Read, Review, Reform!
Week 21: 19/05/2023. Fri
Ezra and company have already set off. But Ezra realised that something was amiss.
Ezra 8:15 I gathered them to the river that runs to Ahava, and there we camped three days. As I reviewed the people and the priests, I found there none of the sons of Levi. (ESV)
(1) Ezra compared his own study of the law of God and the current practice. He realised that only the "sons of Levi" could assist the priest (Number 10:13–28). We see that Ezra sought to lead his people by God's pattern as they start anew in Jerusalem. Shepherding by God's Word.
God's Word did not allow for anyone, merely with strong muscles, to carry the holy utensils or assist the priest. The "descendants of Phinehas" (8:2) served as priests, from the time of Aaron (Exod. 28:1, Numb. 25:11–). But it was not God's pattern for Aaron's family to do the task alone.
(2) Ezra reviewed the current situation, then took action. He sent for "leading men" (8:16,17), "men of insight" (8:16) and "a man of discretion" (8:18).
To please God, organise His people according to God's pattern. While every believer is made in the image of God (equals), the LORD did not flatten the organisation of His people to one flat level only. New Testament believers today see the organisation of believers bearing similar pattern to the Trinity God Himself–Father, Son, Holy Spirit—all persons fully God. Yet submission and co-working exist among equals.
REFLECTION: Where would you seek to find the "best practices" for organisation in your current ministry? A search engine, an artificial-intelligence chatbot, or the Word of God, following Ezra's example? Happy Friday!