“And I said: ‘O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens.’”
After some initial reforms, the remnant, who had returned to Jerusalem from captivity, soon began to drift from the Lord. The ways of the world are always tempting for the child of God; as such, many of the people began to pick up the customs of the day. Soon, it was difficult to see any difference between believer and unbeliever. News of the people’s behavior devastated Ezra, and he began to cry out to the Lord. His prayer reveals what to do when we find ourselves overwhelmed by our own failures.
There are times in the life of many believers when we are drawn away from the Lord, and find ourselves caught up in sin. Tangled like Jonah in seaweed, we find ourselves caught in sin, with seemingly no way to escape. The guilt can be so great we are ashamed to even begin steps of repentance. I think Ezra was experiencing this. He realized how they had taken advantage of the goodness of God by pursuing the ways of the world. Instead of remaining in his failure, Ezra reminded himself of the grace of God, and His desire to restore the fallen saint. It was the grace of God that caused Ezra to seek forgiveness, even when he was neck deep in the guilt of sin.
Perhaps you have failed in a big way. Perhaps the guilt of past, present, or continual sin, is keeping you from moving away from it, and toward the Lord. Can I encourage you to do what Ezra did? He went before the Lord, confessed his sin, trusted in grace, and made the appropriate changes in his life. God is willing to forgive. Are you willing to return, receive and repent?