Archive for the ‘Ishmael’ Tag

Mouse in the Cookie Jar   1 comment

Just because something is in the Bible does not make it Biblical.
Cain killed his brother Abel in the first generation of natural born humans. That doesn’t give us permission to kill our brothers.
When we talk about sexual immorality, it is easy to focus on homosexuality, because it is the current culturally-acceptable sin. But our world today knows plenty of other sexual immoralities.

  • Fornication – sexual outside of marriage, which could include prostitutes
  • Pornography – the sin in your mind is the same as the sin with your body, and ladies, this includes romance novels
  • Divorce and remarriage – it’s not actually the divorce that is a sin. It’s remarriage that is the problem
  • Polygamy/polyamory – three or more is definitely a crowd
  • Incest – sex with your child, your parent, your siblings, and even your former inlaws
  • Adultery – yes, God really does care if you cheat

Some of the Old Testament patriarchs practiced polygamy. Today, you can find many reportedly “christian” websites promoting the idea of Christian polyamory. The message boils down simply to “all God’s children ought to love one another, right now, regardless of marriage, regardless of gender, regardless of …” well, God’s plan.

Polygamy/polyamory was practiced by some of the men in the Bible, but it was never honored by God. You doubt that?

Abram married Hagar when Sarai failed to give him an heir. The union produced truly tragic results. God promised Hagar that her son would become the father of a great nation because he was Abram’s son, but He also promised that Ishmael would be a “wild donkey of a man” and a warrior hostile to his brothers. Those brothers hadn’t been born yet and Sarai was past bearing age, so both Hagar and Ishmael developed a haughty attitude. Then Sarai became pregnant in her old age and Hagar and Ishmael were forced to leave the family because they were a risk to Isaac’s very life. Ishmael became the progenitor of the Arab nations that today show such hostility to Jews and Christians alike – as promised.

All the other polygamous relationships in the Bible show a similar pattern. Lamech (Genesis 4), Essau (Genesis 28) and Jacob in Genesis 29 show that polygamy is wrought with favoritism, fighting, jealousy and mistreatment (Genesis 35 and 38, 2 Samuel 3, 13 and 15, 1 Kings 11). David’s multiple wives led to multiple children, one of whom raped his half-sister, another whom avenged that sister’s rape and set off the rebellion of a third brother. Solomon’s multiple wives led him off into idol worship.

Polygamy existed in the Bible, no doubt, but at a high cost to the families involved and often to the nations surrounding them. Joseph, though living in very polygamous Egypt, took only one wife. It appears that was the standard during the Hebrew slavery in Egypt. Moses’ father appeared to have only one wife and Moses himself had only one wife, though unlearned critics try to argue otherwise based on a mistranslation in the King James version. Joshua’s wife is never identified and we don’t know if he had children. Some of the judges were polygamous and it rarely worked out well for them. Think of poor Samson, blinded and abandoned, pulling the Philistine temple down on himself because it was his last option after being betrayed by his lover.

Just because a mouse is in the jar does not mean he’s a cookie. Just because sinful human beings who played important roles in God’s plan for mankind acted in sinful ways does not mean the Bible (or God) approved the sin.

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