This chapter is one of those chapters you hope never gets brought up if you’re ever being interviewed on television about your Christian views on divorce. It kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth. And since it also wraps up the Book of Ezra, I’m kind of sitting here just going … soooooo, that just happened. God just forced divorce – a whole bunch of times! We talked about divorce a few chapters back, and it seems the Book of Ezra centers a lot around the act of divorce. On one hand, it’s helpful for divorcees like myself to read this chapter and go, “See, self, even God finds divorce necessary sometimes.” That allows me to have some much-needed grace with my own heart, and if you’re divorced, I hope it gives your heart a hug, too. On the other hand, the very aspect of divorce sometimes being necessary could be used to “excuse” divorce. AND, even more horribly, it could be used as a way for people to say, “Well, if Christians say divorce is wrong, then why does God make them do it? He’s mean.” And tearing families with children apart just adds fuel to their fire. And, yes, sometimes I daydream of what I would say to complicated questions based on Scripture if ever I were to be interviewed on television. Go right ahead and make fun of me. In my daydream, I always have it all together and think of the perfect answer. However, in real life, I’m sure I would be a bumbling idiot because I’m terrible with spur-of-the-moment reactions. BUT if I could respond to a question aimed at divorce based on the happenings of this chapter, I think my best response would be simply … Jesus. Because everything points to Jesus. You see, we can read this chapter, and we can not like what God commanded the Israelites to do, but if we read on, we’ll find that His people are gonna do dumb stuff over and over and over and over and over again … no matter what God commands, no matter how many people die, no matter how many horrible things and divorces happen … humans gonna human, you know? And God finally just grimaces and looks back on all His losses and heartache and says, fine, … here’s Jesus. So, while I can’t justify why God split up dozens of families in this chapter, (spoiler alert!) I can guarantee that He more than makes up for it later.
Writing prompt: the end
Sum up your thoughts about Ezra and the chapter’s overall meaning.