All of Ezra chapter 9.
The people of Israel had returned from Babylon to rebuild the temple of God per the instructions of King Cyrus of Persia. It took a long time for the temple to be rebuilt. Finally, under the reign of Artaxerxes, Ezra the priest came back to Jerusalem to lead the people in the teachings of God’s Word. He learned that many of the leaders and people had married pagan wives from the tribes of Canaan, which God ordered Joshua to destroy. Ezra mourned over the sins of Israel and prayed that God would forgive them and save them, even though they deserved greater punishment than had been put upon them in exile.
“When these things had been done, the Jewish leaders came to me and said, ‘Many of the people of Israel, and even some of the priests and Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the other peoples living in the land. They have taken up the detestable practices of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites…Worse yet, the leaders and officials have led the way in this outrage.’
“When I heard this, I tore my cloak and my shirt, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down utterly shocked. Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel came and sat with me because of this outrage committed by the returned exiles. And I sat there utterly appalled until the time of the evening sacrifice.
“At the time of the sacrifice, I stood up from where I had sat in mourning with my clothes torn. I fell to my knees and lifted my hands to the Lord my God. I prayed,
“’O my God, I am utterly ashamed; I blush to lift up my face to you. For our sins are piled higher than our heads, and our guilt has reached to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors until now, we have been steeped in sin. That is why we and our [LEADERS] and our [ministers] have been at the mercy of the pagans…of the land. We have been killed, captured, robbed, and disgraced, just as we are today.
“But now we have been given a brief moment of grace, for the Lord our God has allowed a few of us to survive as a remnant. He has given us security in this holy place. Our God has brightened our eyes and granted us some relief from our slavery. For we were slaves, but in his unfailing love our God did not abandon us in our slavery…He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God [our bodies not made with human hands, for we are the temple of the Holy Spirit]…
“And now, O our God, what can we say after all of this? For once again we have abandoned your commands! Your servants the prophets warned us when they said, “The land you are entering to possess is totally defiled by the detestable practices of the people living there. From one end to the other, the land is filled with corruption…Don’t ever promote the peace and prosperity of those [people]. If you follow these instructions, you will be strong and will enjoy the good things the land produces, and you will leave this prosperity to your children forever.”
“Now we are being punished because of our wickedness and our great guilt. But we have actually been punished far less than we deserve, for you, our God, have allowed some of us to survive as a remnant. But even so, we are again breaking your commands and…do these detestable things. Won’t your anger be enough to destroy us, so that even this little remnant no longer survives? O Lord, God…you are just. We come before you in our guilt as nothing but an escaped remnant, though in such a condition none of us can stand in your presence.”
Father, we as a remnant of your people, your true disciples of Jesus, answer the call to fall on our faces and give thanks and pay homage to the True King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus! Thank you for allowing us to live in the most blessed nation in the history of mankind. Thank you for showing us what it means to know and have the blessing of God upon us. You bless those who bless your people Israel and curse those that turn on her. We have loved your people, but our leaders quickly have turned against her to follow the wicked practices of the rest of the world that despise Jews and your disciples. Forgive our nation for its murder of the innocents and promoting corruption over righteousness. May your mercy be shown upon for a while dear Father. May we see revival again in this nation. Your will be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.