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Look Before Your Leap

Daily Reading: Numbers 36

Scripture Focus: Let them marry whom they think best, only they shall marry within the clan of the tribe of their father. (Numbers 36.6b)

Devotional Thought: I don't remember the date, but how I remember the day! I was a nervous wreck and I had to arrange it so Mr. Moore and I were in the same room while his daughter and wife were otherwise occupied. "Mr. Moore, I would like to marry Lana." I was surprised by the first words out of his mouth: "She's spoiled, Scott." He did give his blessing, however, and a year later we were married.

It is good to marry with the blessing of your family, but even better to marry with the blessing of God. God, after all, sets the parameters for marriage. (That could open up a whole topic of discussion, couldn't it?!)

In Number 36, we find the Israelites on the banks of the Jordan, ready to enter into the Promised Land. There was a problem, however: the land assigned to the daughters of Zelophehad. Through marriage it could pass out of the clan to which God gave it. God solved that problem by allowing them to marry whom they thought best - as long as it was within the clan of their father. If they married outside the clan, they forfeited their inheritance rights.

What great insight for today. Legally, we are free to marry whom we choose, but we need to recognize the costs. If we marry someone outside of our culture and values, there will be 'adjustments' necessary. If we marry outside of God's will for us, there will be a price to be paid.

In all this, remember the admonition of the Apostle Paul: "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6.14).

Prayer: Father, thank you for the wonderful gift of marriage, that most intimate and most enduring bond between two people. Help us to honor you by honoring marriage as you formed it. And, Lord, help our young people to marry within the faith. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. 8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (Psalms 130:5-8)

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