But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. (Ezra 10:2)
SMALL CHILDREN are often great reminders of just how difficult it is to confess the truth when a wrong has been committed. Little Bobby can confidently say that he did not eat any of the cookies, even though there is chocolate smudged around his lips. Susie can vehemently deny drawing all over her baby sister, while holding the markers behind her back. However, children are not the only ones who struggle with confession. It seems a part of human nature to resist confessing we have done something wrong.
While this passage may ring strange to the twenty-first-century reader, we must remember not to lose sight of the call to repentance offered by Ezra. This passage shows Ezra, with full emotions and passion, crying out to God, confessing on behalf of his fellow Israelites. This call to repentance came at a critical time in the history of the nation of Israel. Jerusalem had been captured by the Babylonian empire years prior and the temple had been destroyed, leaving the people without a clear national and religious identity. Under the new Persian Empire, Ezra was allowed to return to Jerusalem with other exiled Israelites to rebuild the temple and reestablish their religious identity. First though, confession and repentance were needed.
What might God be asking you to repent of today? What areas of your life need to be confessed?
Find hope and freedom in repentance.
Mark Moore is the spiritual formation pastor at Faith Legacy Church in Sacramento, California, and an auxiliary professor at William Jessup University.
© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.