In our day, it is becoming increasingly popular to read our “social justice” into the Law of God. Fallen humans attempting to insert their judgment of what is “right” and “wrong”, and critiquing the Bible. Some might view the commandments of the Lord as harsh, or unforgiving, but they are perfect. Psalm 19:7 says, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.”
In Ezra’s day, it had become common place to marry the inhabitants of the land. This was a direct violation to the Law of God, and it’s consequences are well documented in the history of Israel. Their failure to heed this warning is one of the major reasons they had to endure exile. They have not learned from the mistakes of their fathers, but instead are making them anew.
Ezra’s outcry and brokenness of this affront to God, is not misplaced or unkind. Ezra sees the judgment of God looming over this breech of the Law. Swiftly and harshly, Ezra calls the people to action to remedy the problem, and then calls the transgressors by name! Thankfully the people respond right, but we will see in Nehemiah that they fall back into the same problem in no time.
We live in a day when certain Biblical truths are not popular, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are true. Our standards of right and wrong are subjective and ever changing, but God’s objective truth is eternal. We need to rest in the reality that He knows what is right and best for us, even if we do not fully understand.
I’m sure the separation was hard for these families, but necessary to prevent further decay from the Law of the Lord. If they had stayed with these pagan worshiping foreigners, they would have denied God and had God’s judgment upon them.
Trust the Lord, and do right… what God says is right. It might not matter to the world, but it matters to God.
Daily Scripture Reading
Ezra 8 - 10
And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.
• Why is a genealogy given of those who returned with Ezra?
• Did more or less return with Ezra than Zerubbabel?
• Why did Ezra proclaim a fast/
• Why was there concern about intermarriage?
• Why did the people weep?
• Why was there concern about the rain?
• Why are the names of those guilty of taking a strange wife listed?