Abraham and the Sanctity of Marriage; Genesis 12

Many of us know or have heard the stories of Abraham and Sarah coming to a new town, and Abraham having Sarah say that she is his sister, not his wife.  And there is a plethora of good teaching around these incidences.  However, I’d like to point something out that is coming from a different perspective, and has a rather interesting and deep commentary about our cultures today.

Abraham has Sarah say that she is his sister, not his wife.  Why?  Because he doesn’t want the people to kill him and then take Sarah to themselves.

Why would would they kill Abraham if Sarah were his wife?  Why was he safe if she were his sister?

Apparently, the ancient world held marriage so sacred that they wouldn’t even dream of taking another man’s wife!  [Now before you start thinking that this shows very high morals on the part of the ancients, remember that, though they wouldn’t break the sanctity of marriage, they apparently had no qualms about killing the husband and then taking the now unmarried woman!]

Most (or all) of the western cultures today hold marriage in such a low regard that it is considered a ‘normal’ part of life to break the sanctity of marriage.  Doing so is even considered entertainment!  The whole entertainment industry (movies and such) treats marriage with low regard and treats adultery as something good – and Christians don’t think twice about watching such stuff!  This should not be!

I had a good friend of mine point out to me that the story about Abraham and Sarah showed that holding up a marriage was (is) a cultural responsibility It takes more then just the husband and wife to keep a marriage going.  Ancient civilizations apparently knew and practiced this.  Well, to some extent.

Today, though we may hear sermons and have seminars about the importance of marriage, it is a sad fact that the culture supports the opposite.  Just look at how many (the majority) movies disregard the preciousness of marriage.  And when was the last time you heard a preacher call the people to quit watching such tripe; such stuff that is displeasing to Yehovah (the LORD)?

Why has watching sinful behavior become an acceptable form of entertainment?

Okay, so I’ll quit ranting.  In closing consider this:

“…hold fast to what is good.  Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (ESV)

It would be good if we (myself included) would take these words to heart, even to including the entertainment we watch.

Shalom!  – Yosef

Bride or Child

[Author: Bruce]

In the last blog I posted, I posed the question of whether God takes anyone back.  I truly appreciated the comments and feedback in your responses. I really love to have my mind changed by the scriptures, and as we discuss differing opinions and interpretations, our horizons are broadened and if we are listening the Spirit guides us into deeper truth that brings us closer to God and shapes us more into the image of his son. 

The comments seemed to focus on sovereign choice vs free will. While this debate has kept churches divided for centuries and has been the topic of many volumes of literature, it was not my heart question.  In my wondering I was not as concerned with how we come to God in Messiah, but rather who we are when we get there. This leads to my next question. 

As we come to God, do we come as a bride (wife) or a son?  

I believe this has great bearing on how we respond to redemption. If I understand my relationship with God as one of a wife, then when I return to sin, I am an adulterous woman. In my continued cycle of sin and repentance I wonder how many times God will take me back. I wonder where the line is of final divorce. God would be totally justified to send me away forever for my adulteries. 

On the other hand if we come into relationship to God as a son,  I no longer have to worry about the certificate of divorce. As a son, when I wander off in some wayward fashion, I  simply need to remember who I am and return.  Like Yeshua’s story of the “prodigal,” we simply return to the Father and he recognizes our repentance and celebrates. As a son I recognize my need for the instructions and discipline of my father. I know I am intended to mess up and not get it right, yet God still loves me and I continue to grow. 

Thinking along this line brought me peace and assurance in my salvation, but then I thought, “who is the Bride of Christ?” And “isn’t Israel the one in Ezekiel 16:6-8 that LORD God marries?”  The relationship of marriage is throughout the Scripture as an image of God and his people and also as Yeshua and his people. 

Praying through these things I believe God revealed to me the difference in the way God relates to his people and to a person. Together we become something we are not by ourselves.  It is where two or more are gathered together that Yeshua is  in our midst. Paul went to great lengths to describe the body we become as we share our gifts and live out our callings in community.  Scripture continues to reveal to me these differences as I try and differentiate between what I am in messiah and what we are in messiah. 

I am a child of God, a brother to Yeshua. 

We are the bride of Christ. Awaiting his return. 

Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. I really look forward to hearing what you think and why.  Change my mind with the word of Hashem. 

Shalom      – Bruce