Sunday, August 4, 2013

Should We Confess Other People's Sins? Ezra 9:5,6

God Loves You
People think the Old Testament prophets just went around condemning sin and proclaiming judgment, but these verses, Ezra 9:5-6, show they did something much more important, something which we all can do.

“Then at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God, and prayed, ‘O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.”  Ezra 9:5-6

Ezra could have addressed the people's sins many ways. He could have brought judgment on the people, cast the sinners out, or preached against their sin.

Often when we see someone doing wrong we do nothing, we nurse a critical attitude or vent with rude words at the wrongdoer.

Not Ezra, he confesses their sin. Most of Ezra 9 is the prayer of confession. He uses words like "our," "we," and "us." He could have said, "this people," "them," or "they" to distance himself and the sinners, but he confesses their sins as if they were his own.

We should pray about and bring before God the sins of our family, friends, and country. The ministry of prayer is the responsibility of every believer. Parents should pray about their kids' sins. We should confess the sins of our community and country.

Why don’t we confess the sins and pray for those around us? Ezra was, too ashamed and disgraced to lift up his face, but we have no sense of shame and disgrace that the saints of old had. Instead, we justify sins, argue them into a good thing, we blame our sin on others, culture, lack of education and, too much sugar. We need God to change our hearts about the very nature of sin.

We need to confess our own sins and turn from them. We must ask God to show us the sin we refuse to see. Our God is holy God and justly requires it. Those who confess the sins of family and friends soon find more wickedness in themselves to confess than what they see in others.

Let's be like Ezra who was so desperate for God to forgive the sins of the people that he mourned and abased himself in sorrow before the Lord for the sins of the people. We all have issues with the injustices in our society, we may not all agree on solutions but we should all agree it needs to begin with prayer.

If you feel you need to find forgiveness for the sins in your life follow this link: click here.

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(c)Adron Dozat 8/4/13

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