For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.
Ezra devoted himself to three things concerning God's law:
- studying it (read part 1)
- observing it
- teaching it
While the study of God's word is essential for our relationship with Him, it is not a dry, academic study. Ezra wasn't just studying God's law but observing it, following it, living his life by it. Christianity is not a purely intellectual exercise, we are not trying to grow in our knowledge of a subject, but in our knowledge of a person. This should result in transformation of our heart and our life. I shouldn't read Jesus telling me to love my enemies and then put the Bible down thinking "that's a very interesting concept, imagine how different the world would be if Christians did that"! I should cry out to the Holy Spirit to transform my heart and enable me to love that person who really hurt me. We need to study AND observe God's word.