Daily Word

Submissive Appeal | Ezra 10:12-15 (NASB)

12 Then all the assembly replied with a loud voice, “That’s right! As you have said, so it is our duty to do. 13 But there are many people; it is the rainy season and we are not able to stand in the open. Nor can the task be done in one or two days, for we have transgressed greatly in this matter. 14 Let our leaders represent the whole assembly and let all those in our cities who have married foreign wives come at appointed times, together with the elders and judges of each city, until the fierce anger of our God on account of this matter is turned away from us.”

15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah opposed this, with Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supporting them.

Ezra 10:12-15 (NASB)


What we’re seeing here is a wonderful example of immediate obedience. When our kids were growing up, we used the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) character-based curriculum. One character they cover is obedience. They define obedience as, “Eagerly yielding to God’s Word rather than following my own will.” 

Immediate Obedience

One aspect of obedience is obeying right away. If we say, “Yes, I will”, but then delay or don’t do it at all, we’re like the brother in the parable in Matthew 21:28-32 who said, “Yes”, but didn’t obey. The Jews obeyed right away as we saw in Ezra 10:9. And here in v12, they all yell out, “That’s right! As you have said, so it is our duty to do.”

Submissive Appeal

What do you do when you don’t agree with the request of your authority, or you have a better idea? Another aspect of obedience is what IBLP calls “the wise appeal”. I’ll call it a submissive appeal. The point is, we demonstrate willingness to obey (including immediately) – having decided that no matter what, we will obey. Then we express our concern about obeying. We appeal to the authorities as the Jews did here.


They took it seriously – “we have transgressed greatly”. All of them (except four) fully intended to take action. But the situation was not conducive to carry it out most effectively so they proposed an alternative. 

They were committed to complete obedience, “until the fierce anger of our God on account of this matter is turned away from us”. They desired to appease God’s righteous anger and obey completely.


  • Are you prepared to obey God’s will for your life? How can we pray, “thy will be done” if we won’t obey? And when we obey, do we delay or do it right away?
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