Nehemiah 13:1-3 On that same day, as the Book of Moses was being read, the people found a statement which said that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be permitted to enter the assembly of God. For they had not been friendly to the Israelites when they left Egypt……. When this law was read all those of mixed ancestry were immediately expelled from the assembly.
Deuteronomy 23:2 Those of illegitimate birth and their descendants for 10 generations may not be included in the assembly of the Lord.
People that had been unkind to the Israelites hundreds of years before Nehemiah’s time could still not be a part of God’s people. Men and women that descended from illegitimate parents for 10 generations and people with physical defects or contagious skin diseases could not be included in the assembly of God.
All of these people that loved the Lord we’re not allowed to be a part of the assembly of God; to take part in the festivals or join in worship at the temple. Only those who were physically whole, of the right genealogy and from married parents could be a part of the assembly of God.
This seems incredibly harsh to us today. How are we to understand this?
Our Lord is perfectly Holy and he called his people to be holy, for his presence, his tabernacle dwelt among them.
Leviticus 11:44 Be holy, because I am Holy.
God is still and always will be completely holy, and only those who are also holy can come into his presence, even today. But our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has made a way for all people to be holy and to be adopted into God’s family. By the blood he shed on the cross for us, we now stand before a Holy God as completely whole and innocent of every sin.
We may be damaged, broken and illegitimate people, but the Lord does not see us that way anymore. He sees us through the cleansing blood of his perfect innocent Son, that made us perfect and innocent too (Heb. 10:10).
No matter who we are, or who we used to be, we are now a part of the assembly of God’s people. We are acceptable to him in every way, if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for what you did for us. What joy we can experience as fully accepted children of God.