“While Ezra prayed and confessed, weeping and falling facedown before the house of God, an extremely large assembly of Isrealite men, women, and children gathered around him. The people also weeped bitterly” (Ezra 10:1 CSB).
This was the first verse I read during my quiet time today, and I was so struck by it. Ezra wept, not only for his sins, but his people’s sins as well. In verse 2 he says, “We have been unfaithful to our God”. What was so significant to me, was it made me stop and think, “When I am unfaithful to God, does it cause ME to mourn this way?? When I’m disobedient and I don’t put Him first does it break MY heart the way it broke Ezra’s?? Do I fall facedown and weep??” I have to answer no. No, I don’t mourn my disobedience this way, and it does’t break my heart as it should. It’s hard for me to think of God being jealous for me and having His heart broken when I choose to spend my time in other ways than doing what He has asked of me, reading His word, or going days without speaking to Him through prayer, but that’s exactly what happens. God wants to be my FIRST love! “He said to them, LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. THIS is the greatest and most important command” (Matthew 22: 37-38 CSB, emphasis mine). I know what God has placed on my heart to do, I know the direction He is leading me in, but I have been making excuses. I have been procrastinating. I have been lackadaisical in following through with my purpose. I have been disobedient in this aspect and I have hurt my God. BUT…. all I have to do is return to Him. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4: 8 CSB). “Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the Lord your God. For he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in faithful love, and he relents from sending disaster” (Joel 2: 13 CSB). There are so many verses in the Bible about returning to God. It’s a constant theme in the Old Testament. God wants us to return to Him, and He leads us back to Him with His kindness. “I will heal their apostasy; I will freely love them, for my anger will have turned from him. I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like the lily and take root like the cedars of Lebanon” (Hosea 14: 5-6 CSB). He will redeem me when I return, “I have swept away your transgression like a cloud, and your sins like a mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you” (Isaiah 44: 22 CSB). “For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now retuned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2: 25 CSB). What a beautiful description of God, the Overseer of my soul.
Lord, thank you for your unfailing love and kindness. Thank you for being patient with me and gently calling me back to You. Forgive my disobedience, excuses, and my procrastination and sweep away my transgressions like a cloud. YOU are my first love, God. Give me the strength and desire to CHOOSE You daily and to be obedient to what You have placed on my heart. Continue to lead my steps and guide my path. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Thank you for taking the time to read! I pray this has blessed you!