“This is what the Lord commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad. Let them marry whom they think best. Only they shall marry within the clan of the tribe of their father.”
– Numbers 36:6
Now we’re at the end of the book of Numbers, and Numbers 36:6 is obviously a specific stipulation. Instruction that he has given to a particular family and clan in light of specific circumstances in the Old Testament. There are all kinds of reasons why this does not … We don’t directly say this today in the new covenant in our lives. But, the picture here is clear. That God speaks about how marriages should be. God speaks about how families should be. We must listen to God.
We live in a culture that is very confused about marriage and family. May the marriages and families of Christians be directed by God’s Word for the good of the church and the glory of Christ.
The Importance of Ephesians 5:22–33
God speaks about what marriage should look like. Probably the clearest, concise, yet comprehensive picture of this in all the Bible is Ephesians 5:22-33. Every husband and wife should study, meditate on, learn, and maybe even memorize that passage backward and forwards. Because that is God’s clear instruction for marriage. Then right after that, we see in Ephesians 6, the first few verses of that chapter, God’s instructions about parenting. There’s other places in scripture that speak to parenting as well. Other places in the scripture speak to the family. We need to hear from God.
Listening to God’s Instructions on Marriage Rather Than the Culture
Obviously, we live in a culture … at least I live in a culture that is redefining marriage away from God’s word. But my concern is less the culture. It’s more the church. We, as followers of Jesus, must listen to what God says about marriage. About who to marry, about how to treat the person you marry, and obey that so much flows from this. I mean this is the last chapter of the book of Numbers. It’s talking about commands concerning marriage because marriage is really important and family is really important among the people of God. So, God, help us to hear your word concerning our families.
Numbers 36:6: Asking God for Strong Biblical Marriages and Families
God, I pray for my life as a husband, for other husbands who are listening to this right now, Lord, please, help us to love and serve and lay down our lives for our wives like we read about in Ephesians 5. Lord, please, please, please, help us to cherish and nourish and honor our brides like Jesus cherishes and nurtures and honors his bride. God, please, please help wives who are listening to this to love and respect their husbands and show the way the church responds to Christ with the way she responds to her husband.
God, please, please, please, conform our marriages to your word, our families to your word, our parenting to your word. We’re so influenced by so much in the culture around us that goes against your word. God, help us to live according to your word. Help us to love in our families according to your word. And in the process, help us to show your glory and your goodness and your wisdom.
Oh, God. There is no better design for marriage than yours. There is no better design for family than yours, so help us to show that amidst a culture that is very confused about marriage and very confused about family or just set on doing things in ways that are different from what you’ve said in your word. God, please, help us to show the goodness of your word. Oh, oh, God, please, direct our marriage by your word. Direct our families by your word. For our good and for your glory, we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.