The Purification of the People

Scripture Passage: 
Ezra 9:1-15; Ezra 10:1-44
Attached audio files: 

INTRODUCTION:  The children of Israel were to keep themselves separated from the other nations but, by intermarrying with the different nations around them, they had compromised and taken on their abominations. The answer for them, though it might seem harsh, was to separate from their heathen marriages. Though this is the opposite of the teaching of the New Testament (see 1 Corinthians 7:12-14), it shows us the importance that God places on maintaining purity before Him. The importance of separation from the world (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) and a life of holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1) has not changed. Without purity, the people of God have no power of God in their lives.

  1. EZRA’S DISCOVERY OF UNCLEANNESS (Ezra 9:1-4)
    1. The Report Concerning the Jews (Ezra 9:1-2)
      1. Doing the abominations of the land (Ezra 9:1; Leviticus 18:3; Leviticus 20:23; Deuteronomy 12:29-32; Jeremiah 10:2)
      2. Marrying the people of the land (Ezra 9:2a; Deuteronomy 7:1-4)
      3. Following the rulers of the Jews (Ezra 9:2b; Ezekiel 34:1-10)
    2. The Reaction of Ezra (Ezra 9:3-4)
      1. His mourning (Ezra 9:3)
      2. His company (Ezra 9:4; Ezra 10:3; Isaiah 66:2)
  2. EZRA’S PRAYER OF CONFESSION (Ezra 9:5-15)
    1. General Confession of Iniquity (Ezra 9:5-7; compare Nehemiah 1:4-11; Daniel 9:13-15)
      1. The extent of their sins (Ezra 9:5-6; Psalm 38:4)
      2. The continuation of their sins (Ezra 9:7; 2 Kings 17:13-19)
    2. Thanksgiving for God’s Mercy (Ezra 9:8-9)
      1. A nail in the holy place (Ezra 9:8; Deuteronomy 12:5)
      2. A little reviving in bondage (Ezra 9:8-9; Habakkuk 3:2)
    3. Particular Confession of Disobedience (Ezra 9:10-12; 1 John 1:9)
    4. Admission of Deserved Punishment (Ezra 9:13-15)
      1. The mercy of God (Ezra 9:13; Psalm 130:3)
      2. The judgment of God (Ezra 9:14)
      3. The righteousness of God (Ezra 9:15; Jeremiah 12:1)
  3. THEIR COVENANT WITH THE LORD (Ezra 10:1-5)
    1. The Sorrow of the People (Ezra 10:1)
      1. A great congregation (2 Chronicles 7:14)
      2. Before the house of God (1 Peter 4:17)
    2. The Call for a Covenant (Ezra 10:2-3)
      1. Those who have transgressed (Ezra 10:2)
      2. Those who tremble at the word (Ezra 10:3)
    3. The Making of the Covenant (Ezra 10:4-5)
      1. The leadership of Ezra (Ezra 10:4)
      2. The agreement of the people (Ezra 10:5)
  4. THEIR SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD (Ezra 10:6-17)
    1. The Call to Assemble (Ezra 10:6-8)
      1. The sorrow of Ezra (Ezra 10:6)
      2. The sending of the proclamation (Ezra 10:7)
      3. The seriousness of the matter (Ezra 10:8)
    2. The Meeting of the People (Ezra 10:9-12)
      1. The gathering in Jerusalem (Ezra 10:9)
      2. The call for separation (Ezra 10:10-11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
      3. The submission of the people (Ezra 10:12)
    3. The Arrangements for Separation (Ezra 10:13-17)
      1. The request for order (Ezra 10:13-14)
      2. The execution of the plan (Ezra 10:15-17)
  5. THE NUMBERING OF THE PEOPLE (Ezra 10:18-44)

CONCLUSION: Are you too much joined to the world? Do you need to come out and be separate? Perhaps you need to destroy your connection with the world as Ephesians did in Acts 19:19 – “Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.” Ask the Lord if He would have you make some changes in your life and then be obedient to Him.

David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 20:12

The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.