Ezra 10: Glorifying God Is Our Main Purpose
Ezra 10 is kind of a difficult chapter. Basically, because God had told the Israelites not to marry outside of their own people, we see a massive separation. Anyone who had married a foreign wife had to basically get a divorce.
Ezr 10:11 Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.
Ezr 10:12 Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.
It is worth mentioning that there was more going on here than just separating from their wives. They also had to separate from all the people of the land. I think that this could also refer to the fact that if a woman married husband from that region, she had to separate as well. I’m not sure how often that would have happened given that I have a feeling that the woman’s father would not have been willing to give her away to a foreign man, but it seems as if the separation would apply to them too.
Now, put yourself in the position of one of these Israelite men. You may have married the best woman ever. She might have been everything you could have possibly wanted, but then order comes down from God that you need to separate from her. You need to separate from her because she is “strange.” In this context strange simply means foreign as far as I can tell from my Strong’s numbers.
You might wonder what God was doing. You might wonder why all of these people had the separate. What if the marriage was working out really well? What was going on here?
I think that we have to remember that originally God had told the people of Israel not to marry people from the land because they often times led to idolatrous practices. That was the commandment, so people needed to follow the commandment. If they didn’t, they were living in sin. However, at the same time in my scenario, maybe some of those people were outwardly happy.
I think that we see this kind of thing happen all the time just looking around. People can indeed be outwardly happy, and they can be living in sin.
However, external happiness is not the ultimate goal of our existence (and there is an interesting argument to be made for the fact that we cannot be truly happy outside of God, but I will not go into that today). We are meant to be on earth to glorify God and follow Him. Part of doing that means putting away sin.
I know this isn’t a popular thing to talk about, and I know that it is difficult to realign our thought processes. In society today, we are taught that fulfilling our own happiness is what should be most important. Biblically, that’s not true.
1Co 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
We should do everything to glorify God. I will meet you tomorrow in Nehemiah.