Pastor Dave's Thoughts. . .
Read Ezra 10 today.
Tomorrow, we will begin reading through the book of Nehemiah.
This chapter relates the story of the Israelites dealing the issue that some among them had intermarried with the pagan women from the land around them. These wives were bringing pagan practices and idolatry into the community. They met together to hear about the problem and take action.
They took the issue seriously. The men who had married pagan wives were instructed to divorce those wives and send them back to their homes. We would probably argue this seems a drastic action, and it is. It is drastic because they took sin seriously. Jesus took our sin seriously, so seriously that He was willing to die on the cross to accept the punishment our sin deserves.
Do we take sin seriously? If we discovered sin in our lives, would we take steps, even drastic steps, to remove it?
Ezra 10:9-12 NLT
Within three days, all the people of Judah and Benjamin had gathered in Jerusalem. This took place on December 19, and all the people were sitting in the square before the Temple of God. They were trembling both because of the seriousness of the matter and because it was raining.  Then Ezra the priest stood and said to them: “You have committed a terrible sin. By marrying pagan women, you have increased Israel’s guilt.  So now confess your sin to the LORD, the God of your ancestors, and do what he demands. Separate yourselves from the people of the land and from these pagan women.”  Then the whole assembly raised their voices and answered, “Yes, you are right; we must do as you say!”
Matthew 5:27-30 NLT
“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’  But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  So if your eye-even your good eye-causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your hand-even your stronger hand-causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.