(Read vs. 1-17)
INTRODUCTION: The reason Ezra had come back to Jerusalem was to set up worship of the one true God in the temple. He was going to repair the house of God that had been built fifty to ninety years before and set the priests and the Levites and the workers of the house of God in their place. He was going to bring the people to that place and have them worship there like they did in the days when Israel was following God. When he got there he found great sin in Jerusalem. So much so, that he was unable to do what he came for until the people got right. The rulers were involved in this sin. Even the priests that would offer the sacrifices in the temple were defiled by sin. We studied the prayer of repentance that Ezra prayed last week. Now it is time for the Israelites to make a decision. And they make the right one. They are going to rid the nation of this sin. They are going to make themselves ready to worship God. The way they go about it is exactly right. When there is sin that is keeping you from worshiping God like you should. Here is how you remove it.
- ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SIN (VS. 1-2)
- COMMIT TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO COME BACK TO GOD (VS. 3-12)
- FOLLOW THROUGH ON THE COMMITMENTS YOU MADE (VS. 13-17)
CONCLUSION: There is a long list in vs. 18-44 of the people by name who got themselves right. People who acknowledged their sin, committed to put away their sin and followed through with their commitment. Will you do the same in your life so that you can worship God with a pure heart like He wants to be worshipped?