Ezra led the remnant of Israel back to Jerusalem. The King of Babylon gave him gifts of gold and silver and animals for sacrifice – over 7500 tons of gold and silver! But Ezra did not ask the king for soldiers to protect him on his journey. Instead, he fasted and prayed and asked for the Lord’s protection on the long journey back to Jerusalem….and the Lord provided safety for them all from bandits and others who could have waylaid them and stolen all that was meant for the restoration of the temple.
But when he called for the remnant to come to Jerusalem, he found that over the course of seventy years, many of the remnant…even the priests…had married foreign wives. This was against God’s law because the intermarrying created conflicts in families. The priests allowed their wives and children to worship idols, a big no-no.
In penance for this sin, the leaders arranged for a mass divorce. Those Jews who had married foreign wives sent them and their children away.
This makes me kind of sad. What happened to those women and children? Did any of them convert and decide to follow the Lord? What about them? The Bible doesn’t say…
But I do admire the gumption to completely cut off the source of sin. That is not an easy thing to do, is it? Yet we are talking about families here. Children. Babies.
I guess it’s just another mystery that I don’t understand. I hope the Lord somehow provided for those families or showed mercy to the ones who WERE following him rather than idols.
But God is God, and I am not.
That is a lesson I am learning daily as I struggle with the building woes of my CC group. I wish I didn’t have to start all over in a new facility. We felt like we were in a home at our other church…now we are guests once again. Grateful guests, of course, but guests nonetheless.
I am worn out emotionally, mentally and physically. I didn’t eat dinner tonight due to stomach issues that are likely the result of all this stress. And now I will go to bed, hopefully to sleep. Last night I dreamed all night about the floor falling out beneath my feet and I woke up several times in the middle of a night time panic attack. My stomach was clenched and my heart raced. I pray tonight I won’t have any dreams or panic attacks….just restorative sleep.
Perhaps sleeping on what I’ve read tonight in Ezra will shed some light on the meaning for me.