Waters of Jealousy

Wendy Pope

Day: 5 | Plan: Numbers

Today's Reading: Numbers 5

Numbers 5:24 (NIV) “He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering will enter her.”

Holy water mixed with dust from the tabernacle floor. Curses written on leather washed in bitter water. Barley flour burning on the altar. Swelling abdomen vs. shrinking abdomen. One might envision a cauldron over an open fire as you read this section of text.

Waters of Jealousy was a ceremony that occurred when a husband was suspicious of his wife’s faithfulness. If the woman’s abdomen swelled after drinking bitter water, then her husband had something to be jealous about; she had been unfaithful. If the woman’s body had no response after drinking the water, she had remained faithful.

I know this sounds like hocus-pocus but it was the law and test God set in place. Its purpose was to expose unfaithfulness and show the community the seriousness of hiding sin. God also wanted the ceremony to promote faithful marriage. 

It isn’t likely we would ever witness a woman in our community drink bitter water and watch her belly. Yet there is a strong message in this passage to married men and women as well as those who want to be married. Marriage is sacred to God. Just as He is faithful to us, He expects us to be faithful to our spouses. 

Let’s be proactive in preserving faithfulness in our marriages, and marriages to be. 

Mind: Watch, read and listen to that which esteems marriage

Body: Avoid physical contact and time alone with members of the opposite sex

Soul: Honor your love and refrain from sharing intimate details of your marriage 

Spirit: Pray for and, when possible, with your spouse. 

Make your marriage or future marriage strong by setting these safeguards in place.  No one wants to wade in the water of jealousy. 

Prayer: Lord, help me be mindful of what message I send to members of the opposite sex. I shudder at the thought of being the cause of jealousy and possible destruction in mine or another’s marriage. The sanctity of marriage is important to You and what’s important to You is important to me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

In Numbers 5:6 God makes a statement about sin that’s important to remember,... Read More

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