11 Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.
12 Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.
13 But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing.
In our zeal to remedy past errors, we must never presume that such reforms are an overnight process. When Ezra learned that many of the people had married strange wives that did not honor the God of heaven, he directed and implemented what was necessary for reform. And while the people confessed their transgressions in the matter and consented to his plans, they were wise enough to realize that such efforts could not take place in “one day or two.” For the people well understood that true repentance always accompanies works in keeping with it, and they desired to do nothing less than to bring forth fruits meet for it; And they fully understood that such fruit would “not” be had in “one day or two.”
[For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.] KJV 2 Corinthians 7:11
Brian Johnson, Ph.D.