Ezra, however, epitomizes all that was right with those people. I just love his character and how he demonstrates a genuine love for the Lord.
His character is introduced in Ezra 7:
7:1 Now after this, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, 2 son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub, 3 son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth, 4 son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki, 5 son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the chief priest— 6 this Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses that the Lord, the God of Israel, had given, and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him.
9 For on the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylonia, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, for the good hand of his God was on him. 10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.
And we find that he's skilled in the Law of Moses, with Scripture making the immediate connection to "the hand of the Lord his God was on him." He had set his heart to study the Law and to teach God's statutes and rules in Israel. What conviction and genuine love for the Lord! I love how abundantly he is blessed because of his love for the Lord. By grace, God had given him favor with his king, protected him from his enemies, used him to bring Israel to repentance, and basically had done all these awesome things. Ezra's prayers of thanksgiving and repentance simply blow me away.
Oh may the Lord awaken in me a heart for His Law, to see it as Wisdom,the source of all Truth. A heart that seeks to be obedient in all things, even the little ones. Trusting ever more in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in spite of my enemies, in spite of my friends. You have been ever so gracious to me, a sinner. Grant more in increasing measure that I may fear and obey!