Daily Word

Reform 5 -Purge foreign wives|Nehemiah 13:23-27

23 In those days I also saw Jews who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. 24 As for their children, half spoke in the language of Ashdod, and none of them knew how to speak [Hebrew] the language of Judah, but only the language of his own people. 25 So I contended with them and cursed them and struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters [in marriage] to their sons, nor take [any of] their daughters for your sons or for yourselves.

26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin [greatly against God] regarding these things? Yet among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin [by turning to other gods and so, judged by God, he lost his kingdom]. 27 Do we then hear about you that you have done all this great evil, acting unfaithfully against our God by marrying foreign (pagan) women?” 

Nehemiah 13:23-27 (AMP)

Not again!

Some sins (most?) just keep hanging around and we continue to fall into them. Some of the returnees had taken foreign wives – which God clearly commanded against (Deuteronomy 7:3). Ezra had dealt with this same issue a few years earlier (Ezra 9-10). Now they’re back at it. Great, wise King Solomon even was trapped in it and is given as an example of failure. The foreign wives led him to sin and, ultimately, to lose the kingdom.

Aggressive response

Nehemiah took a pretty aggressive response to this sin of the people, as he did with Reform 2 and other reforms. First he cursed them. Then he beat them (or he had them beaten as directed in Deuteronomy 25:2). He also plucked out their hair. Ouch! “Plucking the beard (v. 25) was a form of punishment (cf. Isa. 50:6), and it was a public disgrace (2 Sam. 10:4).” (planobiblechapel.org)

What’s our besetting sin?

Without judging them too quickly, we need to look for the log in our own eye. For me, it seems to be anxiety. Just this morning as I was praying I felt anxious about certain things and had to cry out to the Lord to take it away and replace it with peace. What’s yours? Are you dealing with it as the Spirit prompts you through His Word?

Foreign wives in India. Image from dissdash.com *

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