Daily Word

God requires holiness | Ezra 9:6, 10-11,15 (ESV)

6 saying: “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.

10 “And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, 11 which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering, to take possession of it, is a land impure with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations that have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness.

15 O LORD, the God of Israel, you are just, for we are left a remnant that has escaped, as it is today. Behold, we are before you in our guilt, for none can stand before you because of this.”

Ezra 9:6, 10-11,15 (ESV)

God requires purity

One more look at this prayer of corporate confession. Lest we get “stuck in the weeds”, let’s not miss the point of this prayer of Ezra. Why did God give these commands to purge the land (see yesterday) and not to intermarry?

He is holy. He requires his people to be holy.

God created us to know Him and have a relationship with Him – as sons and daughters. Since He is holy, we need to be holy.

One way transfer

The Levitical laws made this clear. If something holy, like a garment, comes into contact with anything not holy, the holy thing becomes unholy. It’s a one-way transfer. If God contacts anything unholy, His immutable holiness causes that thing to become holy. That thing will be changed. The problem is, the change may kill it! If a sinner comes into contact with God, they will die. Even if we see God in this sinful body, we will die. 


Holiness is what God demands from us: “because it is written: “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” (1 Peter 1:16 NASB). This song, “Holiness” may inspire you.

Other resources

Consider these other resources regarding corporate sin and prayer: 

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