their gods?" (Dt 12:30) What you seek after will be what you serve. Seek Jehovah that you might be bound to Him as your Master!
Darash is also used of divine vengeance on those who take a life and so we see that God will diligently seek restitution of a life for a life Moses (uses darash 3x and Lxx translates each with the verb ekzeteo - where it carries the sense of "to look for in expectation of fixing blame" [BDAG] or charging someone with a charge as in Lk 11:50-51) recording "“And surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man." (Ge 9:5)
In David's initial encounter with Bathsheba we find an interesting use of darash that helps give us a sense of what it means to "study" something "So David sent and inquired (darash) about the woman (Woe! Not good David!). And one said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" (2Sa 11:3) Perhaps if David had been actively seeking or inquiring of the Word of the LORD (performing "preventive maintenance"), it is doubtful he would have been inquiring about Bathsheba. In fact one of the clear instructions for kings was to write out a copy of the law and "read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes." In sum, if David had sought the LORD in His Word, he would have had a healthy fear of the LORD, which is a strong motivator to turn away from evil (cp Job 1:1, Pr 14:27 Ne 5:15 Job 28:28 Ps 34:11-14 2Co 7:1)!
Darash for example this word was used when Moses “searched carefully” to find out what happened to the sin offering (Lev 10:16-note) or when David “inquired” to find out who Bathsheba was (2Samuel 11:3). Ezra studied the Word by carefully searching it (compare the Bereans in Acts 17:11-notes), investigating its truths, probing its parts, surveying its whole (see observation), striving to understand its meaning (see Interpretation), being concerned to grasp its message, leaving no stone unturned. Ezra was not content to skim the surface and gain a superficial knowledge of the text.
Baker on darash - Figuratively, it may refer to seeking out or inquiring about lovers (Jer. 30:14) or to care for Zion (Jer. 30:17). It denotes inquiring about persons (2Sam. 11:3) or their welfare (souls)(Ps. 142:4). It indicates the Lord's care for His land (Deut. 11:12). It carries the general sense of seeking out property, such as a lost ox or cattle (Deut. 22:2), or examining a matter (Deut. 13:14; Judg. 6:29; 1 Ki. 22:7) or event. It takes on the meaning of requiring or demanding someone's blood in a moral or legal sense (Gen. 9:5; 2 Chr. 24:22; Ps. 10:13) but also of seeking good itself (Amos 5:14).Its most important theological meaning involves studying or inquiring into the Law of the Lord (Ezra 7:10) or inquiring of God (Gen. 25:22; Ex. 18:15; Deut. 12:5; 1 Ki. 22:5; 2 Ki. 3:11). God's people seek after their God (Deut. 4:29; Hos. 10:12; Amos 5:4). Seeking the Lord will be greatly rewarded (Ps. 34:10). Seeking heathen gods or persons who deal with the dead is to be avoided (1 Sam. 28:7; Isa. 8:19; Ezek. 14:10). The works of God, however, are to be examined and studied (Ps. 111:2). (Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament)
Darash - 152 verses in NAS - Click here for all uses NAS translates darash as = ask(1), avenge(1), calls(1), care(1), cares(3), comes the reckoning(1), consult(2), consulted by them at all(1), demand(1), inquire(33), inquired(5), inquirer(1), investigate(3), investigated(1), looks(2), making inquiry(1), questioned(1), require(7), required(1), requires(1), resort(3), search(6), searched(1), searched carefully(1), searches(2), seek(53), seek after(1), seeking(2), seeks(3), sought(18), studied(1), study(1), surely require(1).
German theologian Johann Bengel (1687-1752) aptly described Ezra (and his kind) as "like a maker of a well who brings no water to his source but allows the water he finds there to flow freely without stoppage, diversion, or defilement."
In his studies of the Scriptures, Ezra undoubtedly followed Thomas Watson's exhortation to "Leave not off reading the Bible till you find your hearts warmed. Let it not only inform you but inflame you."
Regarding the pastor's (and all believers') need to focus on the pure milk of the Word, Puritan Richard Baxter explained how this truth finally dawned on him writing that "Till at last, being by my sickness cast far from home, where I had no book but my Bible, I set to study the truth from thence, and so, by the blessing of God, discovered more in one week than I had done before in seventeen years’ reading, hearing, and wrangling."
The Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary - Dārash occurs over one hundred fifty times and generally means "to seek" or "to inquire." In Lev. 10:16 the meaning is more intensive. Paired with a modifier, the term describes how Moses seeks to find out in detail what happened to the sin offering, and in 2 Sam. 11:3 when David sought to find out who Bathsheba was. It also occurs in Jer. 29:7 when the exiles are told to seek the peace and prosperity of the city in which they have been exiled. It is used negatively in Deut. 23:6. Moses told the people to seek a treaty with the Ammonites or Moabites. Israel was told to seek carefully the place God would choose for sacrifices (Deut. 12:5) and justice (Isa. 1:17). In the end, Jerusalem, the place no one seeks (Jer. 30:17), will be the place "sought out" (Isa. 62:12).
An important theological theme can be demonstrated around the idea of "seeking," "consulting" or "inquiring" of God. In Gen. 25:22, Rebekah inquired of the Lord; in Exo. 18:15, Moses told Jethro that the people came to him to seek God's will; in 1 Ki. 22:8, Ahab told Jehoshaphat that they may inquire of the Lord through Micaiah. There are also times when the people "inquired" of something else. In 1 Chr. 13:3, David told the people they needed to bring back the Ark of the Lord, because they did not inquire of it in the past. In 1 Ki. 22:5, Jehoshaphat tells Ahab to inquire of the word of the Lord. In Isa. 34:16, instruction is given to inquire of the book of the Lord.
The idea of seeking heathen gods and prophets is also developed with this word in Ezek. 14:10 which says punishment will come to those who seek false prophets. In 1 Sam. 28:7, Saul desired to inquire of a medium. In 1 Chr. 10:13, one of the reasons for Saul's death is attributed to his seeking counsel of a medium.
The idea of "seeking" God is also developed through the use of dārash (Deut. 4:29). In fact, the chronicler evaluated the history of Israel in terms of their seeking God (1 Chr. 22:19; 28:9; 2 Chr. 31:21) or idols (2 Chr. 25:15). Isaiah reported Israel's refusal to seek God in spite of divine chastening (Isa. 9:13). Israel was instructed to seek the Lord (Isa. 55:6; Jer. 29:13; Hos. 10:12), but it is the Gentiles who would seek out the messianic King (Isa. 11:10). The people of Israel are reproved for "seeking" Him while continuing in their sins (Isa. 58:2), but are promised blessings if they genuinely seek him (Isa. 65:10).
A person may also seek God through prayer and worship. In Deut. 4:29, the people were told that they would find God if they sought Him with all their heart. In Hos. 10:12 the prophet stated that it was time to seek the Lord. Amos 5:4, 6 says that those who seek the Lord shall live.
Theologically, dārash is also used of divine vengeance on those who take a life. God will seek restitution of a life for a life (Gen. 9:5; 2 Chr. 24:22, 24). The verb is also used in more common ways. In Deut. 22:2, it refers to "looking for" sheep. The Lord "looks for" his sheep (Ezek. 34:6, 8, 11). The Lord searches out men's hearts (1 Chr. 28:9). Various matters may be inquired about: a miraculous sign (2 Chr. 32:31) and sin (Job 10:6).
John Piper wisely warns all who proclaim God's Word that…
In another writing Piper says…
The Law of the LORD - The Law of Jehovah (see study of this great Name of God).
The Law (08451) (torah) means basically "teaching" and in simple terms represent God's instructions to His people regarding how they should live, especially how they should live in covenant with a holy God. The torah was to saturate one's total way of life, permeating every decision, every thought, etc. The torah was given to make known the way men should walk or conduct their lives.
Ezra's "Bible" would have been the first five books (the Pentateuch) and the Book of Joshua, which was in existence in his day.
God, motivated by love, reveals to man basic insights into how to live with each other and how to approach God. Through the law God shows His interest in all aspects of man's life which is to be lived under His direction and care. The Law of God stands parallel to Word of the Lord to signify that law is the revelation of God's will. In this capacity the Law became the nation of Israel's wisdom and understanding so that the pagans would marvel at the quality of Israel's distinctive life style (cp Deut 4:6).
The psalmist's attitude toward the Law in Psalm 119:97 surely reflected Ezra's heart attitude…
Amy Carmichael gives us a good caution for our day when more Christian books are being published then at any other time in the history of the world…
Martin Luther wrote that…
Luther also wrote
Luther is reported to have said concerning his own study of the Scriptures that…
John Piper writes,
In John Jesus emphasizes the importance of applying truth received and the result of such application…
In Matthew Jesus again emphasizes the importance of obedient application declaring that…
James wrote of the deception of hearing but not doing and the blessing of seeing and doing…
See related topic: Application of the Word of God
Study the Bible to be wise
Will H. Houghton espoused the Ezra 7:10 approach, encouraging each of us to…
Practice - The Hebrew word for “practice” carries the idea of expending energy in the pursuit of something. Live it out. Let the "rubber meet the road". Put shoe leather to the Scriptural truth taken into your heart. Unhesitatingly obey the truth learned. And remember that like a compass, the Bible always points you in the right direction.
We see this pattern of studying leading to practice in other passages, for example in the Pentateuch (of which Ezra was well versed) Moses said…
Hear the word
In the well known passage in Joshua God instructs His young servant leader…
Bible study for Ezra was not merely an intellectual discipline (cp the Pharisee in Jesus' day) but had the goals of life change and discipleship. If our Bible study only makes us smarter sinners, then we are studying for the wrong reason. Our motive should always be to study in such a way that we are transformed from glory to glory, progressively being conformed to the image of our Savior.
Practice it… A good leader is one who… Knows the way, Goes the way, and Shows the way. Knowing without doing is arrogance not obedience.
A good pattern for ministry -- learn it, live it, and let it out.
How interesting to hear the "wisdom" of one of the secular world's esteemed "scribes", George Bernard Shaw, who once said…
Shaw clearly did not know about the life of the esteemed Jewish scribe Ezra and why he had experienced the good hand of God!
In his article in Master's Seminary Journal (volume 2), Richard Mayhue adds that…
Lawson writes that…
Of great significance is the fact that Ezra’s reading and exposition was used by God to catalyze a revival. Why? Well, one reason surely was because the good hand of the LORD was upon him!
Ezra obeyed the Word with the same “heart” devotion with which he studied it. In striking contrast were the scribes in Jesus’ day who sought to follow the Law from the head but not from the heart. With full heads but empty hearts, they attempted to teach the Word, but Jesus saw their hearts and declared
Ezra, however, was a scribe who wholeheartedly kept the Word, not with mere external ritual or empty routine like the scribes and Pharisees, but from his heart.
Moody rightly said that…
Tozer was even more blunt declaring that…
Thomas Adams had a picturesque description writing that…
Thomas Brooks wrote
Lorne Sanny rightly said that…
Lawson sums up Ezra's obedience writing that "The one who brings the Word must bow first before the Word and fully keep it. Selective obedience is no obedience. Partial obedience is nothing more than disguised disobedience. To be compelling in the pulpit, preachers must be complete in obedience. The Pattern of Biblical Preaching BSac 158:632 Oct 01 p. 461)
Chuck Smith EZRA 7:6, 9, 10, 28 "THE GOOD HAND OF THE LORD"
I. THE NEED FOR THE HAND OF GOD ON OUR LIVES.
A. Favor with God brings favor with man. Ezra 7:6.
1. Life moves on two planes, vertical and horizontal.
a. The vertical is the axis upon which our lives revolve, thus more important.
b. If the center of my life is out of kilter the circumference is bound to be erratic.
c. So many today think their greatest problem is human relations.
1. It is divine relations.
d. We try to balance our lives from the outside in.
e. My relation with God must have top priority.
1. "Seek ye first."
B. The good hand of God brings us to our desired goals. Ezra 7:9
1. Man has two basic goals: satisfaction and joy.
a. Someone says, "I'm seeking success."
b. If you attain it you will be disappointed, it will not bring you what you thought it would.
1. You thought it would bring satisfaction.
2. Neither can be attained apart from God.
a. You can find happiness, elation. (Just scored winning touchdown.
b. Solomon's vain pursuit for satisfaction.
C. God's hand means strength. Ezra 7:28.
1. In many trials it was only His hand that sustained me.
a. My strength and resources were gone.
2. Joseph's bow abode in strength.
3. Have you ever been in a place of distress and fear? You wonder, "What can I do?" Then suddenly feel the presence of God.
a. The tension and strain leaves and a beautiful peace and confidence comes.
Il. HOW TO EXPERIENCE THE HAND OF GOD ON YOUR LIFE.
A. The Lord is with you if you'll be with Him, and if you seek Him.
1. We must come to God and ask Him.
a. God comes to you only by invitation.
b. He will not intrude uninvited
B. Ezra prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord Ezra 7:10.
1. Our hearts are prepared through quiet times of study.
a. The Word of God prepares my heart for the work of God.
2. Quiet times of prayer prepare me for the work of God has for me to do.
C. Take time out for your busy lives to cultivate and develop your relationship with God.
1. Quiet time while you wait on Him will be the best spent time of the whole day. (Sermon Notes)
Mom's Translation - Four pastors were discussing the merits of the various translations of the Bible. One liked a particular version best because of its simple, beautiful English. Another preferred a more scholarly edition because it was closer to the original Hebrew and Greek. Still another liked a contemporary version because of its up-to-date vocabulary.
The fourth minister was silent for a moment, then said, "I like my mother's translation best." Surprised, the other three men said they didn't know his mother had translated the Bible. "Yes," he replied. "She translated it into life, and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw."
Instead of discussing translation preferences, this pastor reminded them that the most important focus should be learning God's Word and doing it. That was the top priority of Ezra's life. As a scribe, he studied the Law, obeyed it, and taught it to the Israelites (Ezra 7:10). For example, God commanded His people not to intermarry with neighboring nations who served pagan gods (Ezra 9:1-2). Ezra confessed the nation's sin to God (Ezra 9:10-12) and corrected the people, who then repented (Ezra 10:10-12).
Let's follow Ezra's example by seeking the Word of God and translating it into life. —Anne Cetas (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Howard Hendricks had it right when he said that..
The Bible was not written to satisfy your curiosity, but to make you conform to Christ’s image. Not to make you a smarter sinner, but to make you like the Savior. Not to fill your head with a collection of biblical facts, but to transform your life. (Living by the Book)
Hendricks went on to add that…
Dusty Bibles lead to dirty lives. In fact, you are either in the Word and the Word is conforming you to the image of Jesus Christ, or you are in the world and the world is squeezing you into its mold. (ibid)
The Bible gives us all we need
To live our lives for God each day;
But it won't help if we don't read
And follow what its pages say
Backsliders begin with dusty Bibles
and end with filthy garments.
C H Spurgeon
AND TO TEACH HIS STATUTES AND ORDINANCES IN ISRAEL: (Ezra 7:25; Deuteronomy 33:10; 2Chronicles 17:8,9; 30:22; Nehemiah 8:1-9; Malachi 2:7; Acts 1:1; 1Timothy 3:2; 2Timothy 4:2; Titus 2:1,15)
May Ezra's tribe increase!
Teach (03925) (lamad) conveys the idea of training as well as educating. Biblical teaching seeks to guide people to follow the will of God, not by offering mere human opinions or suggestions but by bringing “the authoritative declaration of the Word of God.
If you don’t have a man who is living the Word, then you don’t have a man who can teach the Word. You cannot (and should not) teach what you are not living.
Lamad - 80 verses in NAS - Deut 4:1, 5, 10, 14; 5:1, 31; 6:1; 11:19; 14:23; 17:19; 18:9; 20:18; 31:12f, 19, 22; Judg 3:2; 2 Sam 1:18; 22:35; 1 Chr 5:18; 25:7; 2 Chr 17:7, 9; Ezra 7:10; Job 21:22; Ps 18:34; 25:4f, 9; 34:11; 51:13; 60:1; 71:17; 94:10, 12; 106:35; 119:7, 12, 26, 64, 66, 68, 71, 73, 99, 108, 124, 135, 171; 132:12; 143:10; 144:1; Prov 5:13; 30:3; Eccl 12:9; Song 3:8; 8:2; Isa 1:17; 2:4; 26:9f; 29:13, 24; 40:14; 48:17; Jer 2:33; 9:5, 14, 20; 10:2; 12:16; 13:21; 31:18, 34; 32:33; Ezek 19:3, 6; Dan 1:4; Hos 10:11; Mic 4:3.
NAS renders Lamad - accept(1), expert(1), instruct(1), instructors(1), learn(15), learned(5), really learn(1), skillful(1), taught(15), teach(30), teachers(1), teaches(3), teaching(1), teaching and again(1), train(1), trained(2), trains(3), untrained*(1).
Jesus' parting command to His disciples and by way of application to believers today still rings true in regard to the importance of teaching what you learn to others…
The Septuagint (LXX) translates the Hebrew verb for teach with didasko (from dáo= know or teach) which means to provide instruction in a formal or informal setting. The present tense pictures Biblical teaching as a continual, even lifelong process. Continually teaching the saints is especially the responsibility of church leaders for as Paul wrote “An overseer, then, must be…able to teach” (1Timothy 3:2). Why must we continually teach sound, Biblical doctrine? Simply put, heresy flourishes when sound doctrine fades! The idea of didasko is to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them by word of mouth (tutor, direct, advise, put in mind). In the NT almost without exception didasko refers to the teaching of groups. Didasko means to teach a student in such a way that the will of the student becomes conformed to the teaching taught (which is why it is vital to make sure the Word of God is rightly divided). The teacher teaches in such a way that as the student is taught, he or she now changes their mind saying in essence ''I won't do it this way, but I will do it this way because I've learned this Biblical doctrine or this Biblical truth.'' Doctrine determines the direction of our behavior -- we need to ask ourselves are we being conformed to the world or transformed and conformed into the image of the Son of God?
Pastor Steven Cole (Read entire sermon) rightly observes that…
Stott suggests that in Ezra 7:10 teaching means…
Many preachers bear more resemblance to entertainers than expositors, stand-up comics rather than knee-shaking servants. God-fearing, Scripture-reverencing men remain the need of the hour in pulpits today.
As A T Robertson once quipped…
John Knox, the great Scottish Reformer said
Where are the men like Knox, who tremble when they open the Word of God? God is ever looking for such men, declaring in Isaiah…
In later chapters Ezra writes…
Statues (02706) and ordinances (04941) - The scribes in the early years at the time of Ezra and before were so devoted to not putting an error in the Scriptures that they would copy the Scriptures with such fastidiousness it is beyond belief. Some scribes would write one letter, take a bath, change their clothes, get a new pen, write another letter, take a bath, change their clothes, get a pen, write another letter. They didn't get a lot done but what they got done was correct. There was a tremendous fastidiousness to the completion of the inerrant text and its preservation.
This comprehensive threefold designation—the Law of the Lord, statutes, and ordinances—indicates that he studied all facets of God’s Word. Tradition says he was the founder of the Great Synagogue where the Old Testament canon was first recognized. A number of scholars feel Ezra is the author of Psalm 119 which deals with the Word of God in virtually all 176 verses.
In Nehemiah we see an example of Ezra teaching the Word…
When one considers the role of Ezra (and those like him in our modern church), to be sure, every person is important to God and God’s work; but, as Dr. Lee Roberson said "Everything rises and falls with leadership."
McConville has written - The model teacher in Ezra is a doer. And the doer can be no mere demonstrator. He must be what he would have his disciples be. (Ed: "Doer" not in the sense of "busyness" but in the sense of practicing what he preaches.)
Every preacher should follow Ezra’s example and be committed to the study of the Scriptures in a way that is consuming, careful, and comprehensive. Pastors must guard their hearts against the seemingly endless, mounting pressures placed on them to sacrifice the study of the Word of God upon the "altar" of their growing list of "priorities." The day the preacher ceases to diligently study God’s Word, whether he realizes it or not, is the day he begins losing spiritual passion and power in his preaching.
Shrinking study time in the Scriptures will result in Shrinking power in the pulpit!
Billy Graham was asked, "If you had to live your life over again, what would you do differently? His answer might surprise you - "One of my great regrets is that I have not studied enough, I wish I had studied more and preached less. People have pressured me into speaking to groups when I should have been studying and preparing."
Phillip Ryken on Ezra 7:10 - This verse is one of the Bible’s best summaries of what it means to be a faithful servant of God’s Word. It is a wonderful verse for pastors, for seminary students, for theology professors—really, it is a wonderful verse for everyone. I know this from experience because I embraced this verse early in my time at seminary. I wrote it out on a note card and tucked it into the little Bible I carried in my briefcase. From time to time I would pull it out and meditate on it or pray over it. Over time, God used it to shape my understanding of what it meant to be a student and a teacher, a husband and a pastor. By the power of the Holy Spirit, he can use it to shape your life and ministry, too. The logic of this verse is impeccable. There were three things that Ezra was committed to doing, and he had them in the proper order, like “A-B-C” or “1-2-3.” In fact, Ezra had them in the only order that makes any sense: he had his heart set on studying, doing, and teaching the Word of God. This was his heart commitment, the direction of his life, the settled intention of his soul.
3.1. Studying God’s Word - Start with studying. Before we can do what God wants us to do, or teach anyone else what God wants them to do, we need to know what God wants us to do, and that means studying God’s Word. Ezra had committed himself to doing that. We do not know his study habits, but we know that he was skilled in the Law of Moses. His “delight was in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditated day and night” (Ps 1:2). Since he was raised in a family of priests, he had studied the Scriptures from his earliest childhood. He undoubtedly spent hours each day reading the Bible, pondering its meaning, and discussing its implications with other students and scholars. In those days, a scribe of Ezra’s stature would have committed large portions of Scripture to memory. The unrelenting ambition of his life was to know the Word of God.
After seminary I spent several months as an intern with William Still, the great Scottish minister who served in downtown Aberdeen. When I met him, Mr. Still was continuing the weekly preaching ministry he had exercised in the same pulpit for more than fifty years. Every day I would go and meet with him in his home to talk about pastoral ministry and the Christian life. One of the most amazing things about Mr. Still was his voracious appetite for learning something new from the Word of God. Here was a man who was well into his eighties, yet he had a boyish enthusiasm for any fresh insight into biblical truth. “We’re always learning, Philip,” he would say to me, “we’re always learning.” That is the kind of Bible scholar that Ezra was and that I hope to become: someone who is keen to learn God’s Word all the way through life.
3.2. Living by God’s Word - But Ezra did not stop there. He did not want merely to learn the Bible; he wanted to live it. So the Scripture says that he set his heart to do the law that he had studied. This meant loving the Lord his God with all his strength and loving his neighbor as himself. It meant keeping the Ten Commandments. It meant following all the regulations for priestly holiness and public worship. It meant doing everything he could to live by God’s law. Ezra understood that the only true theology is applied theology. I am reminded of the parishioner who met the preacher at the door after the service and said, “Pastor, that was a wonderful sermon.” To which the pastor replied, “Well, that remains to be seen, doesn’t it?” This was Ezra’s approach exactly. What good is it to study the Bible, unless we also live by it?
3.3. Teaching God’s Word - Then there was a third step: teaching God’s statutes and rules in Israel. Ezra would have taken issue with the famous advertising slogan: Just Do It! “No,” Ezra, would have said, “I can’t just do it. If I want to learn how to do it, I have to study it first, and then if it’s worth doing, I will be compelled to teach other people how to do it, too.” His slogan went more like this: “Don’t just do it! Study it, do it, teach it.”
Notice as well the scope of Ezra’s vision for ministry. He wanted to teach God’s law “in Israel.” He wanted to reach his entire nation with the Word of God. He saw that he had a responsibility to the wider spiritual community. It was his calling and privilege to spend long periods of time studying God’s Word. But this was not for his benefit alone; it was for the edification of the people of God. Eventually God granted Ezra his heart’s desire. When he read the Book of the Law to all the people in Jerusalem, he was teaching God’s statutes and rules in Israel—the Bible teacher for the kingdom.
But all of that came later. Ezra did not begin as a teacher; he became one. Sometimes people feel called to a teaching ministry, and they get right into teaching before they have done the hard work of really mastering the Bible. Then all they have to offer is their own spiritual experience; they cannot share the deepest riches of God’s Word. Or sometimes—and this is especially tempting for seminary students and pastors—they go right from studying to teaching without having the Word of God really transform their lives. It goes from the mind to the mouth without ever passing through the heart.
All of this is easy to apply. Like Ezra, you are called to be a student of God’s Word. We are all called to study God’s Word, and to do it, and as we have the opportunity, to teach it to others. This means spending time reading the Bible every day—not in an academic way, but in a devotional way, nurturing our love relationship with Jesus Christ. It means meditating on Scripture and memorizing it. It means devoting the very best of our powers to learning what God has said in his Word.
It also means paying special attention to new areas of personal obedience. We want to do more than study the Bible; we want to live by it. So what is God saying to you today that you need put into practice in your daily life? What will he say to you tomorrow and the day after that? Do not be content with what you have already attained, but strive to grow in godliness. Experience the fresh power of the Word of God.
Then once you start living the truth, then and only then can you be trusted to teach it to others. But bear in mind that this is the goal of all your studies. You do not study God’s Word for your own benefit, but for the sake of others. The knowledge you gain is a sacred trust that God has given you in order that you might give it away. So set your heart to study the Word of God, and to do it, and to teach it to wherever God calls you. (Read the full article in Themelios - Ezra According to the Gospel - Ezra 7:10)
Donald Grey Barnhouse said that if he knew the Lord was coming in three years, he would spend two of them studying and one preaching!
The modern church desperately needs more men like John Wesley, the Spirit anointed eighteenth-century preacher who was so passionate for the Word of God (Brethren, could this have anything to do with His "Spirit anointing"?) that he once crying out…
Tony Bell writes that…
Because of its relevance to the Ezra 7:10 principle, below is the entire sermon The Ministry of the Word by Dr John Piper…
I want us to ponder for a few minutes the significance of the ministry of the Word.
The Significance of the Ministry of the Word
In Acts 6:1-6 the Greek-speaking Jewish widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. This pressing need clamored for the apostles’ attention. But the twelve said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.” So they appointed seven men to take care of this need, and the apostles said, “We will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
So from the very earliest time in the church it was understood that the ministry of the Word required so much time and effort that those called to this ministry should be freed from other demands.
Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:17–18, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain,’ and ‘The laborer deserves his wages.’ ” In other words the church should value the ministry of the Word so highly that it is willing to pay elders who devote their life to it.
This is an ongoing office in the church, not a temporary function of the apostles. When Christ ascended into heaven, it says in Ephesians 4:11 (see note)
his gifts were that some should be pastor-teachers.
This is an office distinct from the rest of the people in the church, because it says that the pastor-teachers are to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
So we can conclude that the New Testament prescribes for the church that there be some people set apart for the ministry of the Word, and that these elders or pastor-teachers devote their main life-efforts to this ministry and be supported by the church.
Steve Roy has been called to this ministry, and we are now setting him apart for it. We do well to ponder just what this ministry is. Perhaps we will come to value it more highly and pray for it more fervently. And perhaps some among us will feel the call of God this very night into the ministry of the Word.
What the Ministry of the Word Is
I only have time to mention four things:
1. The ministry of the Word is a ministry of study.
2. The ministry of the Word is a ministry of prayer.
3. The ministry of the Word is a ministry of suffering.
4. The ministry of the Word is a ministry of joy.
1. The ministry of the Word is a ministry of study.
The life of the church hangs on the word of God (Matthew 4:4). And that inspired word has come to us in the form of a book written in Greek and Hebrew. None of us comes into the world able to read, let alone read Greek and Hebrew. These things must be learned. And they must be learned by study.
And even when they are learned, they only become fruitful when used like mining tools to dig out the gold and silver of Scripture. And the only way to dig is to study. The good hand of the Lord was upon Ezra, the Scripture says, because he
had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach his statutes and ordinances in Israel (Ezra 7:9-10).
And Paul tells Timothy to be zealous to present himself to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed because he rightly handles the word of truth (see note 2 Timothy 2:15).
Books About the Bible and the Bible
And let it be emphasized that with all the good and bad books on theology the ministry of study should always remain primarily a study of the Bible, and that in the original languages. Philip Lindsay, a professor at Princeton in the last century used to say, “One of the best preparations for death is a thorough knowledge of the Greek grammar.” Which is simply a very pointed way of saying that pastor-teachers should do their duty and that intellectual labor in the New Testament is rewarded with real life and death truth.
Richard Baxter wrote something that could save many young pastors years of regret in misdirected study. He said,
Till at last, being by my sickness cast far from home, where I had no book but my Bible, I set to study the truth from thence, and so, by the blessing of God, discovered more in one week than I had done before in seventeen years’ reading, hearing, and wrangling
We must beware of the temptation to replace the study of Scripture with the reading of good books about the Scripture. If you want to know if a man has studied well, don’t ask him to show you his library. Ask him to show you his personal notebooks where he has recorded his own authentic insights into the Word of God.
Reading and Thinking
We make a great mistake when we think that study consists mainly in reading (as commonly understood)—even reading the Bible. Many think they have studied well when they have spent the morning reading through some worthy book of divinity. And thus the measure of our study becomes the number of books that we have read.
But my own conviction is that fruitful study is primarily thinking not reading. My guess is that reading, which was meant to become a stimulus and guide to independent thinking, usually becomes a substitute for it. The evidence for this is how many books we read and how little we write down. Fresh thinking must always be put down on paper to get it clear and preserve it for use. Much reading and little thinking makes for a second-hand pastor. And it is not easy to preach and teach second-hand truths with power.
The ministry of the Word is a ministry of study. And the ministry of study should be devoted primarily to the Bible. And the study of the Bible should consist very much in thinking and writing about what it says.
Relevancy and the Power of Scripture
Nor should such a student of Scripture fret about the cry for relevancy. The faithful study and teaching of God’s Word will do more to change the world than anyone imagines. J.C. Ryle wrote,
To the influence of the Bible we owe nearly every humane and charitable institution in existence. The sick, the poor, the aged, the orphan, the lunatic, the idiot, the blind, were seldom or never thought of before the Bible leavened the world. You may search in vain for any record of institutions for their aid in the histories of Athens or of Rome. Alas, many sneer at the Bible, and say the world would get on well enough without it, who little think how great are their own obligations to the Bible.
2. The ministry of the Word is a ministry of prayer.
Benjamin Warfield, a great evangelical theologian who died in 1921, wrote in 1911 about the kind of criticism that comes to those who believe in much study. Someone said to him that ten minutes on your knees will give you a truer, deeper, more operative knowledge of God than ten hours over your books.
“What,” he replied, “more than ten hours over your books on your knees?”
Recruiting officers do not dispute whether it is better for soldiers to have a right leg or a left leg: soldiers should have both legs.
Study and Prayer
The minister of the Word must not choose between study and prayer. Study without prayer is the work of pride. Prayer without study is presumption. This is what the Proverbs teach:
If you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding (that’s prayer), and if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures (that’s study), then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:3-5)
Prayer humbles the heart and gives it the tone of Christ and makes it ready and open and sensitive to the truth of Scripture. But it is study that brings in the truth and fills the heart with joy and power.
Meeting the Almighty God
The ministry of the Word is a ministry of prayer because in prayer the minister meets God and has real living dealings with the Almighty so that his preaching and teaching have the aroma of God about them. The ministry of the Word must be a ministry of earnestness and intensity, and where are these to be found if not in our private meetings with God where you learn to know if you are real or just playing games?
One great Baptist pastor, Hezekiah Harvey, put it like this in 1879
Moral earnestness can never be assumed; it is the attribute only of a soul profoundly feeling the power and reality of divine truth. The man, therefore, who would speak God’s word with the pungency and fervor of a Bunyan, a Baxter, a Flavel, or a Payson must, like them, be constant and fervent in prayer. The springs of spiritual life opened in the closet will pour forth never-failing streams of life in the pulpit.
Without much prayer all the study in the world will leave us shallow and lean. Without prayer there creeps in what Richard Cecil called the
low, managing, contriving, maneuvering temper of mind among us.
E. M. Bounds is right when he says,
What the Church needs today is not more machinery or more novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use— men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer.
3. The ministry of the Word is a ministry of suffering.
The Bible is God’s artillery in the war against sin and Satan. And when you get recruited for the artillery, you can count on being wounded.
Listen to Paul’s second letter to Timothy.
2 Timothy 1:8 (note) “Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but take your share of suffering for the gospel in the power of God.”
2 Timothy 1:11 (note) “For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, and therefore I suffer as I do.”
2 Timothy 2:3 (note) “Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”
Soldiers in the War Effort
It belongs to soldiers to suffer for the war effort. No soldier in conflict expects things to be easy or comfortable. When God calls us into the ministry of the Word, he recruits us into front-line artillery action. It is not a safe place to be.
But strangely enough it is the place Paul wants to be. He said in Philippians that he counted everything as loss that he might
know Christ and the power of his resurrection, and might share his sufferings becoming like him in his death. (see note Philippians 3:10)
Paul attained a powerful authenticity in carrying Christ’s word because he chose to walk in Christ’s way. He said at the end of Galatians,
Henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
When you have been wounded in the service of the Word of Christ and have not gone AWOL or hated your enemy, there comes a new certainty and depth and power.
Therefore every minister of the Word should say with the apostle Paul,
I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus.
4. The ministry of the Word is a ministry of joy.
I sometimes think of the dozens of vocational options that lie open before me. I could go to a professional referral service and take a battery of tests to check my aptitude and then enter some management training course. Or I could go back to school and try medicine where I started, or perhaps law where my freshman aptitude tests said I was supposed to go.
Or could I? Not any more than I choose to dislike Pamela Rowe’s Mississippi Mud Cake. I am a Christian Hedonist. I am enslaved to the joy of the ministry of the Word.
I say with Paul,
But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. (see note Philippians 2:17)
Paul reminded the pastor-teachers of Ephesus that in the ministry of the Word it is always more blessed to give than to receive. And to the Thessalonians he wrote,
For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy. (see note 1Thessalonians 2:19)
There is no better way to spend a brief life on this little earth than to spend it in the ministry of the Word.
• Because here what you study is the endless terrain of the infinite glory of God.
• The one you pray to is the majestic Sovereign whose hand no one can stay.
• What you suffer is for the highest Cause in the universe.
• And what you enjoy is the very delight of God in his Son and in those he died to save.
Teach (1321) (didasko from dáo= know or teach; English = didactic; see study of related noun didaskalia and the adjective didaktikos) means to provide instruction or information in a formal or informal setting.
In the 97 NT uses of didasko the meaning is virtually always to teach or instruct, although the purpose and content of the teaching must be determined from the context.
John MacArthur writes that didasko
In another source MacArthur writes that didasko (and related words)
In Scripture to teach means to pass on the truth about the Word of God, the God of the Word and the faith of the saints, with the goal of influencing the understanding and stimulating obedience to the truth taught and resultant Spirit energized transformation and Christ-likeness. The essence of a disciple in fact is that he or she is a learner. The teacher teaches and the disciple hears and processes what is heard so that this truth affects his or her innermost being. Ultimately the purpose of didasko is to shape the will of the one taught.
To teach means to cause to know, to help one to learn, to impart knowledge or skill, or to carry out the activity of instructing by precept or by practice.
To teach is distinguished from to preach, the latter emphasizing the proclamation of the gospel to the non-Christian world. Teaching of sound doctrine is vital to stability of one's faith and spiritual growth and stability of one's faith, this vital role being clearly validated by our Lord Jesus Christ who was called Rabbi or Teacher more than any other name -- in fact the some 45 of the 58 NT uses of the Greek word for teacher (didaskalos) are used of Jesus (most of these referring to public teaching). In addition 47 of 97 occurrences of didasko are used in the Gospels to describe the activity of Jesus.
Teaching was also a primary activity of the leaders of the early church. (see passages below from Acts)
Rengstorf notes that didasko…
NIDNTT writes that didasko…
William Arthur Ward wrote that…
John Milton (1608-74) summarized the importance of teaching when he wrote
Here are the 78 uses of didasko in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) (Deut 4:1, 10, 14; 5:31; 6:1; 11:19; 20:18; 31:19, 22; 32:44; Jdg. 3:2; 2 Sam. 1:18; 22:35; 1Chr. 5:18; 25:7; 2Chr. 17:7, 9; Ezra 7:10; Neh. 8:8; Job 6:24; 8:10; 10:2; 13:23; 21:22; 22:2; 32:8; 33:4, 33; 36:2; 37:19; 42:4; Psalms 18:34, 35; 25:4, 5, 9; 34:11; 51:13; 71:17; 94:10, 12; 119:12, 26, 64, 66, 68, 99, 108, 124, 135, 171; 132:12; 143:10; 144:1; Prov. 1:23; 4:4, 11; 5:13; 6:13; 22:21; 30:3; Eccl. 12:9; Song 3:8; Isa. 9:15; 29:13; 55:12; Jeremiah 9:14, 20; 12:16; 13:21; 31:18, 34; 32:33; Ezek. 44:23; Dan. 1:4; 11:4; 12:4; Hos. 10:11)
The TDNT comments on the OT uses of didasko writing that…
Observe the frequent use of didasko in Psalm 119 every verse of this Psalm dealing with the some aspect of God's Word -- although it cannot be proven, it is fascinating that many think Ezra wrote Psalm 119). Notice how the psalmists use the imperative mood (Red = commands) in their prayers - they recognized their dependence of God's teaching and held nothing back in asking Him to teach them! May we as believers today go so boldly before His throne, pleading with ("commanding"!) Him to teach us His ways!
Here are the 97 uses of didasko in the 91 NT verses…
Matthew 4:23 And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching (present tense = continually, His habitual practice, He taught as a lifestyle) in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.
Comment: Observe how Jesus coupled teaching with proclamation of the Good News and how these activities took precedence over "signs and wonders". The modern church needs to be careful not to deviate from our Lord's pattern. Note that Whereas didasko relates to explaining a message, whereas proclaiming (kerusso) relates simply to announcing it.
Matthew 5:2 (note) (Note Jesus is seated taking the normal posture of the Rabbis while teaching) And opening His mouth He began to teach them, saying (the "Beatitudes")
Matthew 5:19 (note) "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 7:29 (note) for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
Matthew 9:35 And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
Comment: Observe again as in Mt 4:23 Jesus' pattern.
Matthew 11:1 And it came about that when Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.
Comment: Observe again as in Mt 4:23 Jesus' pattern - "teach and preach".
Matthew 13:54 And coming to His home town He began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they became astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom, and these miraculous powers?
Matthew 15:9 'But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'"
Matthew 21:23 And when He had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?"
Matthew 22:16 And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.
Matthew 26:55 At that time Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me.
Comment: Observe it is not His signs and wonders He emphasizes but His teaching.
Matthew 28:15 And they took the money and did as they had been instructed; and this story was widely spread among the Jews, and is to this day.
Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Comment: Context = Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples (aorist imperative = Do this now! Do it effectively! This is the urgent need!) of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."
Observe it is not Jesus' signs and wonders which He emphasizes but teaching, and how teaching and obeying the teaching (cp to the "Ezra 710" principle which result in the good hand of the Lord upon his ministry) is His pattern for making disciples!
Mark 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach.
Mark 1:22 And they were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching (present tense = continuously) them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Mark 2:13 And He went out again by the seashore; and all the multitude were coming to Him, and He was teaching them.
Mark 4:1 And He began to teach again by the sea. And such a very great multitude gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
Mark 4:2 And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching,
Mark 6:2 And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?
Mark 6:6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.
Mark 6:30 And the apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught.
Mark 6:34 And when He went ashore, He saw a great multitude, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.
Mark 7:7 'But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'
Mark 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Mark 9:31 For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, "The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later."
Mark 10:1 And rising up, He went from there to the region of Judea, and beyond the Jordan; and crowds gathered around Him again, and, according to His custom, He once more began to teach them.
Mark 11:17 And He began to teach and say to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations '? But you have made it a robbers' den."
Mark 12:14 And they came and said to Him, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?
Mark 12:35 And Jesus answering began to say, as He taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?
Mark 14:49 "Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me; but this has happened that the Scriptures might be fulfilled."
Luke 4:15 And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.
Comment: Jesus' teaching is in accord with that of a typical teacher of the first century. In this section of Luke, taking place in Nazareth, Jesus reads Scripture, seated himself, and then expounded the passage.
Luke 4:31 And He came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And He was teaching them on the Sabbath;
Luke 5:3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the multitudes from the boat.
Luke 5:17 And it came about one day that He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing.
Luke 6:6 And it came about on another Sabbath, that He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
Luke 11:1 And it came about that while He was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach (aorist imperative = Do this now! This is the urgent need!) us to pray just as John also taught his disciples."
Luke 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."
Luke 13:10 And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
Luke 13:22 And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem.
Luke 13:26 "Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets';
Luke 19:47 And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him,
Luke 20:1 And it came about on one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him,
Luke 20:21 And they questioned Him, saying, "Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.
Luke 21:37 Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet.
Luke 23:5 But they kept on insisting, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee, even as far as this place."
John 6:59 These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum.
John 7:14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach.
John 7:28 Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.
John 7:35 The Jews therefore said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we shall not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He?
John 8:2 And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them.
John 8:20 These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come.
John 8:28 Jesus therefore said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
John 9:34 They answered and said to him, "You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?" And they put him out.
John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
John 18:20 Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues, and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret.
Acts 1:1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach,
Acts 4:2 being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
Acts 4:18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Acts 5:21 And upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak, and began to teach. Now when the high priest and his associates had come, they called the Council together, even all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought.
Acts 5:25 But someone came and reported to them, "Behold, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!"
Acts 5:28 saying, "We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us."
Acts 5:42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Acts 11:26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came about that for an entire year they met with the church, and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
Acts 15:1 And some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."
Acts 15:35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching, with many others also, the word of the Lord.
Acts 18:11 And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Acts 15:25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John;
Acts 20:20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house,
Acts 21:21 and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.
Acts 21:28 (Young's Literal) crying out, 'Men, Israelites, help! this is the man who, against the people, and the law, and this place, all everywhere is teaching; and further, also, Greeks he brought into the temple, and hath defiled this holy place;'
Acts 28:31 preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.
Romans 2:21 (note) you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one should not steal, do you steal?
Romans 12:7 (note) if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;
1 Corinthians 4:17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.
1 Corinthians 11:14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him,
Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Comment: Note that Paul's teacher was the risen Lord Jesus Christ! Can you imagine the rapt attention of Paul when His Lord taught!
Ephesians 4:21 (note) if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,
Colossians 1:28 (note) And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.
Colossians 2:7 (note) having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Colossians 3:16 (note) Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.
1 Timothy 2:12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
1 Timothy 4:11 Prescribe and teach (present imperative) these things.
1 Timothy 6:2 And let those who have believers as their masters not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but let them serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach (present imperative) and preach these principles.
2 Timothy 2:2 (note) And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
Titus 1:11 (note) who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain.
Hebrews 5:12 (note) For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Hebrews 8:11 (note) "And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' For all shall know Me, From the least to the greatest of them.
1 John 2:27 And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.
Revelation 2:14 (note) 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit acts of immorality.
Revelation 2:20 (note) 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
We prepare our heart. God extends His hand!
Prosperity in this life is due to the good hand of the Lord.
Idea of good hand of the Lord = Pr 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Hand of God on David when he failed to confess - Ps 32:3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin to Thee, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"; And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. Selah.
(Isa 66:14) Then you shall see this, and your heart shall be glad, And your bones shall flourish like the new grass; And the hand of the LORD shall be made known to His servants, But He shall be indignant toward His enemies.
Exodus 9:3 behold, the hand of the LORD will come with a very severe pestilence on your livestock which are in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the herds, and on the flocks.
Deuteronomy 2:15 "Moreover the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from within the camp until they all perished.
Joshua 4:24 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, so that you may fear the LORD your God forever."
Joshua 22:31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the sons of Reuben and to the sons of Gad and to the sons of Manasseh, "Today we know that the LORD is in our midst, because you have not committed this unfaithful act against the LORD; now you have delivered the sons of Israel from the hand of the LORD."
Judges 2:15 Wherever they went, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had spoken and as the LORD had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed.
Ruth 1:13 would you therefore wait until they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters; for it is harder for me than for you, for the hand of the LORD has gone forth against me."
1 Samuel 5:6 Now the hand of the LORD was heavy on the Ashdodites, and He ravaged them and smote them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territories.
9 After they had brought it around, the hand of the LORD was against the city with very great confusion; and He smote the men of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out on them.
1 Samuel 7:13 So the Philistines were subdued and they did not come anymore within the border of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
1 Samuel 12:15 "If you will not listen to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the command of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
2 Samuel 24:14 Then David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the LORD for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man."
1 Kings 18:46 Then the hand of the LORD was on Elijah, and he girded up his loins and outran Ahab to Jezreel.
2 Kings 3:15 "But now bring me a minstrel." And it came about, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him (Elisha).
1 Chronicles 21:13 David said to Gad, "I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man."
Ezra 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all he requested because the hand of the LORD his God was upon him.
Ezra 7:9 For on the first of the first month he began to go up from Babylon; and on the first of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, because the good hand of his God was upon him. 10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.
Ezra 7:28 and has extended lovingkindness to me before the king and his counselors and before all the king's mighty princes. Thus I was strengthened according to the hand of the LORD my God upon me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.
Ezra 8:18 And according to the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of insight of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel, namely Sherebiah, and his sons and brothers, 18 men;
Ezra 8:22 For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, "The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him."
Ezra 8:31 Then we journeyed from the river Ahava on the twelfth of the first month to go to Jerusalem; and the hand of our God was over us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the ambushes by the way.
Neh 2:8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city, and for the house to which I will go." And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me. (cp Pr 21:1)
Neh 2:18 And I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me, and also about the king's words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, "Let us arise and build." So they put their hands to the good work.
Job 12:9 "Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this
Psalm 75:8 For a cup is in the hand of the LORD, and the wine foams; It is well mixed, and He pours out of this; Surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs.
Psalm 118:15 The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
Isaiah 41:20 That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the LORD has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Isaiah 62:3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
Isaiah 66:14 Then you will see this, and your heart will be glad, And your bones will flourish like the new grass; And the hand of the LORD will be made known to His servants, But He will be indignant toward His enemies.
Jeremiah 51:7 Babylon has been a golden cup in the hand of the LORD, Intoxicating all the earth. The nations have drunk of her wine; Therefore the nations are going mad.
Ezekiel 1:3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the LORD came upon him.)
Ezekiel 3:14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away; and I went embittered in the rage of my spirit, and the hand of the LORD was strong on me.
22 ¶ The hand of the LORD was on me there, and He said to me, "Get up, go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you."
Ezekiel 8:1 ¶ It came about in the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month, as I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell on me there.
Ezekiel 33:22 Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me in the evening, before the refugees came. And He opened my mouth at the time they came to me in the morning; so my mouth was opened and I was no longer speechless.
Ezekiel 37:1 ¶ The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones.
Ezekiel 40:1 ¶ In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was taken, on that same day the hand of the LORD was upon me and He brought me there.
Luke 1:66 All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, "What then will this child turn out to be?" For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.
Acts 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord.
Ivor Powell - Every person became aware that supernatural power worked through the visitors, but Luke expressed his convictions with the words, "The hand of the Lord was with them" (v. 21). Daily, large audiences listened to the gospel, and additional converts embraced the faith. They "turned unto the Lord;" that is, they renounced their former deeds and, forsaking idolatry, followed Christ. That was Christianity at its best. People whose profession of faith is not followed by a transformation of life style are shallow, unconvincing, and dangerous.
Acts 13:11 "Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time." And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand.
(Job 12:9) “Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, (Job 12:10) In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?
he hand of the Lord - Nothing can be disposed of without the good pleasure and providence of God, who hath the life and breath of all creatures, men as well as others, in His hand.
I. The present hand of God upon everything. 1. This is one of the doctrines which men believe, but are constantly forgetting. 2. This is a fact of universal force. 3. A truth worthy of perpetual remembrance. Child of God, see where thou art. Thou art completely in the hand of God. Thou art absolutely and entirely, and in every respect, placed at the will and disposal of Him who is thy God. Art thou grieved because of this? Does this doctrine trouble thee? Let your conversation be as becometh this doctrine. Speak of what thou wilt do, and of what will happen, always in respect to the fact that man proposes, but God disposes. To the sinner we say, Man, you are in the hand of God. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
A significant number of texts refer to the “hand of God” in various contexts. Basically, this concept refers to divine power and authority. For example, in regard to his people, Yahweh is said to “lift up his hand” against them as punishment for their rebellion against him (cf. Eze. 44:12). Sometimes “the hand of the Lord” was against them (e.g., Ex 16:3; Lev. 26:25; Jdg 2:15; Ru 1:13; Isa. 5:25; Eze. 20:15). The covenant curse is in view in Ex 16:3; Lev. 26:25. In a related sense, Yahweh is said to deliver his people “into the hands of … (their enemies)” as a punishment for their sin. This is particularly true at the time of the judges (cf. Jdg 2:14; 3:8 ff.); and the exile of both Israel and Judah (cf. Hos. 2:10; Ps 106:41; Jer. 20: 4 ff.; 32:25 ff.; Eze. 11: 9; 39:23; Ezra 9: 7). The “hand of Yahweh” is also stretched out against the enemies of his people in judgment — for example, the Canaanites (cf. Dt 2:15; Jos. 7: 7; Jdg 1: 4); the Philistines (cf. 1Sa. 5: 6 ff.; Eze. 25:16); Egypt (cf. Ex 3:20; 7:4 ff.; Isa. 11:15); and enemies in general (cf. Isa. 9:12, 17; Mic. 5: 9). “The hand of the Lord” is also referred to in regard to the prophetic endowment of the Spirit of God in preparation for the prophet to receive the divine word. This specific usage, however, is restricted to the prophet Ezekiel (cf. Eze. 1: 3; 3:14; 8:14; 37:1; 40:1). Other general references to the “hand of God/Yahweh” include his bringing Israel out of captivity “with a mighty hand” (Eze. 20:34); David pleading with God to “stay his hand of judgment” (2Sa. 24:16); and God’s “good hand of mercy” (Ezra 8:18ff.; Neh. 2:18). See also Ex 15:17; Ec 2:24. God’s “hands” are also indicated in contexts referring to divine creativity (e.g., Job 10: 8; Ps 119:73; Pr 31:31; Ec 2:11; Isa. 19:25; 64:8); as well as divine protection (e.g., Job 12:10; Ps 10:14; 73:23; Ec 9: 1;Jer. 31:32). Note especially the cry of the psalmist in Ps 31:5 Into Thy hand I commit my spirit;, anticipating the climax of Jesus’ death on the cross: “Into your hands, I commit my spirit.” Still in the context of divine initiative, there are a number of references to Yahweh delivering his people “out of the hands of (their enemies)” — for example, Egypt (cf. Ex 13: 3; Dt 1:27; Jdg 6: 9); Philistia (cf. 1Sa. 7:13, 14); and enemies in general (cf. 1Sa. 12:11; Eze. 13:23). See also Ps 18: 1; 31:15; 71:4.
Ken Hemphill - God is the owner, man is the manager, and therefore man's labor is from the hand of God.
Touched by the Master's Hand
"Now the hand of the Lord was upon me in the evening." Ezekiel 33:22
Sometimes as the day wears on there is a gloomness about our souls for we feel the chastening of the Lord. We should rejoice in such chastening for it is only His own loved ones which He chastens. Oh if only chastening brings my Lord I rejoice, I kiss the rod because of the One whose hand holds it and uses it.
But let us remember the hand of the Lord is upon us more often in mercy than in judgment. Judgment is His strange work.
Mercifulness is His daily occupation. His hand upon us—to encourage.
How encouraging is the touch of His hand! Just to know He's there, my Saviour who died for me that is the greatest encouragement I could have. But what is He there for?
A very present help in trouble. His encouragement is more than a match for all my discouragement.
O Lord let me feel your hand of encouragement this day.
His hand upon us—to enable.
What a mess we make of ourselves and our service. We have not learned that without Him we can do nothing. When we come to the end and like the prodigal reach ourselves (remember he came to himself) then His blessed hand touches us with the grace of enablement and we cry out joyfully, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me."
With that touch all things are within our capability.
His hand upon us—to entertain.
Entertainment is not a sole gift of the world as the devil would like us to believe. Christ right royally entertains his friends with the touch of the Master's hand. The feast that hand spreads, the wine that hand presents, the pleasures that hand creates produces an entertainment this old world never dreamt of.
Where His hand is at work there is fullness of joy unspeakable, and right there at His right hand there are pleasures for ever more.
Lord touch me this day with Thy Hand.
The Dry Bones Sermon
Ezekiel 37:1-10 (part one)
To do the work of God we require:
I. Divine Ordination
"The hand of the Lord was upon me" verse 1
The one thing essential is the hand of the Lord upon the preacher.
Elijah attended no school of the prophets but the hand of the Lord was upon him.
Elisha graduated neither from Bethel School of the prophets nor Jericho School of the prophets but the hand of the Lord was upon him. John the Baptist's only university was the wilderness but the hand of the Lord was upon him.
II. Divine Separation
"and carried me out" verse 1
We must be separated in order to do God's work in God's way. We must take the Separatist Position. Affiliation, incorporation, federation with ecumenicals must cease. That separation must be total—full—without exceptions.
III. Divine Motivation
"in the Spirit of the Lord" verse 1
We need to be motivated only by God's Spirit. The hand of the Lord puts us under the direction of the Spirit of God and makes us captive to the Word of God.
The Spirit of God never leads us contrary to His own Word. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Spirit of God.
IV. Divine Humiliation
"set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones" verse 1
Down amongst that which bore the curse and made the prophet ceremoniously unclean.
We must sit where they sit but still hate the garments spotted by the flesh.
Falling Into the Hand of the Lord
"And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait; let us fall now into the hand of the Lord: for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man." 2 Samuel 24:14
Trouble of Our Own Making
"I am in a great strait"
Many of our troubles are of our own making. Much of our food is of our own baking. When we choose the path of disobedience we reap the harvest of punishment. So it was with David. So it is with us.
Treatment of Our Own Choosing
"Let us fall now into the hand of God"
How would we be treated? We should always choose to fell into God's hand. In the greatest of troubles we are better to let go and let God. Falling into God's hands is always a soft fall.
Testimony of Our Own Experiencing
"for His mercies are great"
How vast and immeasurable are the mercies of God! They reach beyond our vision and soar beyond our calculations. To throw ourselves on God's mercies is always the softest of beds. Always make this right choice.
Ezra 7:6 the hand of the Lord. A variation of the striking clause, "the hand of the Lord his God upon him," occurs six times in Ezra (Ezra 7:6, 9, 28; 8:18, 22, 31) and twice in Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:8, 18). Both writers emphasize that their own remarkable accomplishments were by the protecting and enabling grace of God.
Genesis 9:5 "Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man's brother I will require the life of man.
Genesis 25:22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the LORD.
Genesis 42:22 Reuben answered them, saying, "Did I not tell you, 'Do not sin against the boy'; and you would not listen? Now comes the reckoning for his blood."
Exodus 18:15 Moses said to his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to inquire of God.
Leviticus 10:16 But Moses searched carefully for the goat of the sin offering, and behold, it had been burned up! So he was angry with Aaron's surviving sons Eleazar and Ithamar, saying,
Deuteronomy 4:29 "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
Deuteronomy 11:12 a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.
Deuteronomy 12:5 "But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the LORD your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come.
30 beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?'
Deuteronomy 13:14 then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you,
Deuteronomy 17:4 and if it is told you and you have heard of it, then you shall inquire thoroughly. Behold, if it is true and the thing certain that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,
Deuteronomy 17:9 "So you shall come to the Levitical priest or the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall inquire of them and they will declare to you the verdict in the case.
Deuteronomy 18:11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
Deuteronomy 18:19 'It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.
Deuteronomy 19:18 "The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely,
Deuteronomy 22:2 "If your countryman is not near you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall remain with you until your countryman looks for it; then you shall restore it to him.
Deuteronomy 23:6 "You shall never seek their peace or their prosperity all your days.
Deuteronomy 23:21 "When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the LORD your God will surely require it of you.
Judges 6:29 They said to one another, "Who did this thing?" And when they searched about and inquired, they said, "Gideon the son of Joash did this thing."
1 Samuel 9:9 (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, "Come, and let us go to the seer"; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.)
1 Samuel 28:7 Then Saul said to his servants, "Seek for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her." And his servants said to him, "Behold, there is a woman who is a medium at En-dor."
2 Samuel 11:3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"
1 Kings 14:5 Now the LORD had said to Ahijah, "Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to inquire of you concerning her son, for he is sick. You shall say thus and thus to her, for it will be when she arrives that she will pretend to be another woman."
1 Kings 22:5 Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "Please inquire first for the word of the LORD."
7 But Jehoshaphat said, "Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?"
8 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah." But Jehoshaphat said, "Let not the king say so."
2 Kings 1:2 And Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber which was in Samaria, and became ill. So he sent messengers and said to them, "Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I will recover from this sickness."
3 But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, "Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and say to them, 'Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?'
6 They said to him, "A man came up to meet us and said to us, 'Go, return to the king who sent you and say to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed where you have gone up, but shall surely die.'"'"
16 Then he said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron-- is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of His word?-- therefore you shall not come down from the bed where you have gone up, but shall surely die.'"
2 Kings 3:11 But Jehoshaphat said, "Is there not a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of the LORD by him?" And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, "Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah."
2 Kings 8:8 The king said to Hazael, "Take a gift in your hand and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, 'Will I recover from this sickness?'"
2 Kings 22:13 "Go, inquire of the LORD for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the LORD that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us."
18 "But to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the LORD thus shall you say to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel, "Regarding the words which you have heard,
1 Chronicles 10:13 ¶ So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the LORD, because of the word of the LORD which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it,
14 and did not inquire of the LORD. Therefore He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse.
1 Chronicles 13:3 and let us bring back the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul."
1 Chronicles 15:13 "Because you did not carry it at the first, the LORD our God made an outburst on us, for we did not seek Him according to the ordinance."
1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.
1 Chronicles 21:30 But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was terrified by the sword of the angel of the LORD.
1 Chronicles 22:19 "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise, therefore, and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy vessels of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the LORD."
1 Chronicles 26:31 As for the Hebronites, Jerijah the chief (these Hebronites were investigated according to their genealogies and fathers' households, in the fortieth year of David's reign, and men of outstanding capability were found among them at Jazer of Gilead)
1 Chronicles 28:8 "So now, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, observe and seek after all the commandments of the LORD your God so that you may possess the good land and bequeath it to your sons after you forever.
9 ¶ "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.
2 Chronicles 1:5 Now the bronze altar, which Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, was there before the tabernacle of the LORD, and Solomon and the assembly sought it out.
2 Chronicles 12:14 He did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.
2 Chronicles 14:4 and commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment.
7 For he said to Judah, "Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours because we have sought the LORD our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side." So they built and prospered.
2 Chronicles 15:2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the LORD is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.
12 They entered into the covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and soul;
13 and whoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.
2 Chronicles 16:12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians.
2 Chronicles 17:3 The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father David's earlier days and did not seek the Baals,
4 but sought the God of his father, followed His commandments, and did not act as Israel did.
2 Chronicles 18:4 ¶ Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "Please inquire first for the word of the LORD."
6 But Jehoshaphat said, "Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?"
7 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me but always evil. He is Micaiah, son of Imla." But Jehoshaphat said, "Let not the king say so."
2 Chronicles 19:3 "But there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God."
2 Chronicles 20:3 Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
2 Chronicles 22:9 He also sought Ahaziah, and they caught him while he was hiding in Samaria; they brought him to Jehu, put him to death and buried him. For they said, "He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart." So there was no one of the house of Ahaziah to retain the power of the kingdom.
2 Chronicles 24:6 So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said to him, "Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the levy fixed by Moses the servant of the LORD on the congregation of Israel for the tent of the testimony?"
22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which his father Jehoiada had shown him, but he murdered his son. And as he died he said, "May the LORD see and avenge!"
2 Chronicles 25:15 Then the anger of the LORD burned against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet who said to him, "Why have you sought the gods of the people who have not delivered their own people from your hand?"
20 ¶ But Amaziah would not listen, for it was from God, that He might deliver them into the hand of Joash because they had sought the gods of Edom.
2 Chronicles 26:5 He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him.
2 Chronicles 30:19 everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary."
2 Chronicles 31:9 Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.
21 Every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered.
2 Chronicles 32:31 Even in the matter of the envoys of the rulers of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that had happened in the land, God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.
2 Chronicles 34:3 For in the eighth year of his reign while he was still a youth, he began to seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, the carved images and the molten images.
21 "Go, inquire of the LORD for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book which has been found; for great is the wrath of the LORD which is poured out on us because our fathers have not observed the word of the LORD, to do according to all that is written in this book."
26 "But to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus you will say to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel regarding the words which you have heard,
Ezra 4:2 they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers' households, and said to them, "Let us build with you, for we, like you, seek your God; and we have been sacrificing to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here."
Ezra 6:21 The sons of Israel who returned from exile and all those who had separated themselves from the impurity of the nations of the land to join them, to seek the LORD God of Israel, ate the Passover.
Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.
Ezra 9:12 'So now do not give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and never seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever.'
Ezra 10:16 ¶ But the exiles did so. And Ezra the priest selected men who were heads of fathers' households for each of their father's households, all of them by name. So they convened on the first day of the tenth month to investigate the matter.
Esther 10:3 For Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews and in favor with his many kinsmen, one who sought the good of his people and one who spoke for the welfare of his whole nation.
Job 3:4 "May that day be darkness; Let not God above care for it, Nor light shine on it.
Job 5:8 "But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God;
Job 10:6 That You should seek for my guilt And search after my sin?
Job 39:8 "He explores the mountains for his pasture And searches after every green thing.
Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
12 For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
Psalm 10:4 The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, "There is no God."
13 Why has the wicked spurned God? He has said to himself, "You will not require it."
15 Break the arm of the wicked and the evildoer, Seek out his wickedness until You find none.
Psalm 14:2 The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God.
Psalm 22:26 The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever!
Psalm 24:6 This is the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face-- even Jacob. Selah.
Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.
10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.
Psalm 38:12 Those who seek my life lay snares for me; And those who seek to injure me have threatened destruction, And they devise treachery all day long.
Psalm 53:2 God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks after God.
Psalm 69:32 The humble have seen it and are glad; You who seek God, let your heart revive.
Psalm 77:2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness; My soul refused to be comforted.
Psalm 78:34 When He killed them, then they sought Him, And returned and searched diligently for God;
Psalm 105:4 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.
Psalm 109:10 Let his children wander about and beg; And let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes.
Psalm 111:2 Great are the works of the LORD; They are studied by all who delight in them.
Psalm 119:2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart.
10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
45 And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts.
94 I am Yours, save me; For I have sought Your precepts.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked, For they do not seek Your statutes.
Psalm 142:4 Look to the right and see; For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul.
Proverbs 11:27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.
Proverbs 31:13 She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.
Ecclesiastes 1:13 And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven. It is a grievous task which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.
Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.
Isaiah 8:19 When they say to you, "Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter," should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?
Isaiah 9:13 Yet the people do not turn back to Him who struck them, Nor do they seek the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah 11:10 ¶ Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.
Isaiah 16:5 A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, And a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; Moreover, he will seek justice And be prompt in righteousness.
Isaiah 19:3 "Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; And I will confound their strategy, So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead And to mediums and spiritists.
Isaiah 31:1 ¶ Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help And rely on horses, And trust in chariots because they are many And in horsemen because they are very strong, But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!
Isaiah 34:16 Seek from the book of the LORD, and read: Not one of these will be missing; None will lack its mate. For His mouth has commanded, And His Spirit has gathered them.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.
Isaiah 58:2 "Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways, As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God. They ask Me for just decisions, They delight in the nearness of God.
Isaiah 62:12 And they will call them, "The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD"; And you will be called, "Sought out, a city not forsaken."
Isaiah 65:1 ¶ "I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, 'Here am I, here am I,' To a nation which did not call on My name.
10 "Sharon will be a pasture land for flocks, And the valley of Achor a resting place for herds, For My people who seek Me.
Jeremiah 8:2 "They will spread them out to the sun, the moon and to all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served, and which they have gone after and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered or buried; they will be as dung on the face of the ground.
Jeremiah 10:21 For the shepherds have become stupid And have not sought the LORD; Therefore they have not prospered, And all their flock is scattered.
Jeremiah 21:2 "Please inquire of the LORD on our behalf, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is warring against us; perhaps the LORD will deal with us according to all His wonderful acts, so that the enemy will withdraw from us."
Jeremiah 29:7 'Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.'
13 'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 30:14 'All your lovers have forgotten you, They do not seek you; For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, With the punishment of a cruel one, Because your iniquity is great And your sins are numerous.
17 'For I will restore you to health And I will heal you of your wounds,' declares the LORD, 'Because they have called you an outcast, saying: "It is Zion; no one cares for her."'
Jeremiah 37:7 "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Thus you are to say to the king of Judah, who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: "Behold, Pharaoh's army which has come out for your assistance is going to return to its own land of Egypt.
Jeremiah 38:4 Then the officials said to the king, "Now let this man be put to death, inasmuch as he is discouraging the men of war who are left in this city and all the people, by speaking such words to them; for this man is not seeking the well-being of this people but rather their harm."
Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.
Ezekiel 14:3 "Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity. Should I be consulted by them at all?
7 "For anyone of the house of Israel or of the immigrants who stay in Israel who separates himself from Me, sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me for himself, I the LORD will be brought to answer him in My own person.
10 "They will bear the punishment of their iniquity; as the iniquity of the inquirer is, so the iniquity of the prophet will be,
Ezekiel 20:1 ¶ Now in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me.
3 "Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Do you come to inquire of Me? As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "I will not be inquired of by you."'
31 "When you offer your gifts, when you cause your sons to pass through the fire, you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "I will not be inquired of by you.
40 ¶ "For on My holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel," declares the Lord GOD, "there the whole house of Israel, all of them, will serve Me in the land; there I will accept them and there I will seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things.
Ezekiel 33:6 'But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman's hand.'
Ezekiel 34:6 "My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them."'"
8 "As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock;
10 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them."'"
11 ¶ For thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.
Ezekiel 36:37 ¶ 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "This also I will let the house of Israel ask Me to do for them: I will increase their men like a flock.
Hosea 10:12 Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.
Amos 5:4 For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel, "Seek Me that you may live.
5 "But do not resort to Bethel And do not come to Gilgal, Nor cross over to Beersheba; For Gilgal will certainly go into captivity And Bethel will come to trouble.
6 "Seek the LORD that you may live, Or He will break forth like a fire, O house of Joseph, And it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel,
14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said!
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?
Zephaniah 1:6 And those who have turned back from following the LORD, And those who have not sought the LORD or inquired of Him."