“What Shall We Say…”
“What Shall We Say…”
Ezra continues his prayer of confession and repentance…
“Now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments,
which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end and with their impurity.
‘So now do not give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and never seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever.’
“After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and our great guilt, since You our God have requited us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us an escaped remnant as this,
shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? Would You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape?
Ezra states “what shall we say…?”
They had forsaken the commandments of God.
Their guilt was beyond question.
In his repentance, Ezra specifically states the commandment they had broken, the sin they had committed.
We would do well to do likewise.
Too often we pray a vague “forgive our sins” mantra without truly repenting of the deeds.
The Lord had told them,
The Lord had warned them.
The land they were to possess was an unclean land.
The people of the land were an unclean people.
They had filled the land with their abominations and iniquity.
The people of the Lord were to have nothing to do with the uncleanness of the land nor people.
The people of the Lord…
- Were not to intermarry
- Were never to seek their peace
- Were never to seek their prosperity
So that the people of the Lord would…
- Be strong
- Eat the good of the land
- Leave the land as an inheritance to their sons forever
Ezra acknowledges the righteous judgment that had come upon them from the Lord.
He declares that they deserved more than the Lord gave.
There is mercy in the Lord’s judgment of their sin and iniquity.
The Lord had allowed a remnant to remain and return.
Ezra confronts the “elephant in the room”.
Should they break the Lord’s commandments again?
Should they intermarry with the people who commit abominations?
The unstated answer is “No!”
If they did, the Lord would be right in punishing them to the point of destruction and the lack of remnant.
Ezra acknowledged all this before the Lord and the Tremblers…remember, those who believed the Word of the Lord and trembled.
Do you believe?