E-mail Scott
Scott's Links
About the Author
Opinion Archives
Social Media:
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr
Google Plus
YouTube
Flickr
PhotoBucket
Monthly Archives:

January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017

Powered by Blogger
Subscribe via RSS

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Failing in the right direction

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

Did Ezra sin by ordering the men of Israel to divorce their pagan wives in Ezra 10? Was he doing the will of God? Did he pick the best from two very bad choices?

To really understand what happened, the context is important. The nation of Israel had been sacked, destroyed and scattered by the evil Assyrian Empire as God's judgment for their idolatry, which included burning their own children to death in sacrifice to demons. The kingdom of Judah was spared for a while, but was eventually judged in the same manner by the Babylonian Empire for the same demon worship that doomed Israel.

So now, after decades in captivity, Judah is returning to the Promised Land to rebuild Jerusalem generally as well as the temple of God. Ezra discovers that the Jews are back to the same demon worship that caused the nation to be destroyed in the first place, and he is apoplectic. He is overcome with grief, anger, and fear over what is being done. He knows that even the great king Solomon was enticed to worship demons by his pagan wives, which is what led to Israel being split in half in the first place. So he comes up with a solution: The marriages would be dissolved.

Now, here is the problem. The Bible does not allow for divorce unless one of the partners has committed adultery. In the absence of serious sexual sin, the marriage may not be dissolved. What is especially relevant here is that the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write that if an unbelieving spouse is content to stay with his Christian wife or her Christian husband, that the Christian should stay in the marriage. If the unbeliever leaves, however, the Christian is not bound. One can imagine that the majority of pagan women in Ezra's time were content to stay with their husbands.

Given the context of the New Testament, I believe that Ezra sinned. I was told many times in my youth that "it is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right." I believe that applies here. The Bible is not clear about whether Ezra was right or wrong in that book, though, and Christians of good faith disagree on this. The context of demon worship and the fact that the mixed marriages were the cause of demon worship is incredibly important in discerning whether Ezra sinned.

Therefore, the worst thing that can be said about Ezra is that he was failing in the right direction. He was desperate to eliminate demon worship and knew the wrath of God could fall on the weak, rebuilding nation of Judah for that demon worship. If the marriages continued, demon worship would continue. (Obviously, God had the power to change the hearts of the men of Judah to eliminate this idolatry, so one could argue that Ezra acted from a lack of faith.) Given two very bad choices, Ezra chose the less bad option.

(0 Comments)

Note: All posts must be approved by the blog owner before they are visible on the blog.

Comments:

Post a Comment


Below are the rules for commenting on ConservaTibbs.com.

  1. A reasonable level of civility is expected. While it is expected that controversial political and social issues may generate heated debate, there are common-sense limits of civility that will be enforced.

  2. This blog is a family-friendly site. Therefore no cursing, profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, etc. will be allowed. This is a zero-tolerance rule and will result in automatic deletion of the offending post.

  3. Anonymity has greatly coarsened discourse on the Internet, so pseudonyms are discouraged but not forbidden. That said, any direct criticism of a person by name cannot be done anonymously. If you criticize someone, you have to subject yourself to the same level of scrutiny or the comment will be deleted.

  4. Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of the post.

  5. All moderation decisions are final. I may post an explanation or I may not, depending on the situation. If you have a question or a concern about a moderation decision, e-mail me privately rather than posting in the comments.

Thank you for your cooperation.