Blessed be God, the God-of-Our-Fathers, who put it in the mind of the king to beautify The Temple of God in Jerusalem! Not only that, he caused the king and all his advisors and influential officials actually to like me and back me. Ezra 7:27 (MSG)
When I was a young man, I heard the adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” If I were to write a book on the most important life lessons I’ve learned along the journey, this one would be included. I was reminded of it again in today’s chapter.
Ezra was a bright man, there’s no doubt. He had a lot going for him. Nevertheless, the reason that he was allowed to return to Jerusalem with a “letter of transit” signed by King Artaxerxes (feel free to make your own Casablance reference here), was that he knew the king. More than knowing the king, he had the kings favor. As a result, the king gave Ezra “everything he asked for.”
In business, in church life, and in the community, I’ve found that knowing the individual who can make things happen is critical. But just knowing an individual is not enough. Having favor with the right individual is the key to accomplishing certain things. This is where character and attitude play a key role. In my experience, the granting of favor is derived from a mixture of God’s providence and grace and earning respect through a loving and genuinely faithful attitude of service.
God grant me favor with those whom you bring along my path, that I may accomplish your divine purpose in this life.