Summary: Sermon 16 of the series. When Ezra returns in 458 b.c., the king has decreed that all temple expenses will be covered by the government of Transeuprhates. Sadly, while God has arranged for their every need, the people have not prepared their hearts. The l
The Book of Ezra
Response to Sin
(Part II: The Intercession of the Priest)
• By the time we come to Ezra chapters 7 -10, we must reorient ourselves as to what is the situation of the Jews.
• By the time we come to chapter 7 ...
▸ It has been nearly 80 years since Cyrus allowed Zerubbabel to return (538 b.c.).
▸ We remember that Zerubbabel’s purpose was to rebuild the temple.
▸ That has now been done for a long time.
▸ Generations have been born and brought up never having seen Babylon.
▸ The people are cold and have drifted from the Lord and his Word.
▸ Ezra, through miraculous circumstances, is allowed to go back to Jerusalem.
▸ His purpose is to minister to the people of Judah.
• When Ezra returns in 458 b.c., the king has decreed that all temple expenses will be covered by the government of Transeuprhates.
• Sadly, while God has arranged for their every need, the people have not prepared their hearts.
• The leaders come to inform Ezra that the people have taken on the characteristics of the surrounding nations and have even intermarried with them.
• And it was not merely some of the people, it was the LEADERSHIP in large numbers.
• Let’s look back at last week’s text:
Ezra 9:1-5 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. 3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied. 4 Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice. 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,
♬ Where could I go?
Ezra Acknowledges 2 Things: First he acknowledges ...
I. The Guilt of the People (6-7; 10-15)
A. Their Past Failures (6-7)
1. The Shame (6A; Gen. 3:10; Pr. 13:18; Ps. 83:16)
 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God:
• Not only has American society lost its ability to blush, but the American church has lost her ability to blush!
Genesis 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
Proverbs 13:18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
Psalms 83:16 Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.
2. The Sins (6B-7)
(6B)for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.  Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day;
• Their sins have gotten out of control - over our head.
• Their sins have gotten past concealment - grown up unto the heavens.
3. The Sufferings (7B)
(7B) and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.
B. Our Present Failures (10-15)
1. The Defiance of the Prohibitions (10-12)
a. Ignoring the Word (10)
 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments,
• Repeatedly in the Scriptures, in book after book, during generation after generation, God holds His people accountable for their conformity to His Word!
1) Solomon (Pr. 28:7,9) NOTE: This section of Solomon’s saying collected by Hezekiah.
Proverbs 28:7 Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
2) Jeremiah (6:10,19) HEAR THE WORDS OF THE WEEPING PROPHET.
Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.