“But if her father prohibits her on the day he hears about it, none of her vows and none of the obligations she put herself under are binding. The Lord will absolve her because her father prohibited her.” Numbers 30:5 (HCSB)
“But if her husband prohibits her when he hears about it, he will cancel her vow that is binding or the rash commitment she made, and the Lord will forgive her.” Numbers 30:8 (HCSB)
“Every vow a widow or divorced woman puts herself under is binding on her.” Numbers 30:9 (HCSB)
“These are the statutes that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the relationship between a man and his wife, or between a father and his daughter in his house during her youth.” Numbers 30:16 (HCSB)
I’m betting that not many “women’s rights” rallies begin with citing these (above) passages…perhaps a closer look is in order. Numbers 30 gives practical direction for the time it was written and provides a greater metaphor of God’s relationship with Israel, extended to Messiah’s relationship with the Church. In short, it speaks to us.
Often in the Bible, Israel is referred to as a “virgin” (Jeremiah 31) or a “wife” (Hosea 2:19-20). The Church is called the “bride of Messiah” (Romans 7:4), and potential followers are depicted in the parable of 10 virgins. (Matthew 25:1-13) God is known as both “Father” and “Husband.”
I believe Numbers 30 is less a commentary on the impetuous nature of females and more a testimony of the absolution and redemption God directs towards His “beloved.” Whenever a virgin (young girl) or a wife committed herself in a rash and binding manner, her father (or husband) had the option of canceling her vow, as long as he acted the moment he found out about it. This passage is not intended to shame females but to show God’s great grace & mercy. Numbers 30 is a picture of how we, the “virgin daughter” of God, or “bride” of Messiah, impetuously commit ourselves to sin. Yet, when we confess and make that sin known to God, He is willing to forgive us, canceling sin as if it never happened.
“If we confess our sin, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (HCSB)
You’ll never get yourself into some “deal with the devil” that God can’t undo. Who is NOT covered under this arrangement? Widows & divorcees. Keeping with the metaphor, Jesus is alive forever. His bride will never be widowed, but Satan’s will. Jesus promised never to leave or forsake us; hence, His bride will never be divorced. Satan will leave you in a heartbeat. In short, while salvation is offered to all who would receive it, those without a personal saving relationship with the Messiah have no access to absolution/forgiveness. Their vows to Worldliness are legally binding...along with the consequences thereof.
Elevating your Faith with daily Bible reading and devotionals written by Steve Wiggins.
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