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“May God’s hand be on you and me.” <>< Dona (06/22/20)

Please read Ezra 7 through 10.  If you don’t have a Bible handy just click here -> Biblegateway.com.  The Biblegateway website should open for you to use.  Type in the chapters you want to read and select the translation you want to read them from. Click search and the chapters should appear. Once you read the suggested chapters close the screen and you should return here.

In Ezra 7 eighty years after Zerubbabel, a second group of exiles returned to the promised land with Ezra. Though the temple had been rebuilt, the lives of the people were in disarray. 

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Your hand was on Ezra (see vese 6 and 28). 

Something to think about

Ezra prayed for guidance and then followed through with action.  He taught through both what he said and what he did. 

Something to experience

Like Ezra we should determine both to study and to obey God’s Word.

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In Ezra 8:23 Ezra knew God’s promise to protect His people, but he didn’t take God for granted.  Ezra knew God’s blessings were appropriated through prayer, Ezra and the people humbled themselves by fasting and praying. 

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, the Israelites were completely depending on You to provide for them.

Something to think about

Fasting humbled the Israelites because going without food was a remainder of their complete dependence on God. Fasting also gave them more time to seek God.

Something to experience

How is your praying?  Is it serious praying. Without serious prayer, we reduce God to a genie who grants our wishes.

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Ezra 9-10 deals with intermarriages.  This was marriage between Jewish believers and non-believing pagans.  God did not want His people, the Israelites to marry pagans (non-believers of the One True God).

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, even the priests and Levites had intermarried (see verses 1-2).

Something to think about

Ezra found the Israelites had not kept themselves separate from the neighboring people with detestable practices.  Ezra was appalled.

Something to experience

If you are a believer you’re encouraged in the Bible to marry a believer and you are discouraged from marrying an unbeliever (see 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 below).  If you are a believer and are married to an unbeliever the Bible says for you to stay with them unless they want to leave (see 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 below).  If you’re a believer and are married to an unbeliever who wants to leave according to the Bible let them go (see 1 Corinthians 7:15-16 below).  If you’re thinking about marrying someone who doesn’t believe in the God you worship please reconsider.  You may not think it will be a problem, but in all likelihood it will.  And please read the verses below to help you decide.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17 (AMP) 14 Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial (Satan)? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said: “I will dwell among them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 17  “So come out from among unbelievers and be separate,” says the Lord, “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will graciously receive you and welcome you [with favor] …
1 Corinthians 7:12-14 (AMP) 12 To the rest I declare—I, not the Lord [since Jesus did not discuss this]—that if any [believing] brother has a wife who does not believe [in Christ], and she consents to live with him, he must not leave her. 13 And if any [believing] woman has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified [that is, he receives the blessings granted] through his [Christian] wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be [ceremonially] unclean, but as it is they are holy. 
1 Corinthians 7:15-16 Amplified Bible (AMP) 15 But if the unbelieving partner leaves, let him leave. In such cases the [remaining] brother or sister is not [spiritually or morally] bound. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband [by leading him to Christ]? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife [by leading her to Christ]?

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Prayer

Lord I pray believers will read Your Word and live their lives according to Your instructions concerning marriage (I Corinthians 7:12-16; II Corinthians 6:14-17).  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

May you and I seek to live our life according to God’s Word.” <>< Dona