"'But now, O our God, what can we say after this? For we have disregarded the commands you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: "The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance."'" NIV translation
Ezra shares his frustration at the fact that the people have turned away from God's instructions even as they received His mercy. He recounts God's instructions for His people to remain separate when they first entered the land and yet they have now intermarried with those same people. In our world today, it seems that marriage is not taken seriously as people are even marrying their own sex. But, here, we are reminded of how seriously God takes purity in marriage and how it affects the next generation.
"'What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins have deserved and have given us a remnant like this. Shall we again break your commands and intermarry with the peoples who commit such detestable practices? Would you not be angry enough with us to destroy us, leaving us no remnant or survivor?'" NIV translation
You can almost feel the anguish as Ezra admits to God that it is crazy to continue to fall into the same sin and expect God to overlook it. He acknowledges the fact that God would be right in completely eliminating them for their continued disobedience.
"'O Lord, God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.'" NIV translation
Without making excuses, Ezra admits their guilt and calls out to God. In our world today, we do not want to acknowledge our sin as sin. Instead, even leaders in the church, want to change the definition of sin to justify our behavior. We must be like Ezra and acknowledge the fact that we are guilty and He is righteous.