Tuesday, June 11, 2024

June 11, 2024

Ezra became aware of the sins committed by the people of Israel, having intermarried with the daughters of the land, which went against what God had told them because of their idolatry. He was so overwhelmed by grief that he plucked out the hair from his head and beard, tore his clothes, rent his mantle, and fell face down before them and asked mercy from God. 

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 astonied. Ezra 9:3

Upon realizing the gravity of their trespass against God, they who had intermarried, under the guidance of Ezra, made a solemn covenant with God. They pledged to send away their wives, a decision that must have been heart-wrenching. Ezra gathered all the people, giving them three days to comply; otherwise, they risked losing their inheritance. After gathering the people, Ezra instructed them in their decision. It took them about three months to handle their affairs and send away their wives. As a sign of their repentance, they offered a ram.

Though it looks pretty harsh, they were fearful of the wrath of God and probably didn’t want to go into captivity again, so they did what they were told. Once you’ve faced the wrath of God, you don’t want any part of it again. They were doing their best to follow God’s commands. Aren’t you grateful for your salvation through Jesus? We have nothing to fear because we are hidden within Jesus, who covers us and protects us from wrath. 

Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives. Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do. Ezra 10:11-12

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