The best way to deal with sin

Ezra Bible Background

Old Testament: Ezra 10.2–4

To read the Bible in a year, read Ezra 9–10 on June 15, In the year of our Lord 2020

By Don Ruhl

We sin, but then we often fail to deal with it as the Lord directs in the Scriptures. We look for ways to justify it or rationalize it, but we only fool ourselves and not the Lord.

Consider how some of the Jews dealt with their sin of marrying foreign women after returning from Babylonian exile. It was not that the women were foreigners, but that they still practiced idolatry. When the Jews realized what they had done, they took this action:

And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, spoke up and said to Ezra, “We have trespassed against our God, and have taken pagan wives from the peoples of the land; yet now there is hope in Israel in spite of this. Now therefore, let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and those who have been born to them, according to the advice of my master and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law. Arise, for this matter is your responsibility. We also are with you. Be of good courage, and do it.”

– Ezra 10.2–4

They confessed freely that they had trespassed against God and did not minimize it. They confessed what their exact sin was and decided that they needed to make a covenant with God to rectify the sin, and they asked for Ezra’s leadership in the matter.


  • Do you confess your sin to God without blaming others for it?
  • If you cannot confess your sin, why not?

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