Daily Word

Separation surprise | Ezra 9:1-2 (AMP)

1 When these things were completed, the officials came to me and said, “The people of Israel and the priests and Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, but have committed the repulsive acts of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians, and Amorites. 2 For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands. Indeed, the officials and chief men have been foremost in this unfaithful act and direct violation [of God’s will].”

Ezra 9:1-2 (AMP)

Ready to Rule

Ezra and his team are all set. They took care of the business, worshiped God with proper sacrifices and he’s now “ready to rule”. But…

Separation surprise

Then comes the surprise, one that he couldn’t have known about until he was on site. Some of the officials come and inform him that all is not well in paradise. “Numbers of the people, in violation of the divine law (Deut. 7:2, 3), had contracted marriages with Gentile women, and that the guilt of the disorderly practice, far from being confined to the lower classes, was shared in by several of the priests and Levites, as well as of the leading men in the country.” (JFB commentary has a nice summary of these verses). 

What’s the big deal?

In Deut 7:4 NASB, God tells us why: “For they will turn your sons away from following Me, and they will serve other gods; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you.” God is a jealous God. Deut 34:14 (AMP) lets us know, “for you shall not worship any other god; for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous (impassioned) God [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely His]”.

Why is He jealous? As the verse says, it’s His nature. I believe it goes beyond that. He is jealous for us, for our attention, our worship, since He created us to have relationship with Him and knows it is best for us.

How do we respond?

How have we compromised our worship, our devotion to Him? Is the Spirit prompting you to take action? Listen to that “still small voice”. Your Heavenly Father loves you and is jealous for your worship – so you, we, can be fulfilled and joyous.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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