Vs. 2, “They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.” This was a discouraging time for God’s people as they broke the law (Ex. 34:16). We are exhorted not to be unequally yoked and that is what was happening by God’s people marrying unbelievers (II Cor. 6:14). This was something that people of all classes including the Levites, priests and leaders of Israel. The heart of the matter lied in the fact that they were turning away from God and being influenced by their pagan marriages to turn to idolatry. This was a shocking turn of events for Ezra and he was certainly ashamed by this. The Lord had done so much for them and this is how they were responding. Yet, we see a wonderful prayer lifted up to God.
Regarding application…Do we deserve it? Vs. 13, “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.” Often times in our lives there is a sense of “entitlement”…as if we deserve to have good things come our way. We sacrificed all these years of schooling, so we deserve a good career. We sacrificed all these years of serving God, so we deserve to be blessed. We gave so much time to others, so we deserve to receive. Yet, we are poignantly reminded that we are sinners and deserve nothing. But God’s grace has given us acceptance and love. God is the giver of good things and it’s truly a blessing any time God chooses to bless us. But may we never take for granted the things He has given to us. None of us are deserving…thankfully, it’s nothing we can do that makes us any better. We just need to be humble and strive to live daily for our Lord.