Returning to God, after many years of transgression is not easy. In this chapter, many of the people including religious ones like the priests and Levites had to face hard truths and decision in their lives. That is, if they truly wanted to worship and serve the Lord, they had to remove the things that defile them and that even included their beloved pagan wives!
Years before that, a notable king had hundreds of such wives and he turned away from God to the gods of his wives and concubines. He did not have that resolution to put away these wives and that was a stumbling block in his faith towards the Lord God.
“from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” (1 Kings 11:2)
God is very clear in what He expects of us. We shall be holy before Him and we shall not be led away by idols or by any entity that distracts us from worshipping Him and honoring Him. The matter of marrying pagan wives especially in a land that was conquered by pagan people, was difficult to avoid. However, the Lord God says very clearly to His people that they shall not be defiled by these people and should not intermarry with them as they will lead them away from God.
This scenario is very similar today. We live in the world and frankly our community is insignificant compared to the word community out there. By just looking at the numbers, it seems that the probability of finding the right one in church verses finding someone outside is significantly lower.
Therefore, a number of brethren have went to seek for people outside church and sadly, by doing so they either loss their faith or have loss their zeal in God. We live by our choices. Some brethren will say that so and so is still able to bring their spouses to church; however they fail to realize that many who have married gentile wives/ husbands are no more attending church. They fail to see that as they only see the positive cases in church.
Marriage in the Lord in my opinion is really a matter of our priorities in live. Do we put God first in our lives? Do we honour Him more than the desires of our heart? The consequence of not obeying God is obvious. In history and even now, we know that our faith will be affected if we were to find gentile wives/ husbands. What about the children if one is married to gentile wives/ husbands? What will their faith be? Before I was baptized years ago, this issue was one that was in my mind. Am I able to be a true follower of Christ to obey the teachings in the Bible?
I thank God that by putting Him first in my life and praying for a spouse that is according to His will, He has opened a way for me and has blessed my family. Our Lord understands our needs and He knows what is best for us. If we put our trust in Him and honour Him above our hearts desires, He will provide and bless us and keep our faith and our family in His grace.
If we are thinking of going down this dangerous path or already is in this path. Do reflect. Are we doing what is honourable and righteous? Who is first in our lives?
“For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. “(Mt 10:35-39)
Hard truths indeed.