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Ezra 10:1-44

I have a question. If the people had not seen an weeping Ezra throw himself down on the ground in front of the Temple, would they have ever confessed their sin? Very rarely will we confess our sins on our own. Either the effects of what we have done which makes us ashamed or someone we admire confronts us or someone who loves us dearly takes courage and risks the relationship by telling us the truth about ourselves.

I’m assuming, perhaps wrongly, that the review of each person’s circumstance and family situation took about three months because the leadership wanted to see if those who intermarried had been converted by their wives or were their wives converted to worship the God of Israel. My assumption stems from the knowledge that several prominent Jewish men, David specifically, had a non-Jew in their lineage. Ruth, who is honored by and in the Old Testament book of the same name, was the great-grandmother of David was a Moabite by birth. However, I belive the day she told her mother-in-law, Naomi, these words,
"Stop urging me to abandon you! For wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you live, I will live. Your people will become my people, and your God will become my God. (Rth 1:16 NET.)

Ruth no longer was a Moabite by belief, but a Jew.
I Corinthians 6:1-20
Flee from “sexual sin.” Why don’t we? I think we confuse this command to flee with what James wrote (4:7) telling us to resist, but we have it wrong. The “fleeing” is not from the devil nor is lust a product of the devil, the lust belongs to us. James says to submit to God, resist the devil and he (the devil) will flee, not our lusts. I like how the 18th verse of I Corinthians 6:18 reads:
Shun immorality and all sexual looseness [flee from impurity in thought, word, or deed]. Any other sin which a man commits is one outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. (1Co 6:18 AMP).

While we stand around in the bar, at the party, in the club trying to “resist” our lusts when we should be fleeing, we succumb to the passions that are hidden deep within us that is why we find it difficult to stop having sex, viewing pornography, etc. While we stand around “resisting” the images, the assault on our mind is being fed.

From James:
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. (Jam 1:13-15 NET.)

It also may be helpful and give greater understanding when we know that the word translated “sexual sin” in the NLT, and fornication in KJ, in the 18th verse is Greek root where we get, pornography. But there is more the words also means idolatry. Sexual sin and/or fornication is the physical representation or act of a spiritual violation, idolatry.
G4202 (Stong’s Number)
πορνεία
porneia
por-ni'-ah
From G4203; harlotry (including adultery and incest); figuratively idolatry: - fornication.

Psalm 31:9-18

Many are they that rise up against me …but my trusting is in God. O, if I could walk that walk daily, hourly, minute by minute, second by second. If I put away my fears and turned not to the left or right but truly relied on God and His Word, I would be invincible.


Proverbs 21:3

The LORD is more pleased when we do what is just and right than when we give him sacrifices.

Reading Mike’s comments I am struck by the backwardness of us folk. We would rather give the sacrifice then stop the sinning because we love the sin. It is just that easy and uncomplicated. What we hate is the consequences of the sin, which is why we offer up sacrifices. But we offer them up not because we are truly sorry, godly sorrow, but because we are trying to appease God so that He will get rid of the consequences.

A sacrifice is something we do when we have not obeyed. Our sin is an out and out act of rebellion against God. I am about to make a statement that may get “parents” angry with me, but I’m a parent too so I am indicting myself because I have said this to my children,

“I’m sacrificing so that you can have a better life,”

or some such variation on the theme. If we are sacrificing so that our progeny can go to a better school, have nice things and the list goes on, then we are calling our children a product of our sin, yikes. Moses implemented sacrifices and offerings. For many of us, myself included, our children are products of illicit sexual activities; however, they should no be saddled with the guilt of our disobedience and manipulated to behave a certain way because we have to go “sacrifice,” they did not ask to be born.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Such a tough reading today. Yes Ezra was distressed about the sin of intermarriage. The people were also. However the covenant,though meant to be a sacrifice for their sin and to please God, was suggested by a man. It doesn't say he prayed about the solution or he was a prophet and the Word came to him. The law was used to decide each case. I am sad things were done this way( in our human wisdom). It is a good thing that God looks at the heart. Mike can you or anyone help me with my human thoughts.

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