Ezra 9:1–10:44, 1 John 4:7–12, Ps 107:23–43
Today’s Themes: Zealous Purity, Covenant of Love
Divorcing from Compromise
Therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God, and let it be done according to the Law. Ezra 10:3 (ESV)
The people had fallen into compromise by marrying the people of the land which God had commanded against as it would lead them into sin and result in them being judged and disciplined for falling away.
Ezra cries out to God as he intercedes for the people. In response Shecaniah has a plan of action. He proposes that the people renew their covenant with God by divorcing these foreign women. It should be noted that these marriages were not truly legal in accordance with Jewish law.
We learn from this that we must not compromise with the world and any compromises we have established should be put away and broken off. We must divorce compromise because the children our compromises will bare will break our covenant relationship with God. James 4:4
Decide today to divorce compromise and the children of compromise which include sin and indifference. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
We should be married to the Lord in our hearts. Ephesians 5:27
We will only have this resolve if we “tremble at the commandments of our God”. We must have a high view of Gods word and seek to live in accordance with it. 2 Timothy 3:16
And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have broken faith and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel. Now then make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.” Ezra 10:10–11 (ESV)
Ezra calls for covenant renewal between God and the people by them confessing their sin, turning in repentance and separating themselves as holy to the Lord.
God calls us to the same renewal of covenant today, if we have broken faith with God there is still hope, God can restore if we humble ourselves in repentance. 1 Peter 5:5
Before there can be any renewal of our broken covenant relationship with God, confession of our shortcomings, compromise and sin must be made. Like “The Way of The Master” we need to confront ourselves with the law of God that we have transgressed, acknowledge it and then consciously turn in repentance back to God. 1 John 1:9
James encourages us to look into Gods perfect law (the Bible) as a mirror and act on what we see in James 1:25 “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
Love as Fruit
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7 (ESV)
Love is fruit or evidence that we have truly been born again. True love for one another as a church community is not something that can be counterfeited by the flesh which is naturally selfish.
Love for one another is evidence that we come from God and know God. Knowledge is not evidence that we know God, love is. This is a proof that shuts the door to the coldness of just knowing about God without a relationship with him on his terms.
We should be grateful that the indicator of our relationship to God is based on love.
Our lives should show the evidence of love, as defined by God, not the world.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 1 John 4:8–9 (ESV)
Where John says God is love, he is not saying that love is God, love is not the essence of who God is but one of God’s many attributes and in context John is saying God is loving and shows his love.
God demonstrated his love by sending Jesus into the world to make the payment for our sin and open to door to eternal life for us.
This is love defined, God sent his son. The gospel contains the very definition of love. The best and highest working definition of love is the gospel. God gave his son.
Many take the statement God is love to justify all types of sin, this is because it is read out of context. The next time someone takes this out of context to excuse sins read them the full context and point them to the gospel, the very definition of love.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11 (ESV)
We are called to show love like God did and in response to the love God showed us when we did not love him.
Love is not a feeling it is very much an act of the will, we choose to love and are commanded to love so we need to make a firm decision to love today.
God’s love is perfected in us as we walk in love, practically showing love in response to God’s love for us.
Love without action is not love.
He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Psalm 107:29 (ESV)
This is said of God, as we know Jesus stilled the storms on the lake of Galilee, Jesus is God.