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Considering Marriage? | Margaretta Kennedy

Unequally Yoked

When God led the Hebrew children out of the land of Egypt, we read that there was a “mixed multitude [that] went up also with them.”* (Exodus 12:38) Who and what was this mixed multitude? In Leviticus 24:10-23 we read the story of “the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian.” This was a mixed marriage, a daughter of God’s people married to an idol-worshipping Egyptian, and the son was one of the “mixed multitude.” This son “blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed,”* (Leviticus 24:11) and because of this blasphemy and cursing, he was brought forth out of the camp and stoned to death. What sadness and grief this must have been to his mother’s heart, to have her son to blaspheme and curse, and then to be put to death. We do not know the status of this Egyptian-Israelite marriage at the time the Israelites left Egypt. Perhaps the Egyptian father was dead, or it may be he would not leave Egypt with his family. We see the tragic influence of the ungodly, idol-worshipping Egyptian father manifested in the actions of the son who blasphemed the name of the Lord, and because of this great sin he suffered death. The mother may have realized too late her great mistake in marrying the Egyptian, one who was not a worshipper of the One True God. How much better it would have been if she had married one of her own people; then the father would have been an influence on the son to love the Lord and serve Him, instead of blaspheming the name of the Lord and suffering death. You who may be considering marrying one who is not a child of God, consider this: You are not the only one who will suffer from this kind of marriage. The children who are brought into the world suffer from the spiritual division in the home and the evil influence of the unsaved parent.

“When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.”* (Deuteronomy 7:1-4) Here we have further commandment from the Lord to His people to keep themselves separate from the wicked, ungodly people of the land into which they were going. The Lord plainly tells His people not to make marriages with the heathen and gives them the reason why—“For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.” What a solemn warning! God wanted His people to be a separate people then, and He wants His people to be a separate people today. “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.”* (Leviticus 20:26) God wants His people to serve Him only. If one who professes to serve the Lord marries one who is not a child of God, that one is willfully transgressing God’s emphatic commandment to not marry one who serves other gods, and will surely bring God’s judgment upon his soul. He may repent and seek God for and receive forgiveness, but, oh, what a harvest of grief and sorrow there will be to reap! “So will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.” That is surely too great a price to pay—to have the anger of the Lord against one.

We read, “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.”* (Deuteronomy 22:10) Two beasts of a different species cannot associate comfortably together. The ox is generally considered a docile animal, one which could be easily trained, but the ass is proverbially dull and obstinate. To yoke these two animals together would cause constant friction, and they could never pull well together in any kind of work. Surely this would be an unequal yoke. This is a good illustration of the unequal yoke which some have taken upon themselves by yoking up with the unsaved. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you.”* (Matthew 11:29) When one is saved from sin and becomes a child of God, he has taken upon himself the yoke of Christ. He is united in spirit to the Lord and cannot, if he pleases the Lord, henceforth be yoked up with the world or a worldly-minded person. If a saved person disregards the plain commandments of God’s Word and marries one who is unsaved, that one is endeavoring to yoke up the Spirit of Christ with the spirit of the devil, and it will not work. There will be constant friction. The two will be pulling in opposite directions—the saved toward the things of God, and the unsaved toward the things of the world. The Spirit of Christ and the spirit of the devil do not blend; there is no communion, no fellowship. “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”* (2 Corinthians 6:14-15) There is no fellowship, no spiritual communion, but rather direct opposition. Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me.”* (Matthew 12:30) God planned that the husband-wife relationship should be first of all on a spiritual plane, and when the spiritual part of the relationship is ignored or neglected, the relationship descends to a low plane and falls far short of what God planned.