Ezra 9* Ezra mourns for the Jews' conduct. (1-4) Ezra's confession ofsins. (5-15)1-4 Many corruptions lurk out of the view of the most carefulrulers. Some of the people disobeyed the express command of God,which forbade all marriages with the heathen, #De 7|. Disbeliefof God's all-sufficiency, is at the bottom of the sorry shiftswe make to help ourselves. They exposed themselves and theirchildren to the peril of idolatry, that had ruined their churchand nation. Carnal professors may make light of such connexions,and try to explain away the exhortations to be separate; butthose who are best acquainted with the word of God, will treatthe subject in another manner. They must forebode the worst fromsuch unions. The evils excused, and even pleaded for; by manyprofessors, astonish and cause regret in the true believer. Allwho profess to be God's people, ought to strengthen those thatappear and act against vice and profaneness. 5-15 The sacrifice, especially the evening sacrifice, was atype of the blessed Lamb of God, who in the evening of theworld, was to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Ezra'saddress is a penitent confession of sin, the sin of his people.But let this be the comfort of true penitents, that though theirsins reach to the heavens, God's mercy is in the heavens. Ezra,speaking of sin, speaks as one much ashamed. Holy shame is asnecessary in true repentance as holy sorrow. Ezra speaks as muchamazed. The discoveries of guilt cause amazement; the more wethink of sin, the worse it looks. Say, God be merciful to mesinner. Ezra speaks as one much afraid. There is not a surer orsaddler presage of ruin, than turning to sin, after greatjudgments, and great deliverances. Every one in the church ofGod, has to wonder that he has not wearied out the Lord'spatience, and brought destruction upon himself. What then mustbe the case of the ungodly? But though the true penitent hasnothing to plead in his own behalf, the heavenly Advocate pleadsmost powerfully for him.
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