PREPARING THE HEART FOR TRUTH
“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.” Ezra 7:10
Ezra was a priest and a scribe. His occupation was in the studying and transcribing of the Word of God. “This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given” (Ezra 7:6). The journey from Babylon to Jerusalem took four months. Ezra gives us a transforming truth regarding our preparation to receive God’s Word. Ezra wisely recognized the condition of his heart as it related to the Word of God. He realized that the study and understanding of the Bible was not merely academic or intellectual. He “prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD.”
The Bible is God’s Book. It is a spiritual Book, a supernatural Book that cannot be comprehended on a purely academic level. God reveals His Truth to us from the Word of God. We should seek to understand the Bible and to learn and apply the principles of Scripture. The Holy Spirit is given to us to reveal God’s truth to us. The unsaved man does not have the spiritual capacity to understand the Word of God. The condition of our hearts will determine our ability to receive God’s truth. Ezra also prepared His heart to “do” the law of the LORD. Not only is the heart a factor in learning truth, it is also key in the matter of obeying truth. It is one thing to know what God says; it is another to do what God says. For man to consistently obey the Word of God and follow its teaching requires a heart that is surrendered and yielded to God and truth.
Lastly, Ezra prepared his heart to “teach” the Word of God. To teach the Bible is a tremendous responsibility. One cannot communicate God’s truth effectively in the energy of the flesh. Ezra was what one might consider a “professional” Bible teacher, yet he dared not teach without his heart being right. Before attempting to teach the Bible, the heart of the teacher should be prepared. It is inconceivable that we would undertake opening the Word of God and seeking to explain the truths contained therein without seeking to have a prepared heart. As we consider the importance of the heart of the teacher, should we not also think of the heart of the student? If we are going to get the most of our Bible reading and study, as well as the preaching services, we must come with prepared hearts.