Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ezra-The Terrible Storm

By Mary Vee
Ezra 10

From Ezra's Journal



Photo Courtesy
My name is Ezra. I have spent many years studying the Law of Moses as a servant in Babylon. 

The king of Babylon sent me with a large number of Jews back to Israel. My job was to teach the law of Moses to the people.

When I arrived, I heard terrible news. The first group of Israelites had been doing many wrong things. Things that displeased God. 

Many of the men had married women from other countries. These women brought their false gods into the Jewish homes. Now the men were worshiping the false gods with their foreign wives.

I called the Levites and priests and told them to form a plan to get all the men of Judah and Benjamin here in three days. The punishment for any man not attending this very important meeting would be him forced to leave the country and to lose all he possessed.

Three days have passed. I have spent the time praying for the sins of Israel. The meeting was called at the footsteps of the temple. Outside. A powerful storm released it's rain on everyone as the meeting started. The men were bothered by the rain and upset at being forced to come to this meeting.

I didn't care if they were upset. They had disobeyed the law of Moses. I stood before them and said, "You have been unfaithful. You have married foreign women, adding to our nation's guilt before the Lord. Now, you are to confess these sins to the Lord the God of your fathers then do his will. Separate yourselves from the foreign people around you and from your foreign wives."

The men shouted, "You are right. We must do as you say. We want to obey right away but this is the rainy season. We can't possibly send all of our foreign wives back to their country in a short time. Let the officials set up assigned times for each of us and invite the elders to judge us. We will work on this problem until God is no longer angry with us."

This sounded like a good plan.

All the men agreed to this idea except Jonathan, Jehazeiah, Meshullam, and Shabbethai the Levite.

I agreed, too. I chose one man to be in charge from each family. The chosen men  began their investigation of the cases during the tenth month and finished dealing with all the men who had sinned by the first month. A scribe recorded a list of all who had sinned. 

The problem took a few months to solve, but thanks to the cooperation of the men who wanted forgiveness for their sin, everything returned to the way God wanted. No false gods brought to the homes by foreign wives.

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sources: New International Version, New King James Version 
               
1. Why were the men angry (two reasons)
2. Ezra explained the problem to the men. What did the men say when he finished?
3. How many men did not agree with the plan?
4. Did the men who sinned fix the problem quickly? Why or why not?
5. What did God want the men who sinned to do?

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