“So the inheritance of the children of Israel shall not change hands from tribe to tribe, for every one of the children of Israel shall keep the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.”
The children of Gilead, from the tribe of Manasseh, brought an interesting case to Moses. The father of one of the families had died without having any sons, as a result they were concerned with what would become of the family inheritance if the daughters married outside of their tribe. If the land became the property of the husband’s tribe, it would not be long before some tribal inheritance was lost. Moses sought the Lord and determined that an ordinance be put in place where the land would not pass from tribe to tribe. To ensure this, a woman without brothers would need to consider her inheritance and marry within her tribe.
Clearly, this particular rule is not in play under the New Covenant. As a follower of Jesus, we have no promise of receiving land, nor of that land being passed on as an inheritance to our children. That being said, I think this passage brings to light a much bigger principle; when we are determining who we should marry, we need to keep our inheritance in mind.
Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers that they would know the hope of their calling (Ephesians 1:18). This is an important truth for all of us. We need to know that we have been called to leave the world behind, to follow Jesus, and serve Christ. When it comes to determining who we will date and ultimately marry, we must keep our calling in mind. Too often, we find believers neglecting their inheritance for the sake of a relationship. They pursue a person because they are attracted to them physically, without giving any consideration to that person’s walk with God, or calling. The Bible clearly teaches that a follower of Jesus should not be in a relationship with someone who is not following Christ; but there are other things to keep in mind as well. What evidences does this person show that they are a disciple of Christ? How are they currently serving Jesus? What part does the Word of God play in their decision making? Do they have the same long term goals of serving the Lord that you have?
We can avoid a lifetime of difficulty if we keep our inheritance in mind, before entering into a relationship.