Ezra 9 Commentary
There is more at play when the saint decides to marry the Canaanite. One must first delete the dividing lines. One must first conclude that there is no difference between me and the potential Canaanite spouse.
Israel is exactly in this position once again. God’s people have not kept themselves separate from the Canaanites. They have adopted Canaanite practices. And in direct violation of the Law, there is even intermarriage. It is another low point.
Ezra knows far too much about the LORD and he physically trembles upon hearing the extent of Israel’s sin. The loving and faithful God doesn’t deserve this. Why is Israel responding to God’s grace with unfaithfulness? And the church leaders have led from the front in this unfaithfulness. Ezra is broken.
Real prayer involves an evocation of the word of the LORD. It becomes the standard by which we judge our conduct. The saint must see himself in this mirror. Ezra has shone a huge light of God’s word on the nation of Israel. The nation is wanting once again.
The difference between Ezra and the priests at the temple is this huge torch of the word of the LORD that Ezra is carrying. The priests don’t have it. They cannot, therefore, see what Ezra has seen. The LORD has provided His word to function as a light to the saint’s path.
Chapter 9 is inviting the reader to investigate their own Christian walk. Have I adopted the Canaanite practices? What has shaped my ambitions? What is my greatest want in life? How do I look at the world? What comfort do I get when I interact with the world or see the happenings in the world? What is the LORD’s take in all of this?
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