Why don't convert first? [part1/5]
Week 24: 07/06/2023. Wed
Modern readers would ask (1) Isn't sending away wives and children heartless? (2) Why don't they ask foreign wives to convert first?
For this first part, we focus on the competing loyalties. If you can only choose one relationship, if you can only choose one party to please, who would that be?
Ignoring the LORD as God and choosing other loyalties can also be classified as "heartless", taking note how much the LORD loves you. The exclusive nature of the relationship of The LORD's people with the LORD was very clearly contrasted in this chapter.
Some cultures today can even agree to adultery to be committed by parties to a marriage—a very odd and wrong idea indeed. But this cannot be for The LORD and His people. God is not merely another human being. He deserves allegiance more than any other person.
This is not to say all expressions of showing less loyalty to other non-gods must be done harshly. In fact, doing our best to mitigate sufferings, or promoting welfare is part of Christian testimony, especially when we are attempting to right the wrongs done to others.
Complete faithfulness to God, pleases God, and it is good for His people. The logical mind agrees. But the necessities of backtracking on the life-altering and mind-altering decision of marriage in Ezra's community vividly displayed the emotional challenges involved when trying to be faithful to God. By faith, we believe that it is finally for our good.
You and I can always do more to show faithfulness to God, and also to alleviate human sufferings of all kinds, regardless of whether these pop up due to natural disasters, "act of God", or our own sinful behaviours.