And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
After talking about the sin of the people and remembering what had gotten them in this position in the first place, Ezra remembers that God is full of great grace and great mercy. So though the sin was grievous and Ezra mourned over it, he understands the character of the God he is praying to. And God is willing to give us a little reviving. He is willing to give second chances, new life and new hope. He restores and rebuilds things that have been lost and broken. The presence of Israel here now was proof of that.
And so if God was willing to rebuild the temple and the walls of Jerusalem, will He not also be willing to rebuild a life broken down by sin? Won’t He also be willing to restore light to our darkness and give healing for our wounds? Won’t He offer to us a chance for revival, a chance to learn and grow and move forward? Won’t He give us a new life through Jesus Christ and release us from that bondage and captivity? Won’t He have great grace and great mercy upon us when we realize our wretched condition as sinners?
No matter the magnitude of the situation or how bleak it may appear on the outside, we can always find God’s grace if we are willing to look for it. Their captivity was a trying experience for the nation of Israel. Their experience of bondage was surely a great struggle for them. Their sin had put them in that position, but God was willing to reserve His remnant, to spare their lives, and to offer them this amazing opportunity to go home and rebuild, all with the blessing of the highest rulers in the land. And truly, if we’d allow ourselves to see it, we could find God’s grace in the midst of whatever hardships or trials we face, even if they are the result of our own sin.
How can we ever say enough about the great grace of God? It is our only hope. It is what gives us life in the first place and then gives us new life—eternal life. Grace and mercy are ingrained in our God, an intricate part of Him and how He deals with us. So let’s not ever take those things for granted. Let’s keep our eyes open for those great graces He will show us every day. And let’s be thankful that His mercy allows us to be free from our sins, as well.