Originally published on April 23, 2015.
Revised April 24, 2015
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Exra 10:2: “And Shecaniah [II] son of Jehiel…, of the sons of Elam, said to Ezra: We have broken faith and dealt treacherously against our God and have married foreign women of the peoples of the land; yet now there is still hope for Israel in spite of this thing.”
Adultery and disobedience, well, really and truly, outright rebellion expressed in marrying foreign women. In 1 Samuel 15:23, Samuel tells Saul that rebellion is the same as the sin of witchcraft. Rebellion leads to destruction according to Psalm 37:38.
I was going to say, “Aren’t we like that?” Instead I will say, “Aren’t I like that?” I have put my hope in things of the world that fall apart, decay, die, or in myriad other ways do not last. The men under the law had to follow the law. They put their wives away from them. Our hope is in/on Jesus Christ and his saving work at the cross. My hope is supposed to be “set fully on the grace to be given you when Christ Jesus is revealed” according to 1 Peter 1:13. I am thinking of the New Testament story of people who burned their books because of the sin they represented, Acts 19:19, and another scripture that says “hate even the clothing stained by sin,” my paraphrase of Jude 1:23. Even though I will choose to trust that He who began a good work will be faithful to see it to completion, Philippians 1:6 I may have to put some things away from me. And then I remember, “they gladly endured the confiscation of their possessions knowing they had better ones in Heaven”. Now, what do I need to put away from me?