Tuesday, February 21, 2012

God Doesn't Like Mixed Marriages


Genesis 28:6-9 Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Padan Aram to take himself a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan,” 7 and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Padan Aram. 8 Also Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan did not please his father Isaac. 9 So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife in addition to the wives he had.

Now that I got your attention, let me reassure you. I'm not talking about white, black, jewish, hispanic, oriental, or any other so-called “race” of people. We're all one physical race; all descended from Adam through Noah. God isn't opposed to people of different ethnic groups marrying each other. After all, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

God doesn't see in terms of race. He is Savior to the Chinese as well as the African Pygmies. Jesus laid down His life for the Russians as well as the Polynesians. Every person on this earth was made in God's image. So what was the problem with Esau's foreign wives? And why did God command the Israelites not to intermarry with the Canaanites? Simply put, was an issue of their hearts – not their bodies.

The Canaanites were a desperately wicked culture. Sexual immorality was everywhere. So was idolatry. The pagan Canaanites would regularly offer their own children on the altars of their demonic gods. When God warned His people not to intermarry with them, He wasn't vague about His reasons. “Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.”

And if the issue was racial (instead of an issue of the heart), why was Rahab, a Canaanite woman, listed in Jesus' geneaology? This Canaanite had a change of heart, and that was all it took in God's eyes. One generation later, a Moabite named Ruth had the same change of heart, allowing Boaz to marry her.

But that's just a side issue. There are too many racist people out there trying to use God's Word to justify their prejudice. But now, let's get back to Esau.

Esau saw that his dad didn't want his kids to marry these pagan women. He knew his dad sent Jacob back to where they came from (back to where they still served Yahweh) to find a godly wife. And Esau also knew that the two pagan wives that he had were a source of grief to his dad. So, to try to make his father happy, Esau married a third woman – this time, Abraham's granddaughter. Instead of repentance, Esau tried to add obedience to his disobedience.

That's the kind of mixed marriages God hates – when we marry obedience to God with our disobedient lifestyle. When we think that obeying most of what God says balances out disobedience in a few areas, something's wrong.

God forgives sin, but only after it's repented and turned away from. Continuing in sin while trying to cover it up with obedience doesn't work. You can't add Jesus to your own lifestyle and hope everything turns out ok! This is all or nothing, either you give God control over all of your life, or you've given Him nothing.

This is an enormous problem inside churches right now. We're adding God to our schedule, giving Him a few hours on Sunday, and then going back to our own life Sunday afternoon. We've been duped into thinking that as long as we obey the more important commandments, that will balance out the rest of our life. But, you can't mix your lifestyle with His Lordship.

It's a clich̩ we've heard over and over Рbut either Jesus is Lord of all, or He isn't Lord at all.

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