Ezra, a skilled scribe in the law of Moses, returned to Jerusalem from Babylon to teach the statutes and ordinances of the Lord in Israel. Having returned he discovered that the people had acted wickedly in that they had not separated themselves from the foreign people. In fact many had intermarried with them including the leaders and rulers. This was a dreadful act against God and His law. Such sin had caused serious consequences in the past. Solomon was just one example of a leader who violated God’s command by marrying many foreign women and the whole nation paid a dear price as a result of his sin. For that reason Ezra and his fellow Israelites were fearful of similar judgment.
But a fellow named, Shechaniah, spoke up and confessed, “ We have trespassed against our God….yet there is hope in Israel in spite of this.” (Ezra 10:2) Where would they have been without hope? Where would we be without hope? Through confession, repentance, and obedience Shechaniah believed that God would forgive – that there would be hope in spite of their sin. I believe that he knew that, “the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.” (Ps 147:11)
No matter what your situation, no matter what your sin, there is hope – hope in God. Jesus the Messiah, born of a virgin, lived the prefect life to be the perfect sacrifice for sin that we might be forgiven and restored to a right relationship with Him. Because of Him we have the hope of a meaningful and purposeful life. We have the hope of life beyond this one. The apostle Peter wrote, “rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ…(I Pet 1:13)