Summary: The importance of being real with God, the need to humble ourselves once again, take off the mask of apostasy
Rend Your Heart
Ezra 9:1 Now when these things were done,
What things? The bringing of the vessels from Ahava, near Babylon for Jerusalem had been destroyed and the people of Israel had been captured and taken to Babylon. All the vessels of the house of God had been stolen, the walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed and we know along this same time Nehemiah goes to rebuild the walls.
Now God had worked through Ezra, Haggai, Zerubabbel and others to rebuild the temple. Now the vessels of silver, gold, copper, etc was being weighed to bring to the temple there weighed in again.
It is worth noting that some 70 years has passed since they had gone into Babylon as captives, and King Cyrus had a decree to send them back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. But not all the Jews wanted to go back. Some had never seen Jerusalem and all they knew was Babylon.
Isn’t it amazing when God is ready to build there will be those that don’t want to go back.
8.22 Ezra was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers to keep them safe from the Arabs, Samaritans, and others, which might lie in wait for them, to rob them of their vessels:
So they called a fast and called upon the Lord for protection.
Ezra 9: 1-3
3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard and sat down astounded.
3 And when I heard this thing,
Heard what? According to verse 2 the holy seed had mingled.
Ezra could not believe what they had done.
Here he was trying to lead a people back into the presence of God for the temple represented such.
He was ashamed, we was astounded. He had been working to rebuild the temple it had been stopped now was nearing completion, many years had gone by.
Ezra was a man of God desiring Gods best for the people and he was working with a people that mingled,
Had the mind of the world, on worldly things not the mind of God.
They played the lottery,
Socially drink alcohol, told little white lies
They mingled, married unbelievers
V4 they that feared God were come together
Ezr 9:5 ¶ And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,
This is how you rend your heart, but notice he also had to tear away the outward first.
Before you and I get to God we too will have to tear away from the outward influence,
Lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily gets us off course.
Ezr 9:6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over [our] head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.
Ashamed and blushed, he is showing us how to rend our hearts.
Jer. 6:15, Jer 8:12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
Their heart was so hard they were not ashamed of how far they had missed God.