(15 verses, 3:25 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Ezra repents in prayer and asks the Lord for mercy because of the people’s unfaithfulness, especially in regards to marrying foreign wives.
MARK & LEARN
- The LORD was always concerned that the sons of Israel would not take pagan wives. These marriages almost always lead directly to idolatry and a forsaking of the true God.
- The Most famous examples of this are, first, the incident of Baal at Peor (Numbers 25) and King Solomon (1 Kings 11).
- There are two major divisions in the prayer:
- 6-9, Where Ezra contrasts the people’s sin with the Lord’s kindness, and expresses his shame.
- 10-15, Where Ezra thanks the Lord for His mercy, confessing that He has been better than the people deserved.
- Ezra has a tender conscience, and it is on display. The sins of the people hurt him and bring him shame and distress. This is the mark of a Christian conscience, being troubled over our sin and the people’s sin. Ezra’s prayer reminds us to pray for a tender heart and soft conscience, that we would feel shame at the sin around us. “Grant us a tender heart, O Lord, that breaks over sin and is comforted by Your forgiveness. Amen.”
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