Reflecting on God’s Word . . .

Ezra 9:5-7 NLT

[5] At the time of the sacrifice, I stood up from where I had sat in mourning with my clothes torn. I fell to my knees and lifted my hands to the LORD my God. [6] I prayed, “O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens. [7] From the days of our ancestors until now, we have been steeped in sin. That is why we and our kings and our priests have been at the mercy of the pagan kings of the land. We have been killed, captured, robbed, and disgraced, just as we are today. . . [15] O LORD, God of Israel, you are just. We come before you in our guilt as nothing but an escaped remnant, though in such a condition none of us can stand in your presence.”

Reflection . . .

Ezra, one of the prophets of the Old Testament, prays this prayer because the people had clearly disobeyed what God asked of them. They had intermarried with nations He clearly asked them not to and their leaders led them in this disobedience as a nation.

We may ask why intermarriage is so bad. The issue for them and for us is not intermarriage as we might see it, rather walking in obedience to what the Lord asks of us. If we are His people, then we have committed ourselves to following Him and doing as He asks. They walked in the exact opposite direction to God’s directive.

Are you walking with God according to His Word and doing what He is asking of you?

If not, then a prayer like that of Ezra is in order. Confess before the Lord and ask His forgiveness. Then, discover from His Word what He desires for you. Pray and ask the Lord for direction as you walk in His way.