I’d like to mention two things from our text this morning. The first is found in 9:8-9 where Ezra, in his mourning over the sins of the people, points out that God had given them a “little reviving” from their slavery in Babylon to allow them to return and rebuild the temple and restore their life in the land. I thought of my prayers and hope that God would send revival and spiritual awakening to our nation. And my heart responded to this idea of how grateful I would be for a “little reviving” today. A “little reviving” in our church and in our land. Oh, how marvelous that would be.
But in the midst of this “little revival” there was still great sin among the people. This was the occasion of Ezra’s fasting, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God (10:1). The people had disobeyed God’s clear command and the heart of the leader was broken, which leads to my second thought today. Notice that the book ends (10:18-44) with a written list of the ones who had sinned against the Lord, naming their sin.
Can you imagine the public humiliation that would come with having one’s name on such a list? What would it be like today if the Lord were to go through our churches and publish a list of the people and their sins? Would there be as much repentance as anger? How would we respond to this public rebuke of our sins before the Lord? Shouldn’t we seek to live holy lives that we would not be ashamed to see made public at any time?
Prayer: Father, I am a sinner and I dwell among sinners. Would you be pleased to send us a “little revival?” God, convict us of our sin and humble us before you. Search us, O God, and know our hearts. Try us and know our thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting.