Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Confession Ezra 9

Ezra 9:8 "And now for a little space grace hath been showed 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."

Just a note. A nail was a very important object in these times. It was used, of course, to hold things together like wood. But even in my child hood, a nail was important to hang things on. We did not have fancy clothes racks and such, we'd drive in some nails in a row and hang our clothes there. Sure they got wrinkled but the cows, pigs and chickens didn't care.

The most important part of this verse to me, is 'a little space, grace' . Without grace we would all be in trouble.

v3 "And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonished."

Ezra has made the journey to Jerusalem but now has found out that the people had married people of the land which was expressly forbidden under the law. His word astonished, is a good description of how he felt. He then confesses the sin to God and wonders how God can show grace and mercy to such a people.

v6 "And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens."

There is a time, for a Christian, when we come face to face with our sin. It is when we are under, what is called, conviction. The Holy Spirit of God reveals to us our lost state. We know then that nothing we can do will bring us into reconciliation with God. We are altogether sinful. That is when we realize that Jesus is the only answer. He made the ultimate sacrifice for sin and was himself sinless, so he could represent, take our place, in the debt we owed for sin. That is why Ezra mentions 'grace' (unmerited favor). He realized it was not anything good they had done that they were brought back to Jerusalem but wholly because of God's grace.

The state of Jerusalem represented the spiritual state of Israel.

Nehemiah 2:17 "Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire; come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach."

Ezra 9:15 "O LORD God of Israel, thou are righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses; for we cannot stand before thee because of this."

Thank God for Grace. Refer to New Testament: Romans, Hebrews and others.

Ezra acknowledges the sin of the people.

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