“Now I, King Artaxerxes, decree that all the treasures of Trans-Euphrates are to provide with diligence whatever Ezra the priest, the teacher of the Law of the God of Heaven may ask of you,” —Ezra 7:21 NIV
“And you, Ezra, in accordance with the wisdom of your God, which you possess, appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice to all the people of Trans-Euphrates—all who know the laws of your God. And you are to teach any who do not know them.”
—Ezra 7:25 NIV
At TJC, we take commissions pretty seriously. It’s literally in our name. As Kingdom Men, we believe in and strive to live out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). We take a hold of the charge God gave to Joshua, and echoed by Ezra: “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go; to keep it on our lips and meditate on it day and night.” (Joshua 1:7-8 NIV)
This commission from King Artaxerxes is different from the others mentioned. This decree didn’t directly come from God, but from a cultural leader who did not share Ezra’s faith or worldview, yet he empowered Ezra with resources and authority. How could this be?
The answer is simple: Character. Ezra’s character was such that it drew attention and promoted action. His reputation was so compelling, even the ruler of Babylon took notice and acted on his behalf. Ezra was an excellent ambassador. In the midst of a hostile political and divisive culture, he did not participate in antics or rhetoric that pulled attention to himself. As a result, God caused a hostile ruler to do His bidding for Him and for His glory.
Daily Battle Order:
What is said about us as Kingdom Men matters if we want to have a positive meaningful impact. What do those who don’t have the same worldview or faith say about your reputation? Does your reputation prompt them to join you in your effort? or fight against you? Make time today to talk to the person in your life who sees an issue that’s important to you differently. Ask them, “Does my reputation persuade you to come alongside me or to oppose me on this?”