What We Believe

June 24 Daily Devotional

Mixed Marriages

Charles and Norma Ellis

Bible Reading

Genesis 6:1-8

1And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
3And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
4There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.


People today, even Christians, sometimes fail to recognize the great cleavage among men. God's Word breaks down national, racial, social, and economic barriers. No one can find in Scripture justification for prohibiting marriage across these lines. But the Bible teaches a great cleavage between the 'daughters of men' and the 'sons of God' which does preclude marriage.

Who were these 'daughters of men'? The indications are that the 'daughters of men' were in the line of Cain, that branch of the family of Adam which had turned from God and made no pretense of being His people.

The 'sons of God,' who would be the line of Seth, had no business marrying these girls. The context makes it quite clear that at this early date men knew the will of God for marriage within the faith.

But why this wording? Why does it not read, 'Some of the sons of God married some of the daughters of men and some of the daughters of God married some of the sons of men.'? Since this is a problem that troubles a number of people, let us make two observations concerning it. First, simply, it would be very awkward sentence structure! Often the reverse of a statement is implied without being stated in order to avoid such clumsiness of style. But second, at this time in history the male was the initiator of marriage plans. He went out to seek a bride. His would be the sin in that he, knowing the will of God, nevertheless actually left his own people and went to seek a bride from outside the faith. One needs to go no further than this to get an understanding of this passage. What God is doing is commenting on the fact that there was disobedience with reference to the choice of a marriage partner.

Jesus said, 'For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark ... so shall also the coming of the Son of man be' (Matthew 24:38, 39). How contemporary that sounds! And as then, so now, God's people are guilty of defying His declared will that they are to marry only within the faith. In the sight of God this is the sin of the mixed marriage. Whether we eat or drink or marry, all is to be done to His glory.

We are happy to have obtained permission to post as our current daily devotional Heirs Together of Life: Daily Bible Reading for Husbands and Wives, published by The Banner of Truth Trust. Don't be misled by the subtitle. As the book's "Preface" indicates (see below), although Heirs Together of Life is "especially prepared for couples,"the authors declare, "Since the basis for this guide is God's Word, we believe it would have value for any reader."

Charles and Norma Ellis are husband and wife and the authors not only of Heirs Together of Life (which was first published in 1980 and continues in print today), but also of Wells of Salvation (first published in 1985, and likewise still in print today). The latter contains a series of short studies covering the entire book of Isaiah, while the former contains a series of almost 200 short studies covering the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Both books by the Ellises can be ordered from the publisher, The Banner of Truth Trust. We trust that these daily Bible readings, posted daily on our site, will be helpful to you in your Christian walk before God. Whether married or not, all of us are members of families and members of the family of God.

Charles Ellis was educated at Wheaton College and Westminster Theological Seminary. Upon graduation from Westminster (where he earned not only a Th.B. but also a Th.M.), he was ordained to the ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and pastored a number of OPC churches, including Immanuel OPC in West Collingswood, New Jersey; First OPC in Cincinnati, Ohio; Covenant OPC in East Orange, New Jersey; Knox OPC in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine. Less biographical information is available about his wife, but it is known that they served as parents of seven children. After retiring from the ministry, Charles Ellis went to be with the Lord in 2003, but he and his wife left us with a beautiful legacy in the two books they have given to the world, and we are proud to share the daily Bible readings from Heirs Together of Life here with you.



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