EZRA‬ ‭10‬:‭7‬-‭17‬ ‭‬‬

“Then a proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles should come to Jerusalem. Those who failed to come within three days would, if the leaders and elders so decided, forfeit all their property and be expelled from the assembly of the exiles. Within three days, all the people of Judah and Benjamin had gathered in Jerusalem. This took place on December 19, and all the people were sitting in the square before the Temple of God. They were trembling both because of the seriousness of the matter and because it was raining. Then Ezra the priest stood and said to them: “You have committed a terrible sin. By marrying pagan women, you have increased Israel’s guilt. So now confess your sin to the Lord, the God of your ancestors, and do what he demands. Separate yourselves from the people of the land and from these pagan women.” Then the whole assembly raised their voices and answered, “Yes, you are right; we must do as you say!” Then they added, “This isn’t something that can be done in a day or two, for many of us are involved in this extremely sinful affair. And this is the rainy season, so we cannot stay out here much longer. Let our leaders act on behalf of us all. Let everyone who has a pagan wife come at a scheduled time, accompanied by the leaders and judges of his city, so that the fierce anger of our God concerning this affair may be turned away from us.” Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah opposed this course of action, and they were supported by Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite. So this was the plan they followed. Ezra selected leaders to represent their families, designating each of the representatives by name. On December 29, the leaders sat down to investigate the matter. By March 27, the first day of the new year, they had finished dealing with all the men who had married pagan wives.”
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Ezra‬ ‭10‬:‭7‬-‭17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

They stood out in the rain, shivering, waiting to hear how God would have them tear apart the lives they had built for themselves and return to him. Out of the tens of thousands, only four opposed this council. Though the people had quickly perverted God’s salvation from exile, here we see a path of grace for them once again. It required their unified confession and repentance. This wasn’t done on an individual level. They were called to stand before God as a unit and answer for what they had done. This wasn’t done in the comfort of the summer or even the comfort of a climate controlled building with a hot beverage and calming environment. It was a cold and wet and unenviable task that lay before them. Their responsibility was to show their heart posture by not being dissuaded by such things. This is desirable for our maturity. When our churches allow sin to creep in, we must stand in uncomfortability and call for truth to be read, judgement to pass and repentance to begin. Only the. Can we begin to see reformation truly take hold.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary

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