November 10th, 2016
When Ezra arrived in Jerusalem, he found that the Israelites had done exactly what God told them not to do–they had married women from other nations who served false gods. Ezra could have washed his hands of all this sin and stood back in self-righteousness. Instead, he tore his clothes, fell to his knees, and lifted his hands to the Lord in prayer.
Ezra led his nation and his people in confession of their sins. He took the sins of the nation on himself, taking responsibility for their sins and stepping into God’s presence in repentance of such sin, even though he himself had not disobeyed God in this way.
If we sin as individuals, we go before God humbly asking for His forgiveness. We sin as a family or as a church or as a group of people, and we humbly pray for mercy. We sin as a nation, and the appropriate thing to do is still to humble ourselves, fall on our knees in mourning, and beg the Almighty God of justice to have compassion on us and forgive us as a nation.
Author: Scott & Sherry Sherwood