January 9th, 2011 – Ezra 9

Click here to read Ezra 9 on BibleGateway.com

Gotta admit, one of the best things about watching sitcoms is watching people totally freak out. There’s a sort of vicarious joy that comes from watching someone completely blow a gasket when the airline loses their luggage, or the cook burns their sirloin, or the plumber sends sewage into their basement. There’s a sense of satisfaction from watching someone else say “what I should have said,” and of course get thunderous applause from the audience. (of course, we never see the aftermath, when Lucy and Ethel get to go to jail for disorderly conduct, though that might be sorta funny, too).

In any case, it seems in our society that anger has taken on a comedic tone. Instead of being surprised or upset when someone is angry, we instead find the humor in someone else’s distress. In fact, it’s become so commonplace that we would be genuinely surprised to read of the reality of the people in the Bible when they become angry.


Let’s look at Ezra in today’s chapter. The Israelites had just returned from 70 years of captivity in Babylon, and Ezra learns that the people are once again sliding into sinful choices. He is so upset by the sin of the people that he reacts by pulling his hair and beard out, tearing his clothes, collapses on the ground, and stays there all day. Can you imagine this in our day? What if Billy Graham suddenly ripped his suit off, pulled out his hair on stage, and fell to the ground?


More importantly, look at what Ezra is upset about; it’s not because someone promised to support his ministry and then bailed out; it’s not because the media gave more airtime to the atheists; it’s not because the youth group ran around the church and broke all the windows. These are the kind of things that get us upset, but Ezra instead is appalled at the sin of the “righteous people.” Can you honestly say that you are more distressed by the sin of Christians (including yourself) than upset at “the world”? What would it take for you to be pull your hair out because you realized you are so far from God?

When was the last time your heart was broken by sin?

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