Read Genesis 34.
Jacob moved into a land that was occupied by the Canaanites. Due to the covenant God had given to Jacob's family and because of the false worship of the Canaanites, an appropriate separation was to be maintained. They may have commercial agreements, but marital unions would have been prohibited on spiritual grounds.
For some unexplained reason, Jacob's only daughter, Dinah, decided to venture into Canaanite social life. There she was raped by the prince of their people. Now, a deeper conflict is revealed. The spiritual differences are directly linked to the moral differences. The prince showed no consciousness of wrong doing for the violation. Instead, he boldly asked to marry her.
Jacob's passive nature evidently wanted to keep peace with the neighbors at all costs. Even at the end of the chapter he expressed only concern for himself with seven personal references in verses 30-31. He abdicated any and all moral leadership for his family. Such was not the case with Dinah's brothers. They were ready to do battle. Simeon and Levi to devised the deceitful plot of revenge upon the entire local population of males for this one man's sin. Their actions of wanting to do the right thing in the wrong way cost them in Chapter 49 with being passed over in Jacob's paternal blessing. This one man's sin directly affected the lives of the families on both sides. It always does.
The people of God are called to live holy lives and be separate from the world while living in it. There is to be an obvious spiritual and moral distinction. Sex outside of marriage is not okay with God. Intermarriage with those who do not know Jesus is clearly forbidden in Scripture. These are not popular positions with the world's culture. But, then, culture has never been the standard for the people of God.
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with and unbeliever? What agreement has the
with idols? For we are the temple of the
living God; as God said, 'I will make my dwelling among them and walk among
them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be
separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing, then I will
welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters
to me, says the Lord Almighty'." 2
Corinthians 6:14-18 temple of God