The City

Mercy greater than sin

By Dale Stonecipher in Redeemer Church about 1 year ago | 1417 views Link:

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

God’s word tells us that because of His people’s sin in turning to worship gods of their own making and gods of other nations, He sent them into exile in Babylon.  After a number of years, Persia came to power and replaced Babylon.   God moved on the ruler of Persia to show favor on the people and grant them permission to return to their promised land.

Ezra, a man described as a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses was able to return to Jerusalem along with others.  Work began to restore the temple and the worship of the true God.  Ezra led the people in humbling themselves in fasting and prayer to God for His goodness.  Sacrifices were made to the Lord.  Seemingly, things were going in the right direction.

But, in chapter 9, a problem came to Ezra’s attention.  There had been a number of intermarriages between Israel and the nations around them.  God had warned them about that.  The danger was that Israel would be led astray by the pagan nations.  When Ezra heard about the situation, he tore his clothes and pulled hair from his head and beard and fasted.

In the evening, he cried out to God in confession of sin.  He says their iniquities are higher than their heads and their guilt has mounted up to heaven.  Yet he remembers that God has shown favor to leave a remnant and has granted a little reviving in their slavery.  He admitted they were guilty, but that God had not forsaken them.  Instead, He had extended His steadfast love.

He continued to confess sin and guilt, but declared that God had punished them less than their iniquities deserved.

Although Ezra was fully aware of the sin of the people, He remembered the mercy and graciousness of God.  At the close of the chapter, he mentioned that God is just and they were guilty and no one could stand before God because of their guilt. 

We agree with Ezra that God is just and will not overlook sin.  But we also agree that He is merciful and has extended forgiveness to us in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. His steadfast love remains.  Ezra reminds us that God has not forsaken us and has not punished us as our iniquities deserve.  Instead, He has extended mercy and grace greater than our sin.  Where sin abounds, His grace even more abounds.  May we confess our sin and repent, turning from it.  May we praise our God for His mercy greater than our sin.


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Mary Leadbetter


Redeemer Church

We exist to equip God’s people to delight in His glory and declare that glory to our neighbors and the nations.

For more information, please visit our main site at

Meeting location: 126 N. Judd St.
Fort Worth, TX 76133

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