photo 51Luke 20 v 33. “Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

The Old Testament law referred to by the Sadducees was Deuteronomy 25 verses 5-10. It was required that if a man died without leaving a son and heir, his wife should remarry within the family in the hope of producing a son who would then be the deceased man’s heir. The Sadducees took this legislation to a ridiculous extreme to make their point which Jesus confounded. But why this legislation at all?

Remember there were several issues at stake in those early days of Israel’s existence. First of all there was the matter of the young widow herself. If her husband died and she was left to fend for herself, what would become of her? So in the wisdom of God, a law was given that took care of her at a time when life outside a family circle could be quite dangerous. This was then a law of mercy, compassion and care for women.

Then next, comes the issue of land ownership. Remember, God was going to give the Israelites the land of Canaan. At the point of this legislation it had not yet happened. But in the Book of Joshua, the land was taken from the Canaanites and distributed to the tribes of Israel. Each family member got his portion of land. The man who died got his portion as well, through his son and heir. If he had no heir the potential for trouble was very real. Land had to stay within the family. In fact in many parts of the world, one can see, even today, the importance of land staying within the family. For the people in those days, as for today, owning workable land was at the heart of self-subsistence and creating wealth.

But now consider this. This very law, especially verses 7-10, which was not quoted by the Sadducees, became the very law which enabled Boaz to acquire Ruth as his wife in the wonderful story in the Book of Ruth. Read particularly Ruth chapter 4 verses 9 & 10. Without this legislation who knows what would have become of Naomi and Ruth? As it is, because of this law Boaz became the grandfather of David, King of Israel, and Ruth is mentioned in the genealogy of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1 v 5).

The Providences and plans of God are indeed wonderful, and so are His plans for you.