Ezra 9 & 10: Hope In Israel
Verse of the Day: (10:2) And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.
1. Holy (9:1-15)
And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. (9:8)
It was not just the ruined Jerusalem and her walls and the house of God that Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah returned to rebuild them, but it was the spirituality of the people of Israel including their princes and rulers had committed immorality and idolatry. It was tragic as the reason why Jerusalem was in total ruin was because of the sins of Israel, and now after God delivered them out of captivity, they still returned to sin against Him. However, God never gave up on Israel, as He put into the hearts of Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah and a remnant to abide in Him and follow His Word. This was why Ezra tore his garment, plucked off his hair and beard, and wept and prayed to God. Indeed, let us flee from immorality and idolatry, and be holy before our holy God. (1 Peter 1:13-16)
2. Hope (10:1-18)
Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore. (10:1)
Though everything seemed hopeless in Israel as in the ruined city, walls and the house of God, and in particular, the sins of idolatry and immorality, yet Ezra continued to weep and pray, and had hope in Israel, and in his Almighty God. When the people thus saw him wept and prayed, they began to weep and pray and repent their sins. This was indeed the testimony of Ezra as a leader to his people. Let us therefore keep praying to God, and hope in Him, and He shall grant us His joy and peace now and forever. (Romans 15:13)
3. Hands (10:19-44)
And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass. (10:19)
The people of Israel repented their sins and gave their hands and hearts to God, and separated themselves from their unbelieving wives. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) It was a tough decision but they knew that they must obey God and flee from idolatry. Today, we still must obey God and marry only those who believe in Him. There is no other way but to only trust and obey God and lift up our holy hands before His holiness. (1 Timothy 2:8)
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to pray and flee from sins and obey and hope in You.