The scribe Ezra’s dedication to the word of God is chronicled repeatedly in Ezra Chapter 7. One such reference is found in verse 11, which describes him as “Ezra the priest, the scribe, learned in the words of the commandments of the Lord …”. That this verse reads, “in the WORDS of the commandments” should be instructive to us.
Ezra was not merely skilled in the “thoughts” or the “general concepts” of the commandments, but in “the WORDS of the commandments”. This teaches us that the individual words of scripture are each important; they are not trivial details. In fact, Jesus went even further than that, when He said in Matthew 5:18 that “not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law until all is accomplished”!
We see an application of the importance of each individual word of scripture, when Jesus responded to the test of the Sadducees in Matthew 22 regarding the resurrection by quoting from the Old Testament, “I AM the God of Abraham … He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” (Matthew 22:32) Jesus’ whole argument against these religious leaders hung on one present tense verb!
This is just another reminder to us that each individual word of scripture is significant! And because that is so, it is vital that we, just like Ezra, dedicate ourselves to knowing the importance of each one of them, and commit ourselves to practicing and teaching them.