August 3, 2017
Ezra 10-Part 3
LET IT GLOW
What is acceptable-divorce or not? Divorce is such a controversial topic. Each situation is different. It is not my intent to cause confusion, but to look in the Word of God.
Ezra found the first group of returnee Jews were living in sin. They had forsaken God's Laws and His worship. They married pagans who worshiped pagan idols. (Included were the priests and Levites.) Thus immorality was ramped.
- marriage was instituted by God and considered a permanent, exclusive relationship (Gen. 2:24 quoted in Matt. 19:5, Eph. 5:31);
- the LORD said He hated divorce in Malachi 2:16;
- God uses marriage to illustrate His own relationship to His people (Hosea 1-3).
Jesus plainly taught that divorce is not God's will, in Matthew 19:6.
LET IT GROW
Yet, the family and convictions of the whole religious community were at stake. The purity of the Jewish community must be maintained, superseding marital relationships. Divorce was permissible according to Deuteronomy 24. These marriages were wrong from the outset. The priests and Levites were to be the spiritual leaders, but they strayed away because of their marriages to pagan women.
What a mess the Jews had gotten themselves into.
Ezra was a mighty spiritual leader that God used. Remember, the Jews had confessed and repented of their sins, agreeing with God. They wanted to do what was right, separating themselves from sin. Local family judges heard each case. It took them 3 months to go through the process of divorce, involving 17 priests, 10 Levites, and 87 other men. These were deliberately disobeying God, although they were forgiven, so they made it right.
Paul exhorts the believer with an unbelieving partner not to divorce in 1Corinthians 7:12-16. If the unbelieving spouse leaves, then they are not bound in such a marriage.
No one is so far from God that they can't be reformed. However, when a marriage partner will not reform, continues to be unfaithful or abusive, divorce may be acceptable. Keep praying, friends.
LET IT GO
Repent, renew relationships, separate from unbelievers when they pull me into their sin.
Seek the Lord's will.