Reading through the Bible together
Loyalty to His will is more important than offerings and temples. While the people were assembled and the evening offering was ready to be offered, a reformation that would show that God’s people were willing to obey and be loyal to Him had to take place.
God had instructed His children not to give their children in marriage to those of other nations and yet, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, with respect to the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites” (verse 1). In fact, the leaders and rulers had been foremost in unfaithfulness by taking some of the daughters of these nations as wives for themselves and their sons (verse 2).
Reformation means changing or amending our ways to harmonize with the will of God. And for reformation to begin, spiritual leaders and the people must humble themselves to God in prayer and fasting.
When Ezra heard what had been happening, he tore his garments, engaged in a fast and continued to pray to God, seeking forgiveness and change of hearts for God’s people (verses 5-6). Unless we can see how ugly sin is and seek forgiveness and change of heart, we would not see a reformation.
“Dear God, humble us and help us to seek You with all our hearts and be loyal to You in all things.”
General Vice President