The king’s heart is like streams of water in the hand of the Lord. He turns it wherever he pleases. Proverbs 21:1
Intermarriage with Neighboring People
1 Now when these things were done, the leaders came near to me, saying, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, following their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2 For they have taken their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy offspring have mixed themselves with the peoples of these lands. Indeed, the leaders and rulers have had a leading hand in this transgression.”
3 When I heard of this, I tore my garment and my robe and pulled the hair out of my head and of my beard and sat down confounded. 4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel were assembled to me because of the unfaithfulness of the exiles, and I sat confounded until the evening offering.
Ezra’s Prayer of Confession
5 At the evening offering I arose up from my humiliation, with my garment and my robe torn and I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God, 6 and I said, “My God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have increased over our head, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens. 7 Since the days of our fathers we have been exceedingly guilty to this day, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests, have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to humiliation, as it is this day.
8 Now for a little moment, grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave a remnant to us who have escaped, and to give us a secure stake in his holy place, that our God may give light to our eyes, and revive us a little in our bondage. 9 For we are bondservants, yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended loving kindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to revive us, to set up the house of our God, and to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.
10 Now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, 11 which you have commanded through your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land, which you are going to possess, is an unclean land because of the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, through their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their filth. 12 Now therefore do not give your daughters to their sons. Do not take their daughters to your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity, ever, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land, and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.’
13 After all that has come on us because of our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such a remnant, 14 should we again break your commandments and join ourselves with the peoples that do these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you had consumed us, so that there would be no remnant, nor any to escape?
15 Lord, God of Israel, you are righteous, for there is still a remnant of us today that has survived, and we stand before you in our guilt, for no one can stand before you because of this guilt.”
1 Corinthians 5
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles, that one is intimate with with his father’s wife. 2 You are arrogant, instead of mourning so that the one who had done this deed might be removed from among you.
3 For I most certainly, as being absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has done this thing as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 are to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole lump? 7 Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, just as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed in our place. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, nor with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Expel the Immoral Brother
9 I wrote to you in my letter to have no company with sexual sinners, 10 yet not at all meaning with the sexual sinners of this world, or with the covetous and extortionists, or with idolaters, for then you would have to leave the world.
11 But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Do not even eat with such a person. 12 For what do I have to do with also judging those who are outside? Do you judge those who are within? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.
1 In you, O Lord, I take refuge.
Let me never be ashamed.
Deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Bow down your ear to me.
Deliver me speedily.
Be to me a strong rock,
a house of defense to save me.
3 For you are my rock and my fortress,
therefore for your name’s sake lead me and guide me.
4 Pluck me out of the net that they have laid secretly for me,
for you are my stronghold.
5 Into your hand I commend my spirit.
You redeem me, O Lord, God of truth.
6 I hate those who regard lying vanities,
but I trust in the Lord.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your loving kindness,
for you have seen my affliction.
You have known my soul in adversities.
8 You have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy.
You have set my feet in a large place.
1 The king’s heart is like streams of water
in the hand of the Lord.
He turns it wherever he pleases.
2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the hearts.