Manna and Mercy

Video Clip

22. An Unbiblical Marriage

Summary: After exile, the Hebrew people are coming back to Jerusalem from Babylon, Assyria, Persia. Ezra and Nehemiah are trying to rebuild the city and the Temple. Samaritans were people of mixed origin and Hebrews were taught that they were “impure”. They were told they couldn’t help in the rebuilding because of the narrow form of nationalism that was fostered in the formerly oppressed Hebrew people. They were encouraged to think “we are not just equal, we’re better – we’re ‘chosen people’.” It is difficult to hold up the truth that God loves everybody just after we’ve gotten a bloody nose (beaten-down, oppressed, attacked) like Americans felt after the 9/11 attacks. We start thinking that God’s love and mercy is restricted to just us. Ezra and Nehemiah used the book of Deuteronomy to “weed out” those they claimed were “impure”. But the Bible also contains the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz to counter that restrictive code. Boaz takes Ruth as his wife despite that she is a Moabite and their son becomes an ancestor for both King David and Jesus. Boaz goes against the Deuteronomic scripture yet God honors him for a love which moves beyond borders. God continues to bring God’s son into the world wherever people honor that type of love.

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