Thou art righteous - Thou art merciful; this is one of the many meanings of the word צדק tsedek ; and to this meaning St. Paul refers, when he says, God declares his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, Romans 3:25; (note). See the note there.
We remain yet escaped - Because of this righteousness or mercy.
In our trespasses - We have no righteousness; we are clothed and covered with our trespasses.
We cannot stand before thee because of this - The parallel place, as noted in the margin, is Psalm 130:3; : If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Every man must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ: but who shall stand there with joy? No man against whom the Lord marks iniquities. There is a reference here to the temple service: the priests and Levites stood and ministered before the Lord, but they were not permitted to do so unless pure from all legal pollution; so no man shall stand before the judgment-seat of Christ who is not washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Reader, how dost thou expect to stand there?
Some take “righteous” to mean here “kind” or “merciful.” Others give it the more usual sense of “just,” and understand the full meaning of the passage to be, “Thou art righteous, and hast punished us, because of our sin, the contraction of forbidden marriages, so that we are a mere remnant of what was once a great people.”
2 Chronicles 36:14-16: “Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the Lord which He had hallowed in Jerusalem. And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by His messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place: but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.” 1T 280.1
Leviticus 18:26, 27: “Ye shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (for all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled).” 1T 280.2
Deuteronomy 32:16-22: “They provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they Him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. And when the Lord saw it, He abhorred them, because of the provoking of His sons, and of His daughters. And He said, I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. For a fire is kindled in Mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.” 1T 280.3Read in context »
It was in the providence of God that those who returned with Ezra had had special seasons of seeking the Lord. The experiences through which they had just passed, on their journey from Babylon, unprotected as they had been by any human power, had taught them rich spiritual lessons. Many had grown strong in faith; and as these mingled with the discouraged and the indifferent in Jerusalem, their influence was a powerful factor in the reform soon afterward instituted. PK 619.1
On the fourth day after the arrival, the treasures of silver and gold, with the vessels for the service of the sanctuary, were delivered by the treasurers into the hands of the temple officers, in the presence of witnesses, and with the utmost exactitude. Every article was examined “by number and by weight.” Ezra 8:34. PK 619.2
The children of the captivity who had returned with Ezra “offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel” for a sin offering and as a token of their gratitude and thanksgiving for the protection of holy angels during the journey. “And they delivered the king's commissions unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors on this side the river: and they furthered the people, and the house of God.” Verses 35, 36. PK 619.3Read in context »