Words of Life

Can 2 Wrongs = A Right?

Ezra 10:

  • What is going on here?! I admit that there is too much that I do not understand. What I read is that the people break the Law by marrying foreign women. (NOTE: the main intent of this prohibition is clearly one of worship, considering the historical context of Israel.) But what understanding of the Law do these exiled Israelites have? Had any of these women become Jewish converts, like Ruth? Does an unwise vow nullify the vow? Joshua did made an unwise vow (Joshua 9) but felt that a vow should still be honored. How does this “[putting] away” (vs. 3) of women and children reflect the heart of God? Still, as I say this I realize that “putting away” is never defined; it may not be as bad as it sounds.
  • I realize that there is a lot between the lines that I don’t know, that I cannot know. For instance, seeking God in a personal way is never mentioned here. Is this really how God wanted His Law to be interpreted, executed and experienced here?!
  • My point is that attempts to repent and honor God are not always neat and clean. Following God is often messy. There may be room for the cliche, “They meant well.” Or to use the southernism, “Bless their hearts!”
  • Is there a place to celebrate people’s desires and efforts to honor God…even when the means is debatable to unjust? Obviously, there are limitations and exceptions to this, but, I say, “Yes we can!”


LORD, help me to know if and when to applaud tainted efforts to honor and love You. Help me encourage genuine repentance, even when it’s expressions are elementary, in process. But, also help me to know when to correct for the sake of the oppressed. I know that following You is often messy. This is why at the end of my “obedience” I rest in Your mercy and grace, and choose to trust Your character.

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