EZRA‬ ‭9‬:‭1‬-‭4‬ ‭‬‬

“When these things had been done, the Jewish leaders came to me and said, “Many of the people of Israel, and even some of the priests and Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the other peoples living in the land. They have taken up the detestable practices of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. For the men of Israel have married women from these people and have taken them as wives for their sons. So the holy race has become polluted by these mixed marriages. Worse yet, the leaders and officials have led the way in this outrage.” When I heard this, I tore my cloak and my shirt, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down utterly shocked. Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel came and sat with me because of this outrage committed by the returned exiles. And I sat there utterly appalled until the time of the evening sacrifice.”

Ezra‬ ‭9‬:‭1‬-‭4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This is a shock to Ezra. The reason is far more simple than we might expect. It isn’t because of marriage between cultures but because of what that creates when one of those cultures is to be set apart. But even more dastardly than this is the fact that the Jews were not even one generation removed from the return of exile. This is significant because the reason they were exiled in the first place, was the allowance for, and eventually adoption of, the idolatrous practices of the Canaanite nations surrounding them. It was King Solomon who fomented the process of bringing foreign worldviews into the kingdom. This is the very same Solomon who built David’s temple. The same one they had just rebuilt. Now the people were already repeating the mistake that brought its destruction? People are a fickle and wicked creature. Whenever there is great progress for God, there is great temptation to relax our defenses upon the chains of sin. We must live in constant repentance and discernment.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary

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