Looking To The Future

Numbers 36:7
“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.

Pastor Jim

 

What Went Wrong?

2 Samuel 6:16

“Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.”


Looking back on the history of Israel, there are certain days that stand out above others. The day Abraham received the covenant, the day Israel was set free from Egypt, and the day Joshua led the nation across the Jordan. These are but a few of the nation’s highlights. I don’t think it a stretch to add the day the Ark of the covenant was delivered to Jerusalem. This was a day of national celebration, including music, dancing, feasting and sacrifice. It seems the whole city turned out for this festive celebration. There was, no doubt, a buzz of excitement in the air as people celebrated the goodness of God, and made public confessions of faith. It is with this as a backdrop,that we read these awful words, “Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.”


Michal did not always feel this way. She was the princess, a daughter of Saul, who met David when he was a worship leader and a captain in the Israeli army. She let her feelings for him be known, and he risked his life on the battlefield to prove himself worthy of her hand in marriage. Their wedding day would be like a storybook romance, as the princess and the hero were married in the palace of the king. Sadly, the romance did not last. 


Webster defines the word despised as, “to look down on with contempt or aversion or to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful.” The Hebrew word is used to describe the way Goliath viewed David. This couple, who had once been madly in love with one another, now hated each other with a passion and could not stand the sight of one another. The exchange they shared is beyond cruel. David takes a shot at her family, while Michal accuses him of flaunting himself before the young women. What happened? What could ruin such an amazing love story? 


While I am sure there are many variables, one thing stands out for sure. Long before this event, David allowed the culture, rather than the Word of God, to influence the way he treated his wife. Culturally, it was expected for a king to have many wives. This was a sign of prestige and power. Biblically, it was commanded that an Israeli king have only one wife. David chose a worldly pattern for marriage. 


Today, it is not only uncommon, but illegal, to have more than one spouse, but the world’s model of marriage is still equally as destructive. It seems, today, marriage is looked at as unnecessary, temporary, and designed to bring personal satisfaction or happiness. As a result, many Christians are choosing not to marry, while behaving as a married couple. Others, are tossing in the towel, because they are no longer happy or satisfied. It is time we look beyond the world, and into the Word for the model of marriage. We will find that God has given specific tools which will ensure we forever remain “satisfied with the wife of our youth.”


For a deeper look at marriage, read Ephesians 5:21-33, 1Peter 3:1-12 and 1Corinthians 7.


Pastor Jim 


Finding A Wife

Genesis 24:4
“You shall go… and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

2015/01/img_1321.jpgRelationships are a key part of life. Healthy relationships lead to a good life, and unhealthy relationships will make life very difficult. The most important earthly relationship is marriage, and who you marry is one of the most important decision in life (second only to receiving Christ.) Solomon wrote “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22). Genesis 24 tells the story of how Isaac and Rebekah met. Their story is a bit different than most of ours because the marriage was arranged, but there are some vital principles to keep in mind for any relationship.

Genesis 24:40
“But he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s house.'”

First, it is important to remember God has a plan for you. Paul wrote, God has foreordained good works for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10); that includes who we will marry. Long before Abraham’s servant arrived at the well, the angel of the Lord was there preparing the way. To think God has forgotten you is bad theology, and often leads to bad decisions. When we forget God has a plan for us, we get impatient and begin to settle for less. Imagine if Adam had not waited on the Lord, he would have ended up with an ape.

Second, we are told where they met. Abraham was adamant that Isaac’s bride not be selected from the ungodly Canaanites. If Isaac was going to have a good marriage, he must choose a godly wife. As his servant went on the search, he selected a location where the young women gathered to draw water. I have been told, the three most important rules of real estate are location, location, location. The same is true of relationships. If Isaac was going to find a godly wife, he needed to look in the right places. Too often, people become lonely, impatient and discouraged. When they have not found the right someone, they lower their standards, and start looking in the wrong places. Remember, there are certain places that are off limits. Looking for a relationship with an unbeliever – off limits. Looking for a relationship with someone who is married – off limits.

Third, Abraham’s servant had a high standard. He was first taken by the beauty of Rebekah, but that beauty was soon overshadowed by her godliness. She revealed her godliness in her willingness to serve, and her great faith. Having never met Isaac, she was willing to trust the Lord and move forward with the relationship. Solomon wrote,

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised
.” Proverbs 31:30

Finally, while the servant is out searching, Isaac is at home waiting on the Lord. This serves as a vivid illustration: Isaac represents the believer waiting on the Lord, and the servant represents the Holy Spirit at work. Isaac finds his bride, not by seeking her, but by seeking the Lord. Jesus said, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). One of the grave mistakes we make is seeking a spouse, instead of seeking the Lord.

Pastor Jim