Tag: Deuteronony 28:1-14

Trembling at God’s Word

Scripture reading for May 6th: Ezra 9-10

“For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” Ezra 7:10

Ezra was a devoted man with a priestly calling on his life.  He understood from the study of God’s Word, that obedience brought blessing and disobedience brought a curse. (Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 14-15)  He had devoted himself to obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those in Israel to do the same.  God’s gracious hand was upon him as he set out for Jerusalem.  (Ezra 8:22)  His task was primarily spiritual restoration.  The broken down state of the temple was a symptom of the deterioration of the spiritual life of God’s people and the result of forsaking obedience to the Law of God.

Ezra arrived in Jerusalem and began to set things in order. It came to his attention that the priests and Levites had not kept themselves separate from the pagan peoples and practices of the Canaanites.  They had inter-married and this had led to idolatry and unfaithfulness to the Lord.  (Ezra 9:1-2)  Ezra responded by humbling of himself before the Lord.  He tore his clothes, pulled hair from his head and beard, and sat down appalled until evening.  Others who “trembled at the words of the God of Israel” sat with him.  (Ezra 9:3-4)  Ezra then prayed a prayer of confession and repentance that poured out the grief and anguish that they were feeling for the sins among God’s people.  (Ezra 9:6-15)

But repentance isn’t complete with just “trembling at the Word of God”.  True conviction of sin leads to action.  In this case, a convocation was called in three days to deal with this situation and an investigation brought out those who had disobeyed the Lord.  One hundred eleven men are listed as guilty of mixed marriages and they agreed to send their wives away.  What a serious turn-around and costly action was taken to bring God’s blessing on His people again! 

Have you ever ‘trembled’ at God’s Word? Why isn’t the ‘trembling’ enough to satisfy our need of cleansing and forgiveness?  May our trembling lead to action that brings true repentance that leaves no regrets.  (2 Corinthians 7:9-11)

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