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Ezra 10: Compromise

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Ezra.

Have you ever compromised yourself and your beliefs? When did you realize this? The exiles who had returned a generation before Ezra had begun to merge with the neighboring cultures by marrying those who followed "detestable practices" (9:2). This lack of faithfulness broke Ezra's heart and caused him to pray the prayer found in chapter 9. When the people saw his passionate praying on their behalf, they realized their need for change.

Warming Up to God

Ask God's Spirit to help you to see areas where you are giving in to your culture and compromising your faith.

Read Ezra 10

Discovering the Word

  • How does Ezra demonstrate his concerns about the decisions his people have made (vv. 1, 6)?
  • What indications are there that the repentance of the people is sincere (vv. 1-5, 7-9)?
  • How do the people respond to the call for repentance (vv. 12-15)?
  • How does Ezra empower the people of God (vv. 12-17)?
  • What do you learn about those who intermarried from the list in verses 18-44?

Applying the Word

  • How can marriage or a deep friendship strengthen one's relationship with God, and how can it weaken it?
  • Ezra is obviously not a controlling individual. He is open to suggestions and willing to delegate authority. What can you and your community learn from his style of leadership?

Responding in Prayer

Thank God for the example of Ezra's passionate faith that does not consume people but attracts them to the Lord. Pray that you will grow in such faith.

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