The tenth chapter of the biblical Book of Ezra begins this way:
“1 While Ezra prayed and made this confession, weeping and lying face down on the ground in front of the Temple of God, a very large crowd of people from Israel—men, women, and children—gathered and wept bitterly with him. 2 Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, a descendant of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God, for we have married these pagan women of the land. But in spite of this there is hope for Israel. 3 Let us now make a covenant with our God to divorce our pagan wives and to send them away with their children. We will follow the advice given by you and by the others who respect the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law of God. 4 Get up, for it is your duty to tell us how to proceed in setting things straight. We are behind you, so be strong and take action.”
The longing of every true and faithful servant of God’s people is to lead a repentant congregation that stands ready “to proceed in setting things straight.” Repentance, however, is rare in our day.
Repentance is dependent on at least three factors being present within us:
- We must be willing to examine our lives according to God’s standards.
- We must be willing to be humbled.
- We must be willing to pay the cost of setting our past errors straight and living life God’s way from this point forward.
Are we willing to repent? If so, God will visit us and heal us.