Friday, February 16, 2018

Year 8, Day 47: Ezra 9

Theological Commentary: Click Here

As Ezra sets up the worship, he is alerted to the fact that many of the Hebrew people have intermingled with non-Hebrew people.  In the Western melting-pot mindset, we typically don’t see the big deal about this.  In the pre-Christian Hebrew mindset, keeping the bloodlines pure had more to do with maintaining religious purity than anything else.  As other nations were married into Hebrew families, the chance that people would start worshipping other gods increased.

I love how Ezra handles this moment.  Ezra immediately goes to pray about it.  When he prays, he doesn’t make excuses.  He doesn’t make light of it.  He doesn’t try to blow it off.  In fact, Ezra is clear how serious he takes the situation when he says that the Lord has been far more gracious than the people deserved.  That’s what I love about Ezra’s leadership.  Ezra understands the breadth of human sinfulness.

I think that this is one important dynamic in spirituality that often gets overlooked.  We want to hear about forgiveness, and we should.  We want to hear about God’s promise, and we should.  But, we must understand our need to hear about the consequences of our sinfulness as well.  As we see in this chapter, it is our understanding of our sinfulness that teaches us a proper understanding of God’s graciousness towards us.