Short Reflection: Repentance

Now then make confession to the Lord, the God of your fathers and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.”
Ezra 10:11 ESV

The Bible never run short of passages on repentance, most likely because God knows how sinful man is, that He needs to tell us through Scriptures our condition and how badly we need His grace and forgiveness.

This verse was at the time that some Israelites was allowed to be back to Jerusalem from their exile. Of course, this was a favor from the Lord who had stirred the hearts of the Persian kings, so the Israelites could go back to their land and rebuild the temple. However, they married themselves to pagan inhabitants which the Lord had forbidden. As Ezra led the people, he made this call of repentance as he taught them how to follow the Lord.

Even as we follow Jesus, it is not a secret that we still sin, not that we are actually proud to commit sin. It is during our sanctification that Jesus will uncover our sins so we further embrace Holy Spirit’s transformational power on us. The Scriptures tell us our responsibility as God reveals our sins, that is to confess our sins to God, do what He says (by reading the Bible we will know His will) and separate ourselves from our sins.

Salvation enables us to say ‘no’ to sin and our personal relationship with Jesus should make us uncomfortable or bothered everytime we are in the face of sinning. If we cannot then we have to assess if we are truly followers of Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Rhia

Short Reflection: Traveling Mercies

Now in the book of Ezra, Ezra led a batch of returning Israelites to Jerusalem. Reading from previous chapter, I learned that Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel. Therefore, he was going back to fulfill his mission.

Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.
Ezra 8:21‭-‬23 ESV

Ezra’s faith and dependence on the Lord is so admirable. It reinforces my habit to always humble myself in prayer to ask the Lord to protect me, my companions, and the people I encounter whenever I go somewhere. Sometimes, no matter how we look after ourselves we cannot really ensure our safety, only the Lord who holds everything in His hands can grant us that. Moreover, we know that the Lord is pleased to grant us traveling mercy as we seek Him.

Indeed, reading the Bible is such a blessing! It is amazing how the old stories from the Bible helps and inspires us live a God-centered life this modern times.

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Rhia