“…the good hand of his God was upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.” –Ezra 7:9-10
This wonderful passage from the Old Testament book of Ezra is just perfect for teachers, and Christians in general. There is a pattern here that takes self discipline and maturity, and should be taught to students. A pattern we all should emulate. Ezra prepared his heart (cleaned out any sin or preoccupied thinking is my guess) and probably prayed, then studied God’s Word, and then applied God’s Word to what he was doing. Then he taught that to others. He studied and practiced God’s laws in his own life before he taught it to others. This is a common sense “recipe” for successful teachers. It is a recipe that should be followed in order for Christian teachers to be obedient and used by God. Here are the ingredients of this recipe, which MUST be done in this order:
- Prepare our heart
- Seek God’s Word
- Do God’s Word
- Teach God’s Word
The Persian King Artaxerxes (the pagan ruler of the world) was so impressed with Ezra’s knowledge of the Bible in that day, and with his character and presentation that he let him and his people (Jews) free and to return to Jerusalem, he even authorized and set up funding for them to rebuild the Temple of the Lord.
There is a little more applicable to Christian school and home school teachers in the next chapter:
“…that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and our possessions.” -Ezra 8:21
Here we see another pattern or recipe to follow:
- Humble ourselves before God
- Seek from Him the right way:
- For us
- For our children or students
- For our possessions
To prepare our heart so we can seek God’s Word simply will not happen if we are not humble. Humility before God means no pride in us at all and only focusing on God and His purposes, not ourselves. That puts us exactly in the proper posture for Him to speak to us through His Word so we can wisely discern what is the right way for us and for our children/students, as well as proper use of the possessions He has blessed us with for His glory.