FRIDAY June 30, 2017
Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. - Nehemiah 9:2
Notice how God’s people began to separate themselves from all the foreign people––those among them who were not Jewish. God’s people were commanded to not intermarry with foreigners. Why? Those from other nations were full of idolatry; they worshiped idols and even sacrificed their children to them. God had called them to be separate:
Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly(Deuteronomy 7:3-4).
God warned His people that if they intermarried with these idolatrous people, their hearts would be turned away from Him. Then they would have to face His judgment as a consequence. The Prophet Jeremiah records the iniquity of their fathers. They had turned their back on God and did the unthinkable:
But they set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.’ (Jeremiah 32:35)
In judgment of His people’s sins God allowed the Babylonians to take them captive (Jeremiah 32:36). In His mercy, God had allowed His people to return.
“…For I will cause the captives of the land to return
as at the first,’ says the Lord.”
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