Faithlessly Flirting {thoughts on ezra 9}

“For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands. And in this faithlessness the hand of the officials and chief men has been foremost.”
{ezra 9:2}

For the past couple of weeks, part of my Scripture intake has been from the book of Ezra. I had forgotten how rich and wonderful that little minor prophet is! Last night, I was taken a little by surprise when I read Ezra 9. It’s always so amazing to me that the Lord can take obscure, often-overlooked verses from the Old Testament and prick my heart with convicting truth.

The Israelites had started flirting with the pagan practices and had even started marrying people who worshiped other gods…the very thing God had instructed them not to do {see vs. 11-12}. Their mingling with the world and its behavior showed a lack of faith in God.

God’s command had a promise: “that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.”  {vs. 12} By blatantly disobeying His command to live a different kind of life from the lives of those around them, they showed that they doubted His promise. Even if His commands seem absurd, we must always remember that God is sovereign over all and He the guidelines He gives are for our good. He always has our best interest at heart.

“He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?”
{romans 8:32}

The Israelites had been shown much grace. God had chosen them to be His people. The same applies to Christians today. God doesn’t want us to conform to the world and its standards. Rather, He calls us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds {romans 12:2} Sometimes it’s easy to make yourself believe that you’re missing out on something if you’re different from the world. When I fall into that trap, I just have to keep claiming another one of His promises from the Old Testament…

No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
{psalm 84:11

May I have renewed faith in His promises for a hope and a future and a fresh appreciation for what He did on my behalf at Calvary. And with all of that in place, may I reject the temptation to faithlessly flirt with the world and its shallow promises.

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