Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Dispensation of the Mosaic Law.
The Doctrine of Jealousy.
We have now begun NUM 12:1 where we read after all the bitterness and lack of appreciation for what God has done for the Jews that Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman);
Now, who married the Cushite woman?
And what did Moses teach?
Well, look at DEU 7:1-4, “When the Lord your God shall bring you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and shall clear away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you, and when the Lord your God shall deliver them before you, and you shall defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them.
You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them. Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will quickly destroy you.”
Please notice that intermarriage, which is marrying a person from another race was forbidden according to what Moses taught. And yet Moses seems to have violated the very command he gave to the Jews.
The point today is that under the dispensation of grace, we are no longer under this prohibition. But, even if we were, the principle is still the fact that god is sovereign and He has the right to allow that which He wills without having to give us the reason for doing so.
Because he is sovereign and as we read in ROM 9:14-23, What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder,
Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
In order to analyze this subject, it must be divided into parts:
1. What was the basis for the opposition to intermarriage?
2. How can a Jew oppose intermarriage without contradicting the natural instinct that he has to fight discrimination, especially after all that we have suffered throughout history as a result of racial discrimination?
Now, in the ancient world, the primary source upon which the prohibition for a Jew to marry a non-Jew was found in the DEU 7:3, “You shall not marry them (the gentiles, about which the Bible speaks in the previous verses), you shall not give your daughter to their son and you shall not take his daughter for your son.”
The reason for this prohibition is clearly spelled out in the following verse: “Because he will lead your son astray from Me and they will serve strange gods…”
DEU 7:4, “For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods or literally strange gods ; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will quickly destroy you.”
”Other gods or strange gods” can also be interpreted to mean those ideals that did not conform to the dictates of the Torah, and before which one bows his head and dedicates his heart and soul.
However, today because of the times we live, we do not have to be concerned with this passage because the Gospel is taught everywhere.
The only true basis and justification for marriage is that it is a Divine institution and the Bible makes it crystal clear that in spite of your race, it is not good that you are unequally yoked.
The phrase “unequally yoked” comes from 2CO 6:14 in the King James Version: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
The New American Standard Version says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen to each other and to the burden they pull. An “unequally yoked” team has one stronger ox and one weaker, or one taller and one shorter. The weaker or shorter ox would walk more slowly than the taller, stronger one, causing the load to go around in circles. When oxen are unequally yoked, they cannot perform the task set before them. Instead of working together, they are at odds with one another.
Paul’s admonition in 2COo 6:14 is a part of a larger discourse to the church at Corinth on the Christian life. He discouraged them from being in an unequal partnership with unbelievers because believers and unbelievers are opposites, just as light and darkness are opposites. They simply have nothing in common, just as Christ has nothing in common with “Belial,” a Hebrew word meaning “worthlessness” (2CO 6:15). Here Paul uses it to refer to Satan.
The idea is that the pagan, wicked, unbelieving world is governed by the principles of Satan and that Christians should be separate from that wicked world, just as Christ was separate from all the methods, purposes, and plans of Satan.
He had no participation in them; He formed no union with them, and so it should be with the followers of the one in relation to the followers of the other. Attempting to live a Christian life with a non-Christian for our close friend and ally will only cause us go around in circles. It is possible that you can still have a successful marriage but it will be very difficult for you to able to do so. There are the complications of how the children will be brought up and what will the family’s religion or spiritual life be based upon. I know quite a few mixed couples that were very much in love until the moment that their children were born.
All of a sudden they have very heated arguments regarding the education of their children, even though they had long ago resolved the issue theoretically. However, this is really not our subject, our subject deals with the jealousy of mainly one woman, Miriam.
Miriam is the leader. She is the gossip. She is judgmental. She is the one who is maligning Moses, and Aaron is merely the mouse. Now why were they maligning Moses?
Well, back in NUM 12:1.
NUM 12:1, Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman);
A Cushite was an Ethiopian at the time that Moses lived. They spoke a Semitic language and they were a dark skinned people who were a very powerful black race. Josephus records for us that she was a Cushite or an Ethiopian princess, and she was very beautiful and intelligent. She was not Jewish and she definitely aroused the jealousy of Miriam. After all, the Jews were being called out of Egypt to become a client nation to God and here is their leader marrying someone who is not a part of the Jewish race.
What do we have here?
First of all we have the criticism of someone because they got married again and to a woman who was not Jewish. What was our Lord’s response?
In NUM 12:2-10, and they [Miriam and Aaron, Moses’ sister and brother] said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.) And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them came out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. When they had both come forward, He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. “Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?” So the anger of the Lord burned against them and He departed. But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. As Aaron turned toward Miriam, behold, she was leprous.
Moses first wife was Zipporah. And it’s a very interesting question, but whose business is it? Is it your business if someone gets married again? Is it your business who they marry or what race they are? No, it’s none of our business. Is it your business if they get married 10 times? Whose business is it? Is it yours or theirs? In other words, I want you to ask yourself a question…are you a Miriam or a mouse like Aaron?
So, there are two doctrines that are in view here and that apply to us, one is the Doctrine of Privacy, the other is the Doctrine of Jealousy.