We will not give our daughters in marriage to the surrounding peoples and will not take their daughters as wives for our sons. Nehemiah 10:30 HCSB
I can remember when I was in school, my science teacher asked all students in her class to complete an experiment which required adding oil to a glass of water. We then stirred the water vigorously to mix the oil and water. No matter how hard we tried to mix the two liquids, they would always separate and the oil would rise to the surface.
This verse in Nehemiah is a commitment from the people of Israel, God’s chosen people, to be separate and not join the rest of the world and its pagan practices of worshipping carved images and false gods. God knew what was best for the Israelites. Because the other people would only draw them back into sin, He asked them to stay apart.
This does not mean that God is prejudiced and does not like other races or nationalities. To the contrary, God loves all the people and wants everyone, no matter what nationality or color of skin to come to know His Son, Jesus, as his or her personal Lord and Savior (John 3:16). God calls for all Christians – God’s children – to set themselves apart from the world in actions and behavior. Christians are to be in the world but not of the world (Romans 12:2).
Challenge: Pray that God will help you go into the world and be an example of His love to a lost and dying world. Set yourself apart from the evils of our world. Do not be afraid to be different. God will give you the strength and courage you need. Read Jesus’ prayer for His disciples and for you in John 17:6-26.