“While Ezra was praying and making confession, weeping and prostrating himself before the house of God, a very large assembly, men, women and children, gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept bitterly.” Ezra 10:1 NASB
Ezra clearly created a scene. As a man who had come to Jerusalem to be a leader, he might have acted act in ways that were more dignified and politically correct. Yet there he was, in a public place, showing no restraint, “praying and making confession, weeping and prostrating himself.”
Some watched and listened, and became convicted by the same concerns that had moved Ezra. They joined him, weeping bitterly, distraught by their unfaithfulness. By how they had been living and decisions they had made. By the ways that they had disobeyed God and violated His Word.
We can imagine how others have reacted differently. How some may have remained aloof, watching with curiosity. They may have wondered why Ezra was acting in this way. Some may have criticized him for being too emotional. Others may have thought that he was too much of a fanatic. That he was going too far.
But Ezra could not react any other way. As a serious student of God’s Word, he was passionate about serving Him, and keeping His commandments. His heart had been crushed by what he discovered in Jerusalem. He saw God’s people ignoring His Word, living in ways that Ezra knew would displease Him. He saw how many of His people (including many leaders) had been unfaithful.
Who gathered with him? These were people “who trembled at the words of the God of Israel on account of the unfaithfulness of the exiles” (Ezra 9:4).
Ezra was a person who was sold out for God. The same kind of commitment was displayed by the Apostle Paul, who gave up everything to spread the Gospel. This is not a social relationship but a commitment of the core of our being. Deep and complete, with no reservation.
PrayerFather, give me a greater passion for the Gospel. I commit everything in my being to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Pray that the Inspiration Ministries’ staff would be more passionate for the Gospel.
Extended ReadingEzra 10