Today's devotion from Ezra 10.
One commentator described the work to which Ezra is called as, "distasteful." How do you describe the act of having to divide families? That is the work of Ezra 10. The people had sinned against God by disobeying His command to remain separate from the pagan peoples of the land. When the disobeyed, the result was an entanglement with sin that caused many to be trapped in the web.
However, the people recognized the sin for what it was. They knew it had to be addressed. Further, they recognized that Ezra was the one called to the occasion. While he was praying, a "very great assembly" came to him. These were people who had come to a realization. When they spoke, they confessed the fact of their sin while recognizing the remaining hope for them. They spoke of covenant. They would put away the pagan wives and children, and would follow God. Finally, the knew Ezra had to lead them. They declared, "Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it." (Ezra 10:4, ESV)
It was his task to walk the people through this difficult time. It was his task to shepherd this flock into the will of God. It was his task, and they needed him to be strong and do it. Even though they were with him and convinced of the righteousness of this cause, they needed one appointed by God to lead the way forward.
I wonder if today there are people who need you to lead their way forward? It will hard and difficult work even if they are willing to follow, but someone must lead.
I wonder today if you are in need of being led to follow through with a difficult and hard task, but are you willing? Will you submit to the one called to lead you into the ugly and cumbersome webs of sin so that, on the other side, you might be free of its entanglement?