Oh poor Ezra. He had such a great mission to bring back the remnant Israelites to Jerusalem – so they could worship and sacrifice to the Lord as He requested – AND so He could return a remnant of David’s line of kings into the coming of the Savior, Light of the world…. Oh Ezra, he such prayers in praise to the Lord (for His Hand was on them) and THEN, Ezra found out the unfortunate truth that some of the people returned to Jerusalem had drifted in unfortunate unfaithfulness… This was not new for these people whom were often led by unruly rulers. But Ezra in his/His mission for his/His people wanted to get them all back on track…
The leaders reported back to priest leader Ezra (himself a multi-great grandson of Aaron, Moses’s brother): “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices… …And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”
Ezra KNEW that the Lord had been MORE faithful to His people than they had been to Him. THAT IS TRUE TODAY TOO, for sll times the Lord is more faithful, more patient… Ezra said: Lord, You have been so faithful and granted us this gift to return to you. Ezra fell on his face in prayer and tried to understand it. He concluded: our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved“…
This both acknowledged guilt and acknowledged that the Lord is the ONLY way out of our brokenness. This is true for us today too – when we are sitting in a world of brokenness or a sea of selfishness, we must realize that God is the Way. When we think of salvation, know Jesus came as ultimate sacrifice, and because we are not able to come up to God’s standards as broken humans, therefore GOD CAME DOWN TO US.
Ezra wept but then ROSE to keep going, to help the people by asking the Lord said WHY He was Good… Ezra remembered the prophecy and taught that there was a REMNANT, a LIGHT, a HOPE, coming to the world.
Ezra knew and taught HISTORIC HOPE. That’s a benefit of being a chronicler, that’s why we too should record our experiences and tell others of God’s faithfulness.
Hope… a light in the darkness. Thanks Ezra for sharing what you knew!
Ezra 9 excerpts
“When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice. Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God and prayed: “I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword and captivity, to pillage and humiliation at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today…But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage. Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.
*** ...our God, you have punished us LESS than our sins deserved…***