In our breakfast readings we were in Ezra.
Ezra was a priest with a passion for the honour of the Lord. This was shown in a number of ways:
- His devotion to the Scriptures; his passion for knowing them, and for teaching them to those who had returned from the captivity,
- His immense grief when the people departed from the commandments given through Moses about mixed marriages,
- And his insistence that something be done about it.
Recently a younger person asked me why I was the way I was. I could not give a simple answer; and tried to explain that many factors had contributed to make me the person I am. I’m sure we all have pondered these things. What role does genetics, childhood training, schooling, work experience, etc. play in forming our character?
However, one little item sprang out from our reading of Ezra 7: that Ezra was a direct descendant of Phinehas. Phinehas was the one who was zealous for the honour of the Lord as we read in Numbers 25. One of the results was that the Lord made a covenant with him: ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’
Fourteen generations later (if my count is correct) we have Ezra, a man very much like his ancestor.