The telephone rang and it was Effron. Unfortunately, my suspicions were correct. He called to cancel what should have been our second meeting. He was exceedingly polite. I hoped to discuss his hang-ups concerning Jesus but he stated that he did not want me to be disappointed and that at this point in his life he really was not concerned with examining who Jesus is. “Effron, when you are ready to tackle tough issues, please call me.” “I will,” he said and parted with a final comment, “I love you.” That took me by surprise.
Most likely Effron and Ramona* will find a Justice of the Peace to seal their illicit union. Some day, Effron will face Jesus. I pray it will be from a position of faith. Will Ramona confess compromising truth to marry him? I pray she will turn back to the Lord and repent lest her walk be shelved on the altar of pleasure.
Deuteronomy 7:1-2--When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess,and He drives out many nations before you—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and powerful than you—and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you and you defeat them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy.
Many people believe the God of the Old Testament is not the same as the God of the New Testament. The biggest reason I hear for this assertion is the stern anger, judgment and wrath He dispenses in the OT versus the grace and mercy He offers in the NT. Many reject the OT God as unfair and cannot understand why He commanded and approved wholesale slaughter of pagan nations. Yet, God’s actions in the OT are consistent with what He will do in the final judgment predicted in the NT. His instruction in Deut. 7:1-4 to the Israelites is powerful proof why the Holy Spirit led Paul to instruct believers not to join with unbelievers.
Let us consider several things. First, God did not call for Israel to wipe out every Gentile nation on the planet. He called them to destroy the seven nations that were localized in the Promised Land He led them to occupy. God’s instructions were clear:
1. “Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.”
2. “Do not intermarry with them.” (vs 3)
God’s reasons for total destruction were also clear.“ Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, because they will turn your sons away from Me to worship other gods. Then the LORD's anger will burn against you and He will swiftly destroy you.”
Why did God sanction the killing of women and children? This is a hard thing to understand and accept, but destruction was mandated because these seven nations were rebelliously aligned against Him. If Israel failed to destroy them, they would one day turn her to idolatry. History records that this is exactly what happened. Eventually, God’s wrath burned against His own people because they made Him jealous by spurning Him for other gods and because they lived wickedly discrediting His holy name.
We make ourselves “better” than God or try to make God better when we suggest His character improved as evidenced by the NT. Yet, this conflicts with Scripture that demonstrates God’s immutable nature. The OT Psalmist writes, “Long ago You established the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; all of them will wear out like clothing. You will change them like a garment, and they will pass away. But You are the same, and Your years will never end” (Psalm 102:25-27). The NT author of Hebrews, quotes Psa.102:27 above and then later writes “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 1:12,13:8).
Remember, Jesus is not a created Being. He is God’s Son who created the earth (Colossians 1:16) and worked with God throughout the history of the OT. From earth’s beginning, the Bible records created man’s sinful evolution. It details the love story of the Maker Who yearns to fellowship with creatures made in His image and given the freedom to reject Him. His character does not change but His grace unfolds. Those who choose to dance with Him must not marry those who choose to dance without Him.
In summary, the reasons we are not to be matched with unbelievers are clear. God does not want our hearts to turn against Him. This very thing was occurring in Ramona’s life. She was angry with God. He does not want us aligned with someone who does not share our faith and therefore cannot operate spiritually as we do with the indwelling Holy Spirit. For over two years Ramona has lived with Effron. He has not accepted Christ while her spiritual condition continues to erode.
I suspect that many people think that by making a case that God is inconsistent they can then rationalize breaking His dictates. “Oh it doesn’t matter that I sin, He will forgive me.” This is frightening logic that fails to account that God will judge us for our actions. Unless you are already yoked with an unbeliever, do not rebel against God’s teaching. If you are already married to someone without Christ, then faithfully pray for his or her salvation and ask the Father to help you be holy as Jesus is holy. And please keep praying for Effron, that he will wake up and see the Light!
*Not their real names
©2007 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)