There is a battle going on in the world, a spiritual battle between good and evil. It is the same battle that began with a serpent in the garden of Eden. Eve succumbed, Adam followed suit. It is interesting how it only takes one person to do the wrong thing.
The love of Christ does not depend on our feelings, whether we feel loved or not. It is illustrated for us in what He did hundreds of years before we heard of Him! This is one of the most encouraging and enthusiastic chapters in the Bible and worth reading regularly.
That same cry Come out of her my people is going out across the world today and will continue to be shouted by the angels, until the end of time, as John saw in his revelations. God wants all of us to recognise where we are subject to the enemy.
This verse in Mark also speaks of what God has joined. Sadly, across our world today there are many marriages that God has not put together, but that happen because of family contracts, or because of a physical attraction that does not go deep enough to last through difficult years.
How sad in our day that the divorce rate is so high. How sad that in many places it is possible to get a divorce over the counter in a matter of hours! If you are divorced today, do not feel condemned. Our God is merciful, and full of compassion.
The Lord carries His church, and He will unite us in His time. We do our part by not increasing the separation. By blessing others and not cursing them. And by doing what He has called us to do, knowing that nobody this side of Heaven has the whole picture.
The point here for this study is that God did the separating, and made it very clear to Gideon what he was to do. He will do the same for you. God knew who He wanted in the army, and He chose them personally. He still does the same today.
In the first chapter of Mark, Jesus went to the synagogue and started to teach. His authority amazed and impressed His listeners. That was His teaching. They would be more amazed with what happened next when we see Jesus clearly demonstrating one of the most important separations in the Bible.
The closer we as individuals get to the Lord, the more we recognise that our standards are nowhere near as high as His. And the more we realise just how much we have been forgiven. That forgiveness following repentance is so much more than a prayer at a church service.
In this verse from Ezra, the people of Israel had been living in exile in Babylon. They had begun to do things that their God had specifically described as an abhorrence to Him. For us who have been born after Christianity began the same thing applies. We are set apart.