[This may appear as a bonus post, because I crossed the international date line today so this is my second run through Friday 8 June 2018.]
Read: Deuteronomy 22
If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must be put to death. You must purge this evil from Israel. (Deuteronomy 22:22)
God takes marriage very seriously. His instructions for the people of Israel reflect that. In this chapter, Moses warns against a number of evils:
A husband who decides he doesn’t like his wife must not lie about her to others and he is not to divorce her (22:13-19). A bride who is found to not be a virgin (obviously this does not apply to widows marrying a second time) shall be stoned to death (22:20-21). Adultery is punishable by death also (22:22). Consensual sex outside of marriage is punishable by death (22:23-24). If a woman engaged to be married is raped, her attacker shall be put to death (22:25-27). If an unmarried, unengaged woman is raped, the attacker must pay a massive fine, but they are to be married and he may never divorce her (22:28-29). A man may not marry his father’s wife (22:30).
Without contraception and protection from STDs, these laws provided for the protection of the vulnerable, including women and any children born from a forced sexual union. However, the biggest messages from these laws are the sanctity and sacredness of marriage, the immense importance of the one flesh union, and the seriousness of sexual sin which would harm this one flesh union.
Though the laws of my county differ sharply, as a Christian and as a wife I must recognise my marriage is precious in God’s eyes – and live accordingly.
Marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman.
LORD God Almighty,
Thank you for the huge blessing and privilege of my marriage relationship with Jeff. Thank you for enabling us to keep our marriage bed pure and undefiled for nearly 18 years of wedded joy.
Thank you for Jeff’s faith, for his sacrificial love for me, for his compassionate care for our children and for his desire to serve you by serving your people as a pastor.
LORD, please help Jeff while I am away (and when I return) to remain faithful to you, to me, to our children and to our church. May he have the strength and patience, insight and kindness to love and lead in our marriage, our family and our church in a way that brings glory to Jesus.