Ezra 10

Ezra 10 still has him confessing the people’s sins to God.  “While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly”.  He did it publicly, and from the bottom of his heart.  This was not a show.  He humbled himself as their leader and brought the gravity of the situation to the people.  Ezra was “mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles”.

It is one thing for Ezra to feel convicted, but he also has to make sure that flows to the people.  They were there watching him on his face before God weeping for their sin.  Because of his actions, the people were also convicted of sin and the need to confess and repent. They too were in sorrow over the sin.  Confession of sin is a foundational part of spiritual revival.  It happens when the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see the real condition of our heart.  That is when we know we are getting close to God.

The people hear the message that they have to separate themselves from any foreign wives.  Confession was step one, but repentance had to follow.  That meand taking action.  Ezra appeals to the people to take the hard step and repent from their sin.  The people agree to do what was required, although some asked for time to make the transition.  Then it was decreed that “if anyone did not come within three days, by order of the officials and the elders all his property should be forfeited, and he himself banned from the congregation of the exiles”.

Everyone had to be accountable.  They each were examined over a three month period to see if they had repented.  The chapter ends with a list of those whose wives refused to embrace the God of Israel and had to be divorced.  “On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to examine the matter; and by the first day of the first month they had come to the end of all the men who had married foreign women”.  One by one, the people came and were questioned in their obedience.  This was a big step in getting the people right with God.

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