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Ezra Nine: Brokenness

Ezra

Only one week left!

Real life.

I have some fun things up ahead and look forward to future Friday’s with you guys.

Today is all about chapter nine.

Let’s do an abbreviated recap.

Ezra learned the Israelites had intermarried among some of the locals (think Cannanites, Hitties, Jebusites...). When you read the chapter, you see he sort of lost his mind and literally pulled his hair out!

He sought the Lord in prayer and cried out to him in brokenness over their sin.

There’s a lot to cover here, but I want to only focus on two big elements.

1. Why was Ezra so distraught about these marriages?

There’s a ton of historical and biblical importance about just why exactly these intermarriages were such a big deal.

To keep it short, waaaay back in Exodus God made it very clear his people were not to marry other people of the land. 

Plain and simple.

The fact that the holy God said it should be reason enough.

However, one of the big reasons behind this command dealt with the gods these people worshipped. In merging these cultures and lives, the Israelites would turn away from the God who brought them out of Egypt and worship false idols.

If you’ve read the Old Testament, even for a few minutes, you know there was plenty of that going on.

God said it to protect his people from heartache and following after empty pagan gods.

No wonder Ezra was rocked by what was happened.

That’s great and all, but how does that apply today?

It applies in lots of ways.

We are called to guard our hearts and remain in fellowship with Christ.

It’s hard to do that if we are pursuing other “gods of this world.” Sure, maybe we aren’t saying “I dos” to Canaanites and Hittites, but maybe we are harboring bitterness, focused on work more than God, or not even acknowledging God in our lives at all.

1 John 5 tells us to “keep away from anything that might take the place of God in our hearts.”

Anything.

While it looks a little different in terms of what’s going on in chapter 9, it’s really not so different after all.

During the time I took my eyes of Jesus, I had lots of other things that took his place in my heart.

My masters program, other people that shouldn’t have, exercise, fitness, and almost anything else except Him.

It wasn’t until I woke up in the pig pods, to use a prodigal son analogy, that I realized just how far I had fallen.

I see why Ezra was so torn up. When was the last time we were torn up for sin? Broken for the way we have grieved the heart of God?

Because He feels it.

The Bible talks about how he delights in us (and even sings over us!), but Genesis is also very clear on how he feels sorrow from our rebellion, too.

I never want to hurt his feelings. I think brokenness over sin is something we (a collective “we") don’t want to take the time to deal with or take the time to ask for, but oh how we need it.

I think it’s also easy to rank our sin and not feel much brokenness over “small” sins compared to “bigger” sins.

Oh friends, it’s all sin.

I lived so long doing this very same thing. It desensitized my heart to sin until the sin became justification for more sin and more sin until I was over my head deep in sin that initially seemed so very benign.

We must ask God to break our hearts over the things that break his in order to fully obey and know him.

Whew! I sure want to keep going, but there’s another element I want to discuss from today’s chapter too.

2. I also want to touch on verse 15.

Ezra said these words thousands of years ago, but they are just as applicable today as they were then.

Verse

God is righteous and holy. Even on our best day, our very best day we still we could not stand before God.

Oh friends I’m so grateful that’s not the end of the story.

Yes, we couldn’t stand before God on our best day, but now we have a way.

Through Jesus, and through surrendering our lives to him, we can stand before God.

We can stand before him righteous, favored, adopted, and chosen. Just read the beginning of Ephesians if you don’t believe me.

Not only that, but the bible also says through Jesus we become royal priests and God’s very own possession. Ah how I love that!

We are not so different than the Israelites in this chapter, but through the grace of Jesus, we can now stand before him forgiven and as a new creation.

Oh how I long to be perfected in him, and I pray the Lord works in your heart too.

*****

Thanks for checking in today. I hope you’re gearing up for a good weekend! It’s going to be absolutely frigid here so I plan on baking my pumpkin protein bars as well as other healthy treats.

Catch up with you Monday!

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About

brittny I'm B-Love. Lover of God, my husband Will, my doggies, OU football, weight training, plyometrics healthy eating (mostly!), peanut butter, and all things health related. Buckle up and get ready for my constant embarrassing moments, health and fitness tips,and my effort to rely on Christ while living life in the real world. Follow me on Feedly! Sign up for monthly emails at blove@theblovelife.com!


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