So the exiles did as was proposed. Ezra the priest selected men who were family heads, one from each family division, and all of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to investigate the cases, and by the first day of the first month they finished dealing with all the men who had married foreign women.

Ezra 10:16-17 (NIV)

All of us are living with the consequences of sin. Sin entered into the world through Adam and we need only look around the world to see the effects today. In our own lives, we have to deal with the death sin brings. Before we were saved, we were all slaves to sin and lived lives that reflected it. However, when we were saved we turned away from those sinful lives. Sometimes we may not be aware of the sin in our lives. While some are delivered from certain sins when they are saved, others may have to walk for a time before they are convicted of sin and turn away. If you’re like me, when you know you’ve done wrong, you want to be done with it. Although our hearts and minds may be convinced to turn away from that sin, whatever it may be, living, and dealing with the aftermath can require time and effort.

When the Jews were exiled to Babylon, there were prophets and diviners who were lying to the people. telling them they wouldn’t be in captivity very long. However, when the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet, he sent a letter to the exiles. In this letter, Jeremiah tells the people to, “‘Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease'” (Jeremiah 29:5-7 NIV). However, while the Jews were in exile some people married the foreign women around them violating the command of the Lord to not intermarry with the nations around them.

What stood out to me, when I read Ezra today, is it took two full months to determine who had married foreign women. Between Ezra 10:18-43, we read of 112 men who were found guilty of this offense. The issue that breaks my heart though, is how all of those families were destroyed by sin. We know from Ezra 10:3 that the wives and children were eventually sent away.

The writer of Hebrews describes sin as something that “easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1). There are many ways one can become entangled. Sometimes, the sin we commit binds other people to us in relationships we don’t want to turn away from, while other times the sin we commit may be of a personal nature between us and God. In either case, like Rome, which wasn’t built in a day, our sin can seem insurmountable to leave behind. It’s in these times when we’ve repented and turned away, that we need to lean on the grace of God to get us through.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.