One of the first things Ezra did upon his return to Jerusalem was the prayer in Chapter 9. It is a prayer of confession for the sins of the exiled of Israel, mainly that of intermarriage with pagans. Ezra genuinely mourns the sins of the nation in his plea to God.
Matthew Henry sums the prayer up with three words – amazed, ashamed, afraid. Ezra was amazed at the sin of his nation, ashamed of them, and afraid of God’s judgement once again.
It made me question when was the last time I was sincerely amazed, ashamed, or afraid over sin, whether my own, my family, or my country. How about you? It’s sad to say these are three things we rarely feel any more, and that is a dangerous place to be.