Scripture Nugget 6.4.2016

“After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, ‘The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands, and in this faithlessness the officials and leaders have led the way.’ When I heard this, I tore my garment and my mantle, and pulled hair form my head and beard, and sat appalled. The all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice.” Ezra 9:1-4

Ezra is appalled, not because of the intermarriages between people groups but at the result of those intermarriages. Instead of introducing God and righteousness to others, the Jews have taken upon themselves and into their hearts the gods of those they have married and intermingled with. They have turned from God to worship idols and live unclean, unholy lives. When will I/we be appalled by those whose desire is to turn me away from Christ? Will I forgive and love them into a relationship and belief in Jesus Christ. Will I strengthen the Kingdom of God or prop up the self-esteem of sinners?