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Saturday, February 25, 2023
Bible Meditation: 
Ezra 9: 1-15

Then everyone who TREMBLED at the WORDS of the GOD of Israel assembled to me… Ezra 9:4a

One of the most essential and proper attitudes towards the Word of God is to TREMBLE AT HIS WORD: “So when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked out some of the hair of my head and beard, and sat down astonished. Then everyone who Then everyone who TREMBLED at the WORDS of the GOD of Israel assembled to me, because of the transgression of those who had been carried away captive, and I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice” (Ezr.9: 3-4). This passage depicts Ezra’s godly reaction to sin. It portrays a powerful picture of a humble, right, contrite response to God’s Word and conviction about sin in our lives as individuals and in the lives of the people of God around us. These vital verses described how Ezra heard and trembled at the Word of God. He and God’s people (including his predecessors), had turned from obeying His Word, intermarrying with pagans. It was time to retrace their steps in repentance!

The Hebrew word for tremble means trembling, fearful, and afraid but it also means reverential. Therefore, to tremble at God’s Word is to fear and reverent His Word, to respond with awe-filled reverence at His word. Trembling at the Word of God is a result of trembling at His Person, His Presence, or the mention of His Name. Without reverential fear for the Lord, one cannot have reverential fear for His WordWhen we know the Person of God, we’ll tremble before Him. God is love, merciful, and good; but He is also a consuming fire (Heb.12:29; Deut. 4:24). Psalm 99:1 says, “The LORD reigns; let the PEOPLES TREMBLE! He dwells between the cherubim; let the earth be moved!” The psalmist says “TREMBLE, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob” (Psa.114:7).

Ezra heard God’s words was convicted about sin in his life and the lives of God’s people around him. Then he rose from his fasting, having torn his garment and cloak, fell on his knees, and spread his hands out before God, praying, O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens (v.6). In his face and on his knees, he wept before God, pleading for Mercy and Grace in his life and among God’s people. God is glorified and honoured when His people hate sin, mourn and weep over it, and fall on their faces before God, pleading for His Mercy, Grace and Forgiveness and receiving these: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1Jh.1:9).

When God’s people tremble at His Word and turn in repentance, God is glorified; His people are edified and drawn closer to Him! Ezra’s example reminds us to ask God for help in order to respond to His Word rightly, contritely, and appropriately (vv.5-6). As we read and study His Word as church congregations, may He help us, by His Spirit, to experience true brokenness and contrition over sin. May the Lord bring us to our faces before Him in conviction, contrition, and repentance. May we be empowered to turn from unrighteousness with humility based upon His mercy. The Lord is ever willing to forgive. He helps us not to try to hide sin from Him or from one another. In all these, He draws us into deeper intimacy with Him, as we experience His Grace and walk in honesty and humility before Him.

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, let the Spirit of Ezra that TREMBLES at YOUR WORD in honesty, humility and repentance, mark our lives and churches, in Jesus’ name.
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