How many movies have we seen, or stories have we read, where we see the hero come to the same great revelation at the climax of the threat. their greatest opposition is not the enemy in front of them, but instead the one within. Now, most of the time the hero is faced with some kind of self doubt or lack of confidence (which always comes across as absurd given we have watched them be awesome for the last hour or so). As is often the case, stories give us a peek at reality, but rarely tell the whole truth.
Our greatest enemy is within us, but it is not an enemy of self doubt or a need for greater awareness of our value. Our greatest enemy is our own sin. Our sin keeps us separated from the source of our peace and power: God. Ezra was made aware of the great sin of the people of Israel and it drove him to tears. They had once again compromised and allowed idolatry to gain a foothold among God’s people. Ezra was devastated. He began fasting and weeping. Chapter nine tells us that he sat appalled at the sin of Israel.
The path that Ezra walked is given as an example of how we ought to treat our own sin; indeed, he calls all of Israel to follow it. After weeping and fasting, he confesses this sin to God, repents of the sin and then puts in place a plan to remove from the people their sin. They will remove from the people those that worship false gods. Sin cannot be allowed to remain or persist. Are you willing to do what it takes to get rid of sin in your own life? Are you ready to confess and repent? And are you ready to remove any path to that sin to keep it from gaining a foothold? This is my prayer for you today.