Scripture: verse 21
If a man takes his brother’s wife, it is uncleanness; he has disgraced his brother sexually; they will be childless.
Observation: The penalties for sexual impurity varied depending on the offense, sometimes without any obvious reason. Sometimes the offenders were killed, sometimes they were exiled, and sometimes they weren’t punished by the community, but by God.
This reminds me of the story in 2 Samuel 24. David does something idiotic (David was good at that. But then, who isn’t?) and God gives him a choice of punishments: three years of famine, three months of war, or three days of plague. David chooses the plague, because he’d rather be punished by a gracious and loving God than fall into the hands of men.
Which is not to say that marrying one’s sister-in-law is a good plan, of course. Sin never is. But I’m glad that I can trust God with my heart and know that even His correction is loving and as gentle as possible. That God sees me and knows me and is working in me and won’t break me.
Sometimes it’s scary, walking the path that God sets out. Sometimes I have to tell things to my friends or my husband that I’d rather keep private. Sometimes He asks me to do things that make me feel vulnerable. But I know that I’m safe. That He holds my heart, and that He is my shield. And if I’m going to trip and fall (and I’m definitely going to trip and fall sooner or later) there’s no safer place to do it than in Him. Because even His discipline is full of grace.
Application: Trust God with your sin. Trust Him to know how to fix you. Better wounds from a Friend than kisses from an enemy (Proverbs 27:6).
Prayer: Father, it scares me sometimes that you can see all my sin. Thank you for being patient and gracious and calling me righteous when I’m not perfect. Please help me to trust you as you guide me. Amen.