Archive for February 12th, 2018

The Jewish people needed to learn from the past!  The revelation of their consistent idolatry and unfaithfulness to God, brought them to their knees and they confessed their sins.  Ezra did not hold back in his observations and pronouncements of the Israelites’ behaviour, and had been utterly faithful in pointing out the sins of the past.  As he continues to weep, pray and confess, he is joined by “a large crowd of Israelites” (v.1).  Ezra did not cover things up or dilute God’s holy commandments – he spoke the TRUTH and the result was REVELATION for the people!  They needed to see and understand the foolishness of their disobedience in intermarrying with other nations and tribes.  This disobedience was their downfall which had distanced them from God.  Ezra literally threw himself on God’s mercy, and the understanding of the enormity of their unfaithfulness brought the people to CONFESSION and REVIVAL as they tried to put things right.  Notice how Ezra identifies with the people as they ask him to act for them before God.

 

Can you imagine the scene?  It was the rainy season and as they stood in the rain they called to Ezra to help them and to ask God for his forgiveness.  They were desperate to put things right.  The blame for all the unhappiness of the broken marriages did not rest on Ezra but on those listed in verses 18-44: the men who married in defiance of God’s Law.  In Malachi 2:10-16, we read that some men had broken their former marriages to Jewish women, in order to remarry non-Jews. We need to understand that in Ezra’s time, God’s Law forbade intermarriage with other nations in order that the national and spiritual integrity of Israel was preserved.  Attitudes today are so very different and individual freedom of choice in any area of life has become paramount – or so it would seem – “anything goes”!

 

The New Testament does warn us against the “unequal yoking” of believers and unbelievers.  Paul uses the analogy of an ox and an ass attempting to pull a plough together (2 Cor. 6:14)!  Unity in marriage is vital, and certainly some mixed marriages work, but we must always remember that marriage is not essential to spiritual health or happiness, but FAITHFULNESS to God is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Lord God, please help me to remember your holy laws and to be the example of Jesus as I interact with those who do not understand their spiritual need of you.  Please give me your wisdom and revelation to show your love and grace to all those I meet.  For the glory of Jesus, Amen. 

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