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While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, of the people wept bitterly. And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, of the songs of Elam, addressed Ezra: “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this.”
When I read this it made me realize that we are lacking in our reactions to the sin in our lives. They were distraught! They mourned over the sin in their lives and in the lives of any of God’s chosen people! They knew that what they had done was wrong and they all set out to make it right! They supported each other in holding each other accountable and helping to make things right in their lives before God.
What I love about these verses is the hope that is revealed! “We have sinned but there is hope in spite of it” because they knew that God is a god of mercy, love and forgiveness! They were broken over their sin, they weren’t just “caught”! They truly repented and were willing to make things right in their lives and to hold each other accountable so they wouldn’t be disciplined by God. They knew that they couldn’t and God wouldn’t just overlook their sin, they needed to confess, make things right with those around them and with God!
Why is it that as Christians we are so often complacent when it comes to sin. Just because so many people are doing it, that doesn’t make it right! We need to be like Ezra and be so shaken by the sin around us that it drives us to our knees to pray and ask God to bring conviction and to show mercy!
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God is good and God is faithful and He is a god who loves to forgive! 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Don’t allow sin to rule your life! Give it all to Him and allow Him to work in your life so you can become all He created you to be for Him!
“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.” ~ James Allen, ‘As A Man Thinketh’