- Ezra 9:1-10:44
Not long after he arrived in Jerusalem, Ezra was told of a great problem among the people: many of them had married people from pagan nations (that is, nations who didn’t worship the one true GOD). This was a violation of the Law of Moses and had directly contributed to so much of the problems Israel had faced, including the slavery they had been under—which many Jews were still under back in Babylon. Ezra was absolutely stunned at this news. How could these people be so stupid? How could they have made this mistake, after all the suffering they and their forefathers had been through? Ezra tore his clothes and pulled hair from his head and beard when he heard the news, and he sat down in amazement until the time of the evening sacrifice.
Only one thing could be done now. The Jews had to divorce these foreign spouses and part ways with the children they had with them. This must be done in order to turn away GOD’s anger from them, for they had once again sinned greatly. Obviously this was no small sacrifice. The thought of splitting even one family is very sad and creates a whole new set of problems for the generation of children who would grow up without their father or mother to raise them.
Thankfully, under Ezra’s leadership, the Jews had the courage and faith to do what needed to be done and divorce their spouse. This must have been extremely painful times for GOD’s people, and for GOD Himself to watch these events unfold. But you know what—that’s the price for choosing sin. Repentance is not easy, and it’s often very painful, but it’s necessary.
There will be times in your life where you will realize that you have gone down a path that you shouldn’t have traveled. Perhaps it’s an unwise choice, perhaps it’s sin. As soon as you realize your mistake, you need to take steps to correct it right then in order to minimize the damage and suffering that will come as a result. Always remember, though, it is much better to repent and suffer any consequences here than it is to refuse to repent and suffer eternity in hell, separated from GOD.
Obviously, the less mistakes we make the less painful our road will be. So ask GOD for wisdom to help you make good choices.