The Danger of a Foreign Spiritual Influence in Intermarriage
Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the LORD your God. Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations–these that remain among you–and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you, know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD your God has given you.
(Joshua 23:11-13 NKJV)
Joshua gives the nation of Israel in his farewell address a last “pep talk”. He encourages them to go into the Promised Land. The only warning he gives is this:
Love God and don’t get that messed up.
The main way in which they could mess up their love for God is through an inter-cultural marriage. He warns them to stay away from Canaanites and other nations. Why?
The reason they were told to avoid the other nations in the region is because the foreign spouse will re-direct their spiritual influence.
Inter-cultural marriages are hard for a reason. The people of Israel had to be reminded because they would often forget their faith. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not forget But this new nation would be susceptable toforgetfulness.
Moses reminded them of their forgetfulness, and the danger that this forgetfulness would lead them spiritually astray.
Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire.
(Deuteronomy 7:3-5 NKJV)
The new spouse would re-direct the spiritual influence of the entire family – fathers and children.
Moses even told them how to deal with this influence. He said it is important to destroy it. They were reminded to take every part of foreign religious influences out of the home. We have to learn to do the same thing. We have to make our home a safe place to love God.