Josh Gates has a degree in archeology and a thirst for adventure. You may know his name from his television show “Expedition Unknown.” In that show Gates travels the world to archeological sites and remote villages trying to find clues to historical and mythical mysteries. The show is full of historical trivia, exotic locations, Gates’ childlike joy at discoveries, and his sense of humor. The downside of the series is that there is rarely any real conclusion. Finds lead to more clues but on the show Gates and his team almost never find exactly what they are looking for. Their desire and that of their audience is left unfulfilled. Oh how I long for them to find a map room that will have a place to place a pole of a specific height so that the light from the sun at a certain time on a certain day will shine through a jewel and point the way to the treasure. Wait, I think I saw that in a movie . . . something about a lost ark.
What does your heart desire?
What does your heart desire? Are you looking for treasure in fame, business success, wealth, happiness, world peace, that beautiful or handsome certain someone, or a jelly doughnut? Does your heart desire a rich fulfilled life? Do you desire to be right with God? Do you treasure an eternal home in paradise?
Ezra was a man seeking treasure in God. His example gives us a specific guide to a rich, fulfilled, godly life.
“For Ezra set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rule sin Israel.” (Ezra 7:10)
- Ezra “set his heart.” His heart had a desire. There was something he was after. He had a deep longing.
- He set his heart “to study the Law of the Lord.” Ezra knew that man’s way in not in his own imagination or wisdom, but that the way to a fulfilled life is knowing what God’s will says. God’s Law – scripture – tells us God’s will. We do not wait for a still small voice or a shout from heaven. God tells us His will in His Word. In the Law of Christ we have everything we need to know for life and godliness.
- Yet knowing the Law of the Lord was not enough for Ezra. He desired “to do it.” Somehow many Christians know a lot of the Bible. They know a lot of memory verses and Bible stories, but there remains a disconnect to life. We know what the Good Book says, but we don’t always do it. Sometimes I think we feel confident in our knowledge but ignore our lack of self-application. When I am reading God’s word and when examining my life, I see that I am not living up to God’s desire for me, the text is demanding that I make changes in my life. I need to just do it!
- Then after setting his heart to study the Law and to do it, Ezra’s desire was to “teach (God’s) statutes and rules” to others. One of my favorite lines from Jim Carey’s portrayal of the Grinch is when he is in his lair going through his calendar and reads, “5:00, Solve world hunger, tell no one.” That is a glimpse into the narcissistic heart of the Grinch. If as a child of God, I study God’s will and I try to live as I should, but I keep the treasure of salvation from wrath to myself, I am as self-serving, greedy, narcissistic, and evil as the fictitious Grinch. What we learn we must teach others who will also pass it along.
What is your heart’s desire?