Ezra remorses and weeps as he finds out how the Israelites have sinned against God by marrying wives from foreign countries. He prays and laments to God about how He has shown mercy even as the Israelites have committed such great sins against him. He also poses the question to God that if he does not harshly punish his people will they then continue to break his commands.
In chapter 10, we then see a congregation of people come around Ezra as he is weeping. They realize that they have sinned and vow to make it right before God. The chapter ends by listing out all the men who got rid of their foreign wives to repent of their sin.
A key verse in these chapters is Ezra 10:11.
“Now honor the LORD, the God of your ancestors, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives.”
This verse is the one that stuck out to me because it reminds me to live as a changed person. We should live as a people that have been chosen by God and strive to separate ourselves from the world. I think this is something we can all strive to do more of, especially in this time of a lot of hopelessness and loss. We as Christians can rise up to share the hope we have through Jesus and not fall into the sin of the world. We can continue to encourage and help out others and not fall into the temptations of the world.
As Ezra finishes his prayer to God in chapter 9, he mentions that not one us can stand in your presence (v. 15). Even though Ezra is speaking many, many years ago this is still relevant to us today. Not a single one of us can stand in the presence of God without Jesus. We need Jesus to even have any chance of being with God. This is such a great blessing we have over the people of this time period.