Bible studies for writers

Bible studies for writers | Ezra 9

I meant to mention the change from third person to first person in Chapter 8, but by the time I finished whatever I wrote yesterday, I totally forgot to address it. So, let’s mention it now, shall we? Ok. Mentioned. (I already told you my thoughts about how this book is put together, so I’m not going to make you read all that again.) What I hope you read about, however, are my thoughts on this chapter and the subtitle I’m suddenly noticing. First, after I finished this chapter, my initial thoughts were about grace and the great compassion and heartfelt burden Ezra felt for the people of Israel. His prayer is absolutely beautiful and powerful. It is an example of (forgive me for what I’m about to type) a “perfect” prayer. I know. I know. There is no such thing as a perfect prayer, but check it out: Ezra goes to God in shame and humility. He is ashamed, but he does not let his shame turn into fear. He faces God, blushed face and all. He gives thanks for his preservation as a remnant, his freedom, his blessings and his divine protection. Then, he repents – not just for himself, but for the whole of Israel. And finally, he asks God for forgiveness and mercy and gives Him praise. Now, that’s a prayer!

Now, back to my subtitle. I didn’t get any kind of judgmental vibe or damning message from Ezra after reading this. Yet, my subtitle says “Ezra opposes intermarriage,” and the sub-subtitle below that says “Ezra’s Prayer concerning Intermarriage,” which led me to have all kinds of questions. I don’t feel like Ezra in any way, shape or form “opposed” intermarriage in this chapter. I think he prayed for those who had intermarried. I think he recognized and made known of his knowledge that God said don’t intermarry. But I don’t see anywhere in this chapter where Ezra “opposes” intermarriage. And I’m getting a bit picky about this because … words. They’re important. And to me, putting the word that someone “opposes” something in a title leads me to believe that person is adamantly throwing a fit about whatever it is they oppose. It also arouses my judg-y connotation radar. I’ll just say it out loud: I don’t like it. But alas, it is there, so I’ll just post my feelz about it. I’m not sure what I have to say about the sub-subtitle other than, WHYYYYYY are “prayer” and “intermarriage” capitalized when “concerning” is not?

Writing prompt: opposition

Write about how words – even just one word – can shape your attitude in a matter of seconds, or if that doesn’t interest you, write out a prayer similar to Ezra’s. Pray for a people group, a nation, a community – something bigger than your regular circle.

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