Ezra’s prayer for Israel concerning those who intermarried spawned a great removal of that sin. And those who were caught in it made the guilty list.
I will admit that I have desired to be noticed for something special in my life. Grades in collage, singing ability, sewing skills, writing skills, even how I take care of others. These have all gotten notice but they don’t ‘stand above the crowd’ and get my name recorded somewhere. They are part of the gifts God has given me. But today’s group that got their names recorded would probably have wish to have it buried forever.
The list we see today is a list of those who had sinned by marrying outside of their race, or faith if you will. This was Israel’s ‘gateway sin’ that allowed her to flow into other areas of unfaithfulness. The people of other races wasn’t the problem. The foreign gods and practices that they brought with them was. Israel was famous for letting their spouses bring in whatever they ‘needed’ to keep them happy. I guess they took the ‘happy wife, happy life’ to the extreme.
When I first read this list I started looking back to see if the names linked up with either of the returnee lists. I found several on the first list. I didn’t do a COMPLETE check but I didn’t come across any on the second list. That at least was a comfort. Also the fact that there weren’t more on this list was a comfort. I feel bad for these men because this is something that their names will forever be associated with in history.
But then I was prompted to think about this list in a different way. This list is also a list of men who were forgiven much. These men dealt with their sin, no matter how hard it was. They laid themselves down on the altar and allowed God to have His perfect work in their lives. That is a list that I want to be on too.
The Lamb’s Book of Life will contain the most exhaustive list of all! ALL who are forgiven are listed there. ALL who have asked that Jesus’ blood be applied to their lives. ALL who call Him their Savior and have a personal relationship with Him. THIS is the only list I really need to make. Every other list is meaningless compared to this one. I don’t know if there is EVER a case where God would blot out a name. It would have to be something VERY serious and irreversible because He fights for His children.
Father God, thank You for writing my name in Your book. My name isn’t written in pencil or even ink. It is written in Jesus’ blood. It will never be blotted out, scribbled out or written over. It is there for eternity. Even more permanent that then list in our reading today that has survived several centuries.