Ezra 10:11 (KJV)
"Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves ....."
|| The Deadly Mix. ||
The men of Israel had married "strange wives" and all of Jerusalem was infected with a tolerance of evil. The word 'strange' means - foreign, non-relative, adulterous, different, wonderful. [Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.]
The devil in his modern world has become very clever at making sin 'wonderful' to the point (as we read in Isaiah [Isaiah 5:20.] concerning the last days) of calling evil 'good' and calling good 'evil'. There was something (as the Hebrew puts it) 'wonderful' and attractive about the heathen wives that the men of Israel had married but they were 'non-relative' and a drag away influence of the Israelites from the Lord and Ezra was devastated at the heathen tarnish upon the people of the Lord.
|| Non-relative. ||
Ezra's call to this "non-relative" mess was to - "separate yourselves". Now we need to watch out here for over stretch with this issue. Paul gave strong directions to the Corinthian Church to separate from the work of sin in the midst which was an association that was 'non-relative' to Christ. For the Church to continue 'relative' to the Lord the brazen self willed offending matter was to be settled and made right. Paul then says that to be separate from all the grind of sin in the world "we must needs go out of this world" [1 Corinthians 5:10.] which, of course is a reversal of the Lord's calling to be his witness in this world for him.
|| Still Blessed though in the Midst of Mess: ||
The real matter is not what is the unsavory condition of my employment but does my job encroach upon my relationship with the Lord. We are instructed to please even a froward and obnoxious boss. [1 Peter 2:18.] You may work among the worst bunch of heathens given over to every sin; and though this may be grievous to bear, yet you are able to do your job with a completely clear conscience; happy to be a true witness for Christ and his grace of salvation. Then on the other hand, if your boss was to promote you to a supervision role with the request to deceive and be dishonest in your handling of staff personnel, then such a situation would bring you out of favour with the Lord and aloof from his blessing.
There are a whole raft of matters that we may allow to be related to us that the Lord detests and calls us to be separated from that we might "INHERIT A BLESSING". [1 Peter 3:9.]
Will the Lord bless us if we go into business with a person that does not know the Lord? Paul protests - "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?" [2 Corinthians 6:14.] How many Christians are doing this today and with what disastrous consequences!
More to follow on this very important and 'relative' matter for us all in these days to be, and continue as learners in the exciting Discipleship School of the Lord Jesus Christ that is Heavenly education for the successful inheritance of rich Eternal blessing.