July 30, 2017
Ezra 9-Part 5
LET IT GLOW
Give 'em what they deserve. Look at what they did to me. Bring it on, Lord. Sure people deserve to be punished for the wrongs they do to us. After all, we are a child of the King. But what about when we hurt others? Do we want justice or mercy? When the tables are turned, it is a different story, isn't it? We talk out the other side of our mouth. Dear one, experience has taught me that leaving it to God to recompense the wrong, His punishment is far worse than I could ever give or think of doing.
Well, Ezra knew what his people deserved, but he was including himself in with them. They all needed God's mercy and so do we. Shall we see what happened?
How excited and hopeful Ezra and his returnee Jews must have been to be in Jerusalem and the Temple. On the fourth day, they worshiped God, made sacrifices, and checked the treasures from the king they had brought.
Then the bomb hit him-Ezra found out the first group of Jews, after 57 years, had strayed away from God's commands, taking on the ways of the heathens, marrying unbelievers, and worshiping their idols.
Ezra must have been mortified, for this news of unfaithful Jews knocked him to his knees praying to his God, including himself with his brethren:
- First was Ezra's confession of Israel's past sins. (verses 5-7)
- Next was his confession of God's goodness to them. (verses 8-9)
- Then he confessed their present sins. (verses 10-12)
- Last, Ezra confessed Israel's unworthiness of God's goodness toward them. (verses 13-15)
The next time we cry out for justice to be done upon those who treated us unfairly, remember the judgment we deserve due to our sins. Let us plea for God's grace and mercy instead of His judgment.
LET IT GROW
In verses 13-15, Ezra confessed their unworthiness of God's goodness because:
- of their terrible wickedness and guilt;
- of God's goodness(He had punished them less than they deserved);
- they were again breaking God's commandments-mixing unbelievers and their evil ways;
- they deserved God's judgment;
- of God's righteousness;
- they were only a small remnant-once again guilty before God and not worthy to stand in His presence.
The only places Ezra describes God as being righteous appears in verses 8 and 15. In the Hebrew language, righteous, tsaddiyq (tsad-deek'), means just, lawful.
Consider this-God is a righteous God, committing no sin. We are sinners, committing no righteousness. Our righteousness are as filthy rags, Isaiah 64:6 tells us. We fall short of God's standards. However, His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sis, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.(1 John 1:9)
Through the blood of Jesus, which He shed on the cross, we can be made right with God. It is our sin that separates us, but Jesus who is our bridge to God. Are you right with God today, my friend?
Was Ezra admitting that the Jews did not get all that was coming to them? That they deserved more punishment for their sins than they received?
Only the mercy of God, the confession of sin, the sacrifice of Christ, and the grace of God could make it possible for Him to save these people, restore and revive them. God is going to do all of these things because of the prayer of Ezra. The remnant that was there will cry out to God for mercy. When we take that position, God is ready to hear. (J. Vernon McGee)
LET IT GO
... of the hurts and let God handle the pain.
... of the wrongs and let God make it right.
... of sin and seek the Savior.
... and thank God for His mercies.