On my first read through of chapters 9 and 10 of Ezra I now realize why I wanted to camp on Ezra 8. After all of the wonderful things that happened to this returning remnant of God’s chosen people to rebuild the temple and all they saw God do from His speaking on their behalf to the hearts of the Kings of Persia to allow them to go and even gave them protection and provision along the way, chapters 9 and 10 are a very sad ending to the story. I know the story isn’t over until it’s over but my heart is so heavy as I read through these two last chapters. Partly because I really don’t get to see the end of the story and want it wrapped up nice and neat. Maybe it is because God’s response is only seen in the third return of the remnant in Nehemiah. I know what God’s awesome response ultimately was. He sent His only begotten Son to die on that cross for the sins of all. That would include the disgraced remnant we read about in Ezra 9 & 10.
Today since this is only our read through and not our deeper study I am only going to touch on a couple of things that hit me on this time through about my God. Please let me know what you see here as I know God is speaking to your heart as you read through it too.
It is sad that after so much victory on the journey and God’s intervention in allowing them to rebuild the temple the people choose to turn their backs on Him and disobey the rules He had given them for living. If the truth be known the reason these last two chapters make me so sad is it hits too close to home. Chapter 9 verse 5-9 is a great picture of what we should do when we have sinned. Ezra takes responsibility. We see him fall on his knees and spread out his hands to the Lord in a prayer of confession. We see Ezra who in the last few chapters had talked about God’s gracious hand being upon him cry out in agony at the sins of the people. He was weeping and throwing himself down and crying out to God. It has been a long time since I have cried out to the Lord confessing my sin and maybe I have never done it like Ezra. That sure doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have. I have plenty to confess on a daily basis. I am afraid I just take for granted God’s grace and forgiveness.
Chapter 10 ends with lists of names again. This time these are the people who sinned against God and would pay dire consequences of losing wives and children in their sin. What I see about God here since we don’t see anything about His response to Ezra is that my sin is very personal to God. Saten is surely calling my sin out and attaching it to my name just as personally as he was with the remnant listed here in chapter 10. I am so grateful to my loving God that with the whole Bible I get to know the answer to what God’s response was to Ezra and these sinners. Jesus Christ His only begotten Son that He sent to the cross to die for our sins! As always the fact that He died for my sin and all other people’s sins from the beginning of time gives hope to this sad ending to the book of Ezra.
We have had some tidbits so let’s go back now to Ezra chapter 1 and begin to look a little deeper as we go through it to learn what we can about who our God is. As always, our goal is to grow in knowing God. I pray you will join me in this pursuit! I would love to learn what God says to you as we study together. Blessings!