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CHAPTER 9 (ESV)
1 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. 2 And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God. 4 On the stairs of the Levites stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani; and they cried with a loud voice to the Lord their God…
32 “Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. 33 Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. 34 Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. 35 Even in their own kingdom, and amid your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you or turn from their wicked works. 36 Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. 37 And its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please, and we are in great distress.
38 “Because of all this we make a firm covenant in writing; on the sealed document are the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.
Under the leadership of Ezra, the Israelites recollected the work of God for them. Then they saw how God endured their hard heart, and they knew to count God’s grace. Therefore, they fasted and confessed their sins, and re-established their covenant with God with their signature. God’s love is patient. Reflect if the Scripture today that describes what the Israelites did says about your situation. Although God is full of pity and righteousness, you must not abuse His love and continuously hurt His heart. As God loves you patiently, reflect how you should learn from His example and love your brothers and sisters patiently.
Come before God with a thankful and humble heart and thank Him for saving you. Open your heart to God and tell Him the sins your committed, and ask Him for forgiveness. Ask God to help you patiently love the brothers and sisters who are sinning but not to provoke God’s wrath by doing the same as them.
Beautiful Saviour – www.youtube.com/watch?v=saK6vStMQ8U