“O, My God!”
Is this an exclamation of profanity or a righteous expression of deep grief over sin?
FROM HEIGHTS OF GLORY
Ezra goes from heights of glory as we conclude Ezra 8:31-36 to depths of grief over sin in Ezra 9:1-10 Everything was going his way in Ezra 7:11-28 as King Artaxerxes gave him everything he needed for the four month’s journey from Babylon to Jerusalem.
About 1500 men, besides their wives and children, which might have totaled 5000 people, joined him on this journey. Ezra 8:1-14.
Ezra found Levite priests to accompany them to administer the animal sacrificial system back in Jerusalem. Ezra 8:15-20
Ezra was ashamed to ask the king for military protection for the journey since he was trusting God for his protection. God was faithful and protected them. Ezra 8:22-23
At the beginning of the journey they weighed out the gold and silver and when they finally arrived in Jerusalem four months later, they weighed it again and found nothing missing. Ezra 8:25-34
After arriving in Jerusalem, they offered a huge burnt offering in thanksgiving to God after all those years of Babylonian captivity. Ezra 8:25-34.
TO DEPTHS OF GRIEF
Ezra 9:1 begins “Now when these things were done.” What things? The blessings mentioned in chapter 8, then Ezra heard the bad news found in Ezra 9:1-2
What was the bad news? The princes and the priests, the leaders of Israel, were setting a sinful example to the people. Ezra found that these leaders had been intermarrying the heathen. In Ezra 9:3-4 we find Ezra shocked and grieving, weeping over the sin of these leaders.
Weeping and general grief over sin is rare today. So many see sin as just an error of good judgment. Their prayer of confession amounts to a “Sorry I goofed, God.” Their hearts are never broken over their sins.
It has always been that way. Pharaoh’s confessions were not genuine. Read about them in Exodus 9:3-4 and 10:16-17.
Esau showed no grief over his sins. Hebrews 12:17
King Saul showed no grief over sin when confronted by the prophet Samuel. I Samuel 15:13-35 and 16:1. He was more concerned with losing his stature before the people than he was the grossness of his sins before God.
In contrast, King David, who had committed adultery with his military officer’s wife, Bathsheba, and then saw to it that the officer, Uriah, was killed; broke down in grief over his sins toward God. Read Psalm 51 for his genuine prayer of contrition. Sin ought to break our hearts. See what Jesus says about this in Matthew 5:3-4. Our sins ought to cause us to cry out in grief, “O, my God!”
We also honor God in worship when we sing, ” O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the works Thy hands have made.” You know that beautiful song of worship, “How Great Thou Art!”
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
It would do us all well to read some prayers of confession. Here are three of them all found in a ninth chapter.
Ezra’s confession in Ezra 9:6-15
Nehemiah’s confession in Nehemiah 9.
Daniel’s confession in Daniel 9.
Then there is David’s confession, I already mentioned in Psalm 51.
Note that Ezra, as the leader of the people, included himself in the guilt, we read in Ezra 9:6-10. There he recalls God’s warning about intermarriage with the heathen in Ezra 9:11-15.
Crushed by anguish and grief before a holy God, he cries reverently to God in grief, “O, My God!”
This phrase, “O, My God!” has become a careless, irreverent slang phrase used thoughtlessly in times of surprise or pleasure, or for just about any reason whatsoever. Sometimes the letters OMG are used as an abbreviation of it, as one would use a smiley or frown face in a letter or a post on Face Book. Perhaps it has never occurred to you that this is taking God’s name in vain, a violation of the fourth commandment in Exodus 20:7. I would encourage you, Christian friend, to ask God to help you use His name only for His glory.
GOD’S WARNINGS OF COMPROMISE WITH SIN
Repeatedly through the Bible God warns of the danger of compromising with sin. In Exodus 34:11-16 and Deuteronomy 7 God warns Israel of the sin of compromising with evil. King Solomon is an extreme example of how far a godly man can slip when he starts down the road of sin. Read his sad story in I Kings 11 as you see the wisest of men becoming the greatest of fools.
When you can find time, take time to read through these various warning of compromising with evil throughout the Bible. II Corinthians 6:14-18, is perhaps the chief warning on separation from sin in the Bible.
I Corinthians 5:9-11
I Peter 1:13-16
II Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15
I Corinthians 10:12
Stay in the Word of God and be led by it to find victory over sin.
Psalm 1:1-6, 101:3-4, 119:1-5
National revival begins when God’s people confess their sins and get right with Him. II Chronicles 7:14
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