- Too ashamed. Imagine Ezra wailing, “O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens’ ” (Ezra 9:6, NKJV). And what seemed to be the main cause of the iniquity spreading everywhere? Mixed marriage! What? Why? What should Ezra and Nehemiah do about it?
- How was Nehemiah reacting to the language problem? Why do you think he was so alarmed? Why couldn’t the Israelite children be taught Hebrew or Aramaic? What was the problem created by this situation? How did Nehemiah respond? Nehemiah’s “tizzy fit” consisted of his cursing and swearing at the wayward people. True or False? What do you think about the punishment of beating and hair pulling? How effective do you think this was?
- Solomon’s example. God set forth a definite rule for Solomon and other kings of Israel regarding marriage. What was that rule? What might have happened if the Israelites had obeyed God’s command in this regard? Instead, what happened? What about intermarriage in our church today? Are there consequences that affect the entire church? What are they?
- Ezra reacts. What problems did intermarriage bring to God’s people? What did the people do about it? What consequences could the Israelites have avoided if they had been careful in not allowing intermarriage by their people? Does intermarriage pose serious problems to our Adventists today? Why or why not? What can or should the church do when children attend our services and bring with them false impressions of Bible teachings? What spirit do we want our children to have?
- Ezra acts. Imagine a church business meeting where you worship. You attend. The agenda, you learn, is sending 111 women back home from their mixed marriages, even some with babies in the family. Did that solve the problem? Why or why not? Besides the issue of marrying a non Christian or a person who is not a member of your church, are there other areas of disagreement you have to contend with where you worship? Should there be?
- Marriage today. Aren’t you glad we have almost entirely accepted the concept of marriages of our believers? Or have we? What does Satan seem to think about mixed marriages? How does he encourage members to marry people with no religious affiliation or at least not the affiliation of the church? What if anything can we do about it?