Ideal Leader

In the Bible we come across a variety of leaders. Called by God for leading God’s people and fulfilling specific tasks, almost all of them were ordinary folks. They wouldn’t stand a chance if God had gone by their Curriculum Vitae. All of them had their flaws and failures. But God’s grace over shadowed them all. The only common factor was perhaps the humility they exhibited in accepting their inadequacy. We read very little about a man named Ezra. His was not a story of valor or adventure, but down to earth obedience and absolute integrity.

After these things, during the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Aaron the chief priest- this Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the LORD, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was on him. (Ezra.7:1-6)

Ezra the Man of God

Ezra was a priest, a descendant of Aaron the high priest. He devoted his life for the study, practice and teaching of the Word of God. He had God’s blessings and, through it, the favor of authorities. In all this he acknowledged the grace of God.

Ezra the Leader of God’s people

Ezra’s commitment to God and His Word was known to all. His leadership qualities were also evident. He knew God has a specific role for him to play and that he has an entry point as well as an exit point. After all it is God’s business, so, in spite of him the work of God should go on. He knew he can never do it alone. Thus he aligns himself with God’s long term plans. He had no ulterior motives or personal agenda to fulfill.

He prays

Ezra does the necessary homework before he embarks on his assignment. He enlists 38 Levites and 220 capable, committed workers. Then he calls for fasting and prayer. He realized the difficulties and challenges. He acknowledged his helplessness in humility. He expressed his absolute trust in the God of Israel. He prayed for God’s protection up on the team as they were carrying a lot of wealth (about 25 tons of silver, silver articles weighing about 3 3/4 tons , about 3 3/4 tons of gold, golden bowls weighing about 19 pounds) .

He prepares

Ezra’s leadership quality is evidenced in his detailed organization. He trusted his team members and delegated responsibilities to them. He left nothing to chance as he was handling God’s resources. He instructed his team about what to do. He weighed, verified and accounted all the wealth before handing them over. He reminded his associates that they as well as the resources are “sacred” to the Lord, that no one should dare touch anything. He also instructed them to weigh everything and tally it before handing over to the Temple staff. Thus, integrity was strictly maintained throughout the project.

He Credits God

When the job was done, Ezra remembered to give the credit to the God of Israel. He did not make any claims or bask in glory for whatever God had enabled him to do. He thanked God for the protection.

Praise be to the LORD, the God of our fathers, who has put it into the king’s heart to bring honor to the house of the LORD in Jerusalem in this way and who has extended his good favor to me before the king and his advisers and all the king’s powerful officials. Because the hand of the LORD my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me. ( Ezra 7:27-28 )

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