Ezra 10:2 ESV – And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, addressed Ezra: “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this.
The Book of Ezra is a fascinating story of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem. Read it – it’s good for your soul
Near the end of the book, the people who have returned to Jerusalem realize that they have been sinning against the Lord by intermarrying with other countries – people that didn’t worship God. This is one of the reasons they just spent 70 years in Babylon as slaves!
Shecaniah realizes that their sin is grievous, but that there is still hope. What is that hope? Repentance. Shecaniah knows something about God that we sometimes forget: He loves to forgive. It’s what He lived for. It’s what He died for. It’s what He rose again for. He is a forgiving God.
I don’t know why, but culture, the Enemy, and ourselves tell us that God won’t forgive. This is a lie. This lie steals our hope. Our God loves to forgive us. The Bible says that Jesus went to the cross “For the Joy set before Him” That joy is knowing that His children are forgiven and will live with Him forever.
So today, remember what Shecaniah knows: no matter what you’ve done – even if you’re doing the same thing wrong for the last 70 years – God’s forgiveness is available!
Is it hard for you to remember forgiveness?