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May 20, 2017

At the conclusion of Ezra’s praying, confession and lamentation, a massive congregation of repented Jews gathered around him, and a spokesperson named Shecaniah addressed Ezra first acknowledging the trespasses of the people and then with the hope that if the nation repented God would possibly extend His mercy to them. He also proposed that Ezra make a covenant with the people requiring those who married foreign women to divorce them and to shun the children born to that union.

With the cooperation of his fellow countrymen, Ezra sent an order to the residence of Judah to gather themselves in Jerusalem within three days, and those that failed to assemble would forfeit their property and be excommunicated from the congregation. With all assembled Ezra shared the covenant proposal to which the people agreed; however, due to the adverse wintry months, they were experiencing they requested that Ezra allowed them to return to their homes and let the judges in their cities oversee this mandate with the completion date of three months given. At the end of the set time, Ezra and specified leaders sanctioned the findings and actions of the judges; plus a register of those that had married Canaanite women which included priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, and commoners was made. Thus, ends of the book of Ezra.

The gleaning points that I received from this chapter are:

  1. Those of us that can see the sins of our nation should be weeping, praying, and fasting for the nation.
  2. There is a need for national repentance.
  3. Our only hope is in God for we need His mercy to exist.
  4. Those that are willing and obedient will stand correction.
  5. No one is above the Law of God.
  6. Covenants are to be taken seriously.
  7. Separation from the world remains a mandate for believers.
  8. Repentance is not repentance if there is no change.
  9. The prosperity and blessings of God on a nation can be determined by the obedience of its people to the Laws of God.

I conclude this study of Ezra with a statement found in the Holman Bible Handbook, which I believe applies to all believers today as it was in the days of Ezra. “The Jews survived because they found their identity as God’s people not in nationalistic dreams but a renewed commitment to God’s Word.”


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