Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from October 18-24 are provided by Kate Moon who serves as a missionary in E. Asia.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Ezra 10:2-3: “Then Shekaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, said to Ezra, ‘We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. 3 Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law.’”
Broken families are never a good thing. Though the main point of this passage is that the people are turning back to God and wanting to align their lives according to His will, which is laudable, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that it came at such a cost. We should also understand that God’s law was not to blame for these families having to be torn apart, but it was the people’s sin that led them into unsustainable relationships, ones that they couldn’t take full responsibility for to the end.
When reading this passage, we could praise the people for turning back to God, but what about all these women and children? Women rejected by husbands and children rejected by fathers. We could look at the principle of how God should be our first choice, even above family ties, or how when we discover a situation that is unpleasing to God, we should make things right at whatever cost. But today, can we spend some time thinking about the cost of sin?
We should break off unhealthy relationships when they are drawing us away from the Lord and causing us to be unfaithful to Him. When it comes to the context of marriage, I don’t think we are meant to make a direct application of the Old Testament text as the New Testament tells us that if a believer is already married to one who doesn’t believe, they shouldn’t divorce. But I think we could apply this to a dating or any other kind of close relationship where if it’s not right in the Lord’s eyes, we need to cut it off.
But oh, the wreckage is the consequences of our sin. Because we got involved in someone’s life that we never should have in the first place, now they will be incredibly hurt. Both parties will be incredibly hurt. As human beings, why do we do these things to each other? Oh Lord, have mercy on us.
Lord, for all those who have gone through the pain of family breaking apart, won’t You heal their wounds? For all those in unhealthy relationships, even as You help them turn back to You, would You also have mercy on those who end up rejected and hurt? In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Habakkuk 2-3