v 10 Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel.
Ezra must have had a lot on his mind as he set about helping the nation of Israel resettle in the land God had given them. The King of Persia, Artaxerxes, had given permission for people to return to Jerusalem. He had even given a letter to Ezra (you can read it if you want to beginning at verse 11) authorising Ezra to govern the land. The instructions in v 25 are quite explicit. ‘And you, Ezra, are to use the wisdom your God has given you to appoint magistrates and judges who know your God’s laws to govern all the people in the province west of the Euphrates River. Teach the law to anyone who does not know it.’
So Ezra set about studying the law of God – the Mosaic law at that time – and was determined to live in obedience to the commands. More than that, he had a desire to teach others what he found there. That involved study, obedience, and the skill to communicate with and lead others – the marks of good leadership.
Ezra was a man who practised the presence of God as he discovered God’s will and set out to obey it. If you are able to read on into chapter 8:21 you will see how this works out in practice.
And there by the Ahava Canal, I gave orders for all of us to fast and humble ourselves before our God. We prayed that he would give us a safe journey and protect us, our children, and our goods as we travelled. For I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemento accompany us and protect us from enemies along the way. After all, we had told the king, “Our God’s hand of protection is on all who worship him, but his fierce anger rages against those who abandon him.” So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer.