If I Were The Devil
Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to
teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel (v.10).
In the foreword of R. C. Sproul’s book Knowing
Scripture, J. I. Packer writes: “If I were the devil . . .
one of my first aims would be to stop folk from
digging into the Bible. . . . How? Well, I should try to
distract all clergy from preaching and teaching the Bible,
and spread the feeling that to study this ancient book
directly is a burdensome extra which modern Christians
can forgo without loss. . . . At all costs I should want to
keep them from using their minds in a disciplined way to
get the measure of its messages.”
With that said, you have to believe that Satan
was once ticked at the prophet Ezra. For Ezra “had
determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and
to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of
Israel” (7:10). The prophet was known as a “scribe who
was well versed in the Law of Moses” (v.6), and one
“who studied and taught the commands and decrees of
the Lord to Israel” (v.11).
I picture Ezra sitting at his desk, carefully copying the
holy Word of God. From time to time he pauses to—in
the words of German poet Rainer Maria—“lean back
and close his eyes over a line he has been reading
again, and let its meaning spread through his blood.”
Our reason for studying the Bible is simple—we have
a covenant relationship with God. As we study His
Word, we’re better able to understand His commands.
We need to consistently select an hour, quiet our hearts, and carefully examine
the Scriptures. But we need both understanding and application. This tandem
will allow us to reveal its life-changing wisdom to others.
Get the devil mad this week as you dig deep into God’s Word and apply its
—Poh Fang Chia.
Read Psalms 19:7 to see why it’s important to study, obey, and teach
What will you do to begin truly studying God’s Word? How does
applying God’s Word to our lives affect both us and others?