Wow! Week 15 of the Word Wednesday Challenge! If you haven’t joined us before, jump in now. I’d love to hear what you get out of the book of Ezra!
Ezra 9: 13 (NIV)–What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved and have given us a remnant like this.
In this verse, Israel has once again “messed up.” They spent a lot of the Old Testament in a vicious cycle of serving God, falling down, crying out to God, being lifted up by God, and serving Him again. These verses come in the middle of a prayer by Ezra when he learns of yet another “fall down” by Israel. He even uses the word “appalled” for his reaction to their behavior.
But as Ezra prays, he is aware of God’s amazing grace. While Israel is hurting, Ezra knows it is because of their very own sin, and He recognizes that, while times are bad, they rightfully should have been much, much worse.
Believe me. When I look at my life, I know for a full on fact that I have been punished “less than my sins deserved.” If we’re being honest with ourselves, every one of us knows we deserve much worse than God has meted out to us. Why does He do it? Because, by His very nature, He is love and grace. I know that in my gut, and I thank God every day. If I were Him, I’d have run out of patience with me long before now. Yet He has never given up. Not because of anything wonderful I’ve done, but because He is so amazing. I don’t know what He sees in me, but He sees something only He can love. And I owe Him every breath I take. He’s a God of justice, but how grateful am I that He is also a God of mercy.
So, what’s your take on Ezra? As always, you can comment below or blog about it yourself and drop a link in the comments. I’d love to hear from you! Thanks for hanging out here!