Saturday, February 17, 2018

Year 8, Day 48: Ezra 10

Theological Commentary: Click Here

Ezra 10 contains some teaching that is hard for us to here.  Ezra and the leaders of the Hebrew people tell those who have returned from exile that they have a choice to make.  Either they put aside their foreign wives and their foreign gods or they forfeit their inheritance in the land.  The Bible doesn’t tell us what would happen if a foreign wife gave up her foreign gods and chose to become a God-fearer, but in such a case I expect they would have allowed the marriage to last.

That being said, there are some interesting teachings that we can make out of this passage.  First of all, following God may occasionally lead us to hard choices.  Following God is not easy, especially the more time we spend thinking about what a faithful life really looks like.  We will need to examine parts of our life that we have come to enjoy and appreciate and occasionally be asked to let those parts of our life go.

Second, notice that God does not force the choice.  The people can continue in their marriages as long as they let go of their inheritance.  The comparison to us in our sinfulness is astounding.  We can continue to cling to our sin and pursue it with our heart – even after God confronts us with the knowledge of our sinfulness.  We have the freedom to relinquish our inheritance in Him and hold onto our sins if we desire.

Third, notice that getting rid of sin takes longer than desired.  Ezra wants the choice and the decision to be over and done in a matter of days.  The people know that just isn’t possible.  It is going to take time to explain the circumstance, have the delicate conversations, explain the consequences, give people time to decide, and then enforce the decision.  That takes time.  The same thing is true about us.  It takes time for God to convince us of our sin and prove why it isn’t in our best interests.  It takes time for us to let go of our sin and follow God more faithfully.