ISSL Reflections April 11, 2021, Ezra 10:1-12 Post 2

Take time to refresh your reading of this week’s focus Scripture –

Who or what should be at the center of our attention in Ezra 9 and 10?


When Ezra is first brought to our attention in this account he is described as a priest, a descendent of Aaron, “a scribe skilled in the law of Moses,” and as one who “set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.” (Ezra 7:5-6, 10)

And then Ezra is told of how the faithlessness of the people of Israel and especially their leaders has been demonstrated …

… the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands, and in this faithlessness the officials and leaders have led the way.” When I heard this, I tore my garment and my mantle, and pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat appalled. Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice.
At the evening sacrifice I got up from my fasting, with my garments and my mantle torn, and fell on my knees, spread out my hands to the Lord my God, and said,
“O my God, I am too ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. (Ezra 9:1-6)

Should our attention be on these leaders who have not been faithful to the Covenant and the Torah, the law?

Or do we focus our attention on the people who have intermarried (and had children) with the people who are not followers of the covenant and the Torah?

Or the action proposed toward the women and their children …

Shecaniah son of Jehiel, of the descendants of Elam, addressed Ezra, saying, “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. 3 So now let us make a covenant with our God to send away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law. 4 Take action, for it is your duty, and we are with you; be strong, and do it.” 5 Then Ezra stood up and made the leading priests, the Levites, and all Israel swear that they would do as had been said. So they swore. (Ezra 10:2-5)

How do you place this situation and these actions in the context of Scripture in its entirety and its essential thrust and call on our lives?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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