Ezra Chapter Nine part 2, A study of Ezra 9:5 & 6, Ezra 9:7 & 8, and Ezra 9:9 with our Common Man's Commentary

Ezra 9:5 & 6

"Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God and prayed: 'O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.'" NIV translation

Ezra then went to God in prayer. We see that he had his "hands spread out" as a sign that he was not holding back anything or trying to hide anything from God. He went on to identify with the people in their sin and claim it as his own even though he had not married one of these women. As priests of God, Christians cannot distance themselves from what is going on in our society. We must identify with the sins of the people just as Ezra did and take it to God. We notice that he did not make excuses or try to change God's mind about the sin but simply confessed it and cried out to God. Today, the problem is that many Christians have decided that God's definition of sin is not true. Instead of crying out to God as Ezra did, we tell the people that God loves them and would never judge them. Although this is what they want to hear, it does not change the fact that God is the Creator and owner of all things. Therefore, He is the only one who can define sin and His definition has not changed.

Ezra 9:7 & 8

"'From the days of our forefathers until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword and captivity, to pillage and humiliation at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today. But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.'" NIV translation

The prophet recounts the fact that the people had a history of turning from God and facing exile at the hands of foreign kings. He acknowledges that it is only the grace of God that has brought them back to Jerusalem.

As with them, it is only the grace of God that restores our relationship with Him.

Ezra 9:9

"'Though we are slaves, our God has not deserted us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.'" NIV translation

Ezra tells of God's mercy on His people and the fact that He has blessed them with the opportunity to rebuild. He also recounts how God protected them when they did not have a wall around the city.