Ezra 10:4 "Arise! For this matter is your responsibility, but we will be with you; be courageous and act." NASB
It's tough to be a leader. Ezra knew that a bunch of the people sinned. He took this upon himself and repented. As people saw his act of repentance, they realized that something had to be done. So they went to Ezra and acknowledged his leadership and this acknowledgment presented him with a problem. He had to do something. These people noted that this was his responsibility. He had to make some decisions. He had to figure some things out. He had to determine how to resolve this situation. What was he going to do with so many people who had intermarried and who now had to divorce their wives and say goodbye to their children? No matter what, no matter the course of action Ezra decided to take, these people said that they were behind him. They would follow him. They would be with him. They only wanted him to arise, be courageous and do something.
I think of the decision that Ezra was going to force these people to make. Divorce your wives. Give up your kids. Unbelievable. No matter how stupid it was for these guys to marry women who were not Jews, they still loved them...and they loved their kids. That is only natural. Yet they were going to have to make some tough choices. Not everyone was in favor of this decision. There were a few guys who disagreed, but the majority understood that this sin had to be eliminated. Tough stuff.
That is the way it is sometimes. Leadership faces tough situations. You hope and pray that things don't happen, but if certain circumstances play out, then leadership has to arise. Leadership has to have courage. Leadership has to act. Decisions have to be made, leadership has to take a stand, and if that happens there may be fallout. Not everyone will agree. It would always be our prayer that people would say: "We will be with you, be courageous and act.", yet I know that when unpopular decisions are made, people react. Leadership has to do what is right no matter what the consequences. When tough things hit the fan, leaders have to be leaders "for this matter is (our) responsibility".
What should go into it before then? As we saw yesterday: Much prayer. Much confession. Much repentance. Then when tough decisions have to be made, be courageous and act.