Today's passage: Ezra 10
- By God's grace, Ezra was not the only one in Israel who was grieved by the sin of the people.
- This would have been quite the scene. This was a large gathering of contrite people brought together to repent and turn from their sin, under a downpour of rain.
- The entire process of purifying the people took three months (Verses 16-17). This was not a simple verbal confirmation, they saw this vow through to the very end of it's fulfilment.
- The problem was widespread enough they knew it couldn't be dealt with efficiently in only one location at one time (Jerusalem). Local leaders were needed to carry out the repentance process.
- These actions seem extreme to our modern sensibilities, yet they sought to carry out God's command for the nation of Israel from Deuteronomy 7:1-6. These unlawful marriages were to end. The children who would be turned away from God by their pagan parents were to remain with that parent.
- Sin brings on more consequences and pain than we would expect.
- We are not in the place to choose the consequences of our sin.
- It is very hard to do everything just right when responding to sin.
- With that in mind, it's helpful to remember that this book is a book of history, not any new commands. We read in this passage the people of Israel seeking to repent of their sin, but we don't get to see the whole picture. One would hope these women and children were at least sent away with appropriate provisions. It is hard to think about.
Questions to consider:
- What is the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:8-12)? When we are angry with our consequences or critical of other people's actions in response to our sin, where is our heart? What will true repentance look like?
- How does humility and love for one another totally change our perspective about our own sin and the way it impacts others? How does love fulfill the law (Galatians 5:14)?
- What was the greatest consequence of our sin and what has it purchased for us forevermore (Romans 6:5-11)?