Do Not Intermarry

Have you ever read passages such as Deuteronomy 7:3-4 or Ezra 10:1-5 where God the Father, the Almighty, the Omniscient is admonishing His chosen people NOT to marry the people from the lands in which they are living or about to live in? The Deuteronomy passage reads, “You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they will turn you away from following Me, to serve other gods…”
Before you decide this doesn’t apply to you and speed-read through this or skip it altogether, let me share with you a deeper and more personal application of this from my own experience so that your eyes may be opened and you won’t fall into the same trap as I did.
What is the most basic reason for God’s warning here? Plainly and simply, it is sin. What does sin do? It separates us from God, it can hinder our walk with Him, it can keep us from going further in service and ministry; the list goes on, certainly not the least of which is disobedience which does NOT convey to our Father that we love Him and that He is preeminent in our hearts, minds and lives!
I have been working for almost six months at a local company on second shift where I have been trained by, and work alongside, a very intelligent 29-year-old guy who has gotten a little too comfortable with some areas of the job. The reasons for this are his length of time there (4 years), some unavoidable down time (our part is limited in the process for the first couple of hours of the shift) and the lack of authority in our immediate supervision.
He has been in the habit of surfing the web or checking his email for quite a while and now he often plays an online video game (pool). All of these things I was against at first- and rightly so. It’s common sense that you don’t do these things on someone else’s dime (it’s a form of stealing), whether they say anything to you about it or not. But because of moments of unavoidable down time later in our shift, I found myself tempted to surf the net or to check my email too. I have stopped short of playing games, obviously. Am I to be commended for that? Not at all! I have given in to the temptation to do these things repeatedly, even though it is momentary at best. I have heard that still, small voice admonishing me, yet I have given in. Pray for me to be the man of character and obedience to the Lord that I usually am.
What have I done? I have INTERMARRIED. I have found myself in Gentile surroundings and I have allowed that culture to begin to erode my character, my actions and my Christian witness. I am in danger of becoming assimilated. What does God say I must do in response? Let’s read Ezra 10:1-5, “While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly. And Sheceniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, addressed Ezra: ‘We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. Therefore let us make a covenant with our God TO PUT AWAY ALL THESE WIVES AND THEIR CHILDREN, according to the counsel of my Lord and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God, and let it be done according to our Law. Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.’ Then Ezra arose and made all Israel take oath that they would do as had been said. So they took the oath.”
What does the book of James 1:27 tell us? “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and TO KEEP ONESELF UNSTAINED FROM THE WORLD.” I have, as of yesterday, taken my oath with the Lord and have purposed myself not to do this again. I have asked Him according to His will knowing that His strength will be perfected in my weakness. So I know my prayer will be answered. I am happy to tell you that He has taken away that temptation already. Thank You also, Lord, for understanding, for having compassion and cleansing me according to 1 John 1:9. And for those of you who think what I was doing is no big deal, that’s not God’s stance on the issue. Jesus died and shed His blood to cover me so that the Father sees me as righteous. Would I trample on that wondrous act of grace by doing anything against His holy will? No. God bless YOU in your time of need and temptation, whether you see it for what it is or not.– Ken

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