The Israelites demonstrated yet again covenantal unfaithfulness by marrying foreign women. While this points to the importance of covenantal marriage, it points to a deeper problem: the people of God cannot keep their covenantal obligations. So then it falls to God to provide Christ, who kept the covenant for us.
Because of their sin Ezra interceded for the people and his prayer gives us guidelines for our own confession and intercession.
As Ezra saw with his own eyes how God worked over and over again, he became a God-centered man who developed three characteristics which we should also be developing.
Ezra and his mission manifest God’s gracious and providential favor to his people. He shows us that God’s favor is connected to his Word, compelling us to wholeheartedly devote ourselves to the Law of the Lord, to praise God for his providential provision, and to live courageously in our callings from God.
Through the entire return and rebuilding episode, the Exiles realize lessons about God’s sovereignty: that God is faithful to complete his work, that while he uses human agents, he is ultimately sovereign in accomplishing his purposes, that he often uses trials to accomplish his will in us, and that he often uses men’s bad purposes for his own, and our, good.
Often in times of spiritual lethargy or when we’ve thrown in the towel because of opposition, God sovereignly moves by His Word to revive His people to renew their efforts to accomplish His work.
When God’s people do God’s work faithful to God’s ways, opposition is inevitable, and compromise must be resisted. Although the opposition may prevail in the short run, God in Christ has already secured the final victory, and has given us ways to handle the opposition we face today.