Genesis 24:5-9: Don’t go back!

“5 The servant asked him, ‘What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?’ ‘Make sure that you do not take my son back there,’ Abraham said. ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, “To your offspring[a] I will give this land”– he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.’ So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.” NIV UK

Christian parents don’t want their children to marry a ‘Canaanite.’ Our desire is for them to find a wife or husband among the people of God. We understand something of the spiritual dangers involved with being unequally yoked, and the difficulty, and even misery, it can lead to when the first flush of love has worn off. That said, we can’t control our adult children; only try to guide them. If they do move in that direction, all is not lost. They are still in the orbit of our prayers, and held in the arms of God’s gracious care. Don’t despair mum or dad, if your heart is breaking today over some beloved prodigal. As long as you have breath you will love them, and you can pray for them, and those prayers will count.

But Jesus said. ‘’No-one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God’’ (Luke 9:62). Marrying an unbeliever, when you are a Christian, is a step in a back- ward direction; it is going into reverse gear. Abraham was adamant: ‘’Make sure that you do not take my son back there…Only do not take my son back there…’’ (6a, 8b). He knew that God had brought him ‘’out’’ (7), and there could be no going back. Every believer should take this to heart. There are many ways in which we can return to the old life, but we should consider those doors barred and bolted, and never try to break through them. Even if we still love the Lord, we are likely to have bitter regrets.

PRAYER: You might like to pray today for someone you know who has married a person who does not share their Christian faith, and they are finding life a struggle. That is not always the case, of course, but it so often is.