July 1 - There is Still Hope

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 1 – There is Still Hope

“We have been unfaithful to our God … But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel.” (Ezra 10:2)

The children of Israel had returned to Jerusalem after their long exile under Nebuchadnezzar.  Without daily interaction of the priests and the Temple, they had not only left their homeland, but many had set aside their beliefs.  There was a great deal of intermarriage with neighboring peoples and they had not kept themselves pure as God had called them to be.

Ezra was pretty upset and in great mourning over this sin, praying and weeping before the house of God.  Soon others joined him.  Then Shecaniah said these words, pledging to send the women and children back to their homeland and to separate themselves once again according to the Law.

Israel had been through terrible years filled with sin and lawlessness.  Their exile and removal from the Promised Land had still not brought them to a point of compliance with God.  No amount of punishment seemed to work with them.  There was always another way for them to sin against their God.

The one thing they learned, though, was that there was always hope with God.  He never gave up on them.  When God made the Covenant with Noah to bless his descendants and to never destroy the earth, but to allow them to fill it – He followed through.  No amount of sin committed by the Israelites could stop that Covenant.  He would punish them, but never destroy them.  There was always a window of hope for them.

This is the promise that God offers to each of us.  Hope.  No amount of sin can stop the Covenant that God has made with us through Jesus Christ.  He will always love us.  He may punish us to bring us back into relationship with Him, but He will always love us and will always move us toward what is best for us.

Hope.  That window is always open no matter what we do.  There is always hope for us.