Confession feels like a dirty word. And, in a way, it is because it admits the guilt we bear for our wrongful deeds and attitudes. Ezra the priest made confession for the people who returned from exile (454 BC). He lamented the mixed marriages of his people, knowing their religious devotion would likely suffer as it had in the past. Ezra's confession teaches about God's compassion and our culpability. It encourages us to take time to lay bare our souls before God.