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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Ezra 9

Verses 1-15

  1. Intro: Ezra’s 10 Step Program in confronting sin
    1. Recap: The 2nd group made it back to Jerusalem, from captivity in Babylon. 8:31,32
    2. We are going to look at the steps in confronting sin (ch.9) & its results (ch.10).
    3. What do you do if you know of a Christian friend who is living in sin? How do you help them? How do I get out of a sin myself? Ezra will lead us through steps that will help us.
    4. This evening we are going to talk about racial/mixed marriages.
      1. Before we do...let’s review a few reminders. God was “only” concerned with the Jews intermarrying...& that...only for a time. (pre-Messiah)
  2. A MESS MADE OF MIXED MARRIAGES (9:1-4)
    1. (1a) Their Sin Uncovered
      1. Ezra’s Leaders took oversight of the flock
        1. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
    2. (1b,2a) Their Sin?
      1. Lack of Separation
      2. What was the deal of the holy seed getting mixed?
        1. How could Messiah be born? (nationality/Jew, tribe/Judah, ancestry/son of David)
          1. Lev.19:19 You shall not sow your field with mixed seed.
      3. Unequally yoked – they had taken pagan wives.
        1. (NLT) Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
    3. (2b) Their Sins depth
      1. The leaders & rulers had even compromised in this sin.
      2. Leaders…that’s for sure…but leading in the wrong direction.
        1. These guys led the way, they paved the path of sin. Discipleship at its finest!
    4. Ezra’s response is a good model for us to follow when confronting sin:
      1. Ezra’s 10 Step Program...in confronting sin.
    5. Step #1 – He Grieved (3a)
      1. He let it affect him personally.
      2. The beard is held in high respect and greatly valued in the East: The possessor considers it as his greatest ornament; often swears by it; and, in matters of great importance, pledges it; and nothing can be more secure than such a pledge; for its owner will redeem it at the hazard of his life. The beard was never cut off but in mourning, or as a sign of slavery.” (Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. Notes on 2 Sam.10:4.)
        1. 2 Sam.10:4 Therefore Hanun (king of Ammon) took David's servants, shaved off half of their beards, cut off their garments in the middle, at their buttocks (mini-skirts), and sent them away.
        2. Is.50:6,7 I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.
    6. Step #2 – He Sat (3b,4)
      1. He sat, waited, & meditated before responding
      2. I believe he was seeking the lord on what to do
      3. We’ll see he doesn’t strike out against them in anger, but instead sitsuntil completely broken.
      4. Note the people respond to this intense grief of soul
        1. What do you think would be the outcome if he yelled & screamed at them?
        2. Is this the secret of winning our children, or our backslidden friends, from the sin thats entrapped them?
      5. Application: Sit in silence. Hard, but just sit. Sit, wait, meditate.
  3. EZRA’S PRAYER OF CONFESSION (9:5-15)
    1. Step #3 – He Fasted (5a)
      1. ½ day fast.
    2. Step #4 – He Prayed (5b)
      1. He physically humbled himself before God (on knees/spread out hands).
      2. Before the people vs.4
      3. Application: humble yourself before God. Change body position.
    3. Step #5 – He Confessed (6-15)
      1. He confessed…His Shame & Humility (6a)
        1. Mark Twain once said, Man is the only animal that blushes, and the only animal that needs to. Does anything make us blush anymore?
      2. He confessed…He’s personally not excluded from their sin (6b)
        1. Rather than strike out angrily at those who had sinned, Ezra identified himself with the sinners.
        2. Have you ever fit into the category of the sin you are so disgusted with?
        3. Better yet, do you expand the category until you fit in it? That promotes humility.
      3. He confessed…The Depth of their sin (6c) [2 pictures]
        1. They were swimming in a sea of sin…& drowning.
        2. Their guilt was as high as Jack’s Bean stock.
          1. Rev.18:5 re:Babylon. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
      4. He confessed…The Reason for their former captivity (7)
      5. He confessed…The Grace shown to them in being freed (8)
        1. They didn’t appreciate the Grace that was shown them.
        2. Peg – figurative. It inferred to hang any kind of domestic utensils upon it.
          1. Is.22:23 I will fasten him (Eliakim) as a peg in a secure place, And he will become a glorious throne to his father's house.
          2. What area of your life are you a secure peg for others?
            1. Friends can trust you wont gossip about their situation.
            2. Friends can trust you’ll be straight/honest/forthright w/them.
            3. Friends can trust you will genuinely care about their situation.
            4. (fill in the blank) Friends lean on me because _________.
      6. He confessed…Gods Mercy that was shown (9)
        1. Revive (us) – Repair (temple) – Rebuild (ruins/wall)
      7. He confessed…Their Sin identified…intermarriage w/pagans (10-12)
        1. Never settle for the temporary peace or prosperity the world has to offer
      8. He confessed…Gods Mercy that was shown (13)
        1. Anybody disagree with this statement? Its for 2 reasons:
          1. ​​​​​​​You do not the understand the Holiness of God
          2. You do not understand the seriousness of sin
        2. Do you view sin from God’s standpoint? What was His cost? What was yours?
      9. He confessed…understanding of deserved captivity again (14)
        1. This time with no escape
      10. He confessed…Gods Righteousness (15)
        1. “No man can really know the righteousness of God, & in its light see sin, & remain quiet & calculating & unmoved.” (G.Cambell Morgan; pg.189)
        2. Yet now we can stand before Him..How?
        3. ​​​​​​​Rom.14:4 Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
      11. Application: confess your sin. Think about His rt & the seriousness of your sin.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Ezra 9". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/ezra-9.html. 2017.