Verses 3, 4, 11 – Following Ezra’s earnest prayer, the people confessed their sin to God. True repentance does not end with just our words-lip services. It must lead to corrected behavior and changed attitudes. Ezra’s strong act, though difficult for some, was necessary to preserve Israel as a nation committed to God.
Verse 8 – Ezra said that those who didn’t put away their pagan wives would lose their legal right to own land. This was to insure that the off springs of pagan wives couldn’t inherit Israel’s land. Furthermore, if anyone chose not to come to Jerusalem, they would be expelled and not allowed to worship in the temple.
Verse 11 – As believers in Christ, all our sins are forgiven. His death cleansed us from all sin. So why do we need to still confess our sin to God? Because we still sin after conversion. We have to admit to ourselves that we have done wrong and stand in agreement with God that our thoughts, words, and our actions, were contrary to His will. Confession is turning away from sin and asking God to help us live for Him.
Verse 44 – The book of Ezra opens with God’s temple in ruins and the people of Judah captive in Babylon. This abrupt closing of the book of Ezra is merely a closing to the section of Ezra’s early ministry. The focus shifted to Nehemiah, who like Ezra, faithfully served God.
God is able to restore and rebuild lives. No one is so far away from God that he or she cannot be restored. Repentance is all that is required. No matter how far one stray’s or how long its been, He is able to restore our relationship to Him and rebuild our lives.