Read Ezra 7:6 and Ezra 7:10. What do these texts teach us about the importance of proper religious education?
Ezra’s wholehearted devotion to God and his decision to study, practice, and teach the Word of God (Ezra 7:6, Ezra 7:10) prepared him for greater ministry in Israel. The biblical text literally states that he devoted himself to the studying, doing/making, and teaching of the Law of the Lord.
Ellen G. White provides an important insight: “Born of the sons of Aaron, Ezra had been given a priestly training; and in addition to this he had acquired a familiarity with the writings of the magicians, the astrologers, and the wise men of the Medo-Persian realm. But he was not satisfied with his spiritual condition. He longed to be in full harmony with God; he longed for wisdom to carry out the divine will. And so he “prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it”. Ezra 7:10. This led him to apply himself diligently to a study of the history of God’s people, as recorded in the writings of prophets and kings. He searched the historical and poetical books of the Bible to learn why the Lord had permitted Jerusalem to be destroyed and His people carried captive into a heathen land” – Prophets and Kings, p. 608.
“The efforts of Ezra to revive an interest in the study of the Scriptures were given permanency by his painstaking, lifelong work of preserving and multiplying the Sacred Writings. He gathered all the copies of the law that he could find and had these transcribed and distributed. The pure word, thus multiplied and placed in the hands of many people, gave knowledge that was of inestimable value” – Page 609.
Notice that though Ezra had learned of the ways of the pagans, he saw that they were not correct; thus, he sought to know the truth from the source of truth, which was the Word of God and the “law of the Lord”. He had to unlearn a great deal of what he learned at the worldly universities, because, no doubt, much of what they taught was wrong. After all, how much good were “the writings of the magicians and the astrologers” going to do him?
|In what ways, even today, might we need to unlearn a lot of what we have been taught from the world?|