“The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him, and saying unto Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?’ And He answered and said unto them,
‘Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?’
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’
They say unto Him, ‘Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?’ He saith unto them,
‘Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.’ ” Matthew 19:3-9
And He arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto Him again; and, as He was wont, He taught them again. And the Pharisees came to Him, and asked Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?’ tempting Him. And He answered and said unto them,
‘What did Moses command you?’
And they said, ‘Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.’ And Jesus answered and said unto them,
‘For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’
And in the house His disciples asked Him again of the same matter. And He saith unto them,
‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.’ ” Mark 10:1-12
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, ‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.’
Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, ‘Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ But he answered and said, ‘Verily I say unto you, I know you not.’
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.” Matthew 25:1-13 (KJB)
“The same day came to Him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked Him, saying,
‘Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also.
Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her.’
Jesus answered and said unto them,
‘Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.’
And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at His doctrine.” Matthew 22:23-33
“And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, He departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; and great multitudes followed Him; and He healed them there.
The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him, and saying unto Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?’ And He answered and said unto them,
‘Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?’ Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’
They say unto Him, ‘Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?’
He saith unto them,
‘Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.’
His disciples say unto Him, ‘If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.’ But He said unto them,
‘All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.’ ” Matthew 19:1-12
“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” Luke 16:18 (KJB)
Most Christians know the words of Jesus on marriage, divorce, and remarriage, so I am not going to spend a lot of time explaining or demolishing what He said. We Christians of the United States of America have done that quite well.
I would like to remind you though, that John the Baptist went to prison for confronting the wicked Herod for marrying his brother Philip’s wife (Matthew 14:3-6; Luke 3:19). He eventually was beheaded because the adulterous wife called for it. Who am I, or who are we to question the word of Jesus concerning marriage?
Let me end this thought, and the truth of Jesus with the verse previous to this one –
“And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17
“But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.” 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (KJB)
The apostle Paul has been dealing with marital relationship for Christian men and women. We get to these verses and he spells out how the Christian husband and wife ought to think and live for the honor and glory of God.
He says, “…the time is short”. As Christians we do not have; and neither does the non-christian; a very long time to live. Life is short. The apostle is telling us that we have a very short period of time to live for God, and be His witnesses in this wicked, dark, and dying world.
To the married he writes, “…be as though you had none…” and that is a wife; and is applicable to the wife to be as though she had no husband, as well. That does not mean forsaking one another, neither ignoring each other in bed, or in work. It deeply means that loving God, worshiping Him, witnessing for Him is the highest and best that a married couple can do.
To those who are weeping, and to those who are rejoicing: rejoicing in a marriage is good, but rejoicing in the relationship you have with God is far higher. Jesus said to His disciples when they came back rejoicing because they had power over demons,
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20
The grieved heart for the passing of a loved one or sorrow over a health condition leads to weeping many a time. We are human beings with weaknesses, and often overwhelmed by sin and the world. There is a time for weeping, but Paul is saying here that there is the matter of God, our relationship with Him and continued abiding fellowship with Him.
One final thing. This world and all that is in it; “…the fashion of this world…”; is passing away – it is perishing. Christian priority is to grow in love with the Lord Jesus Christ, live for Him. In living for Him you will live a holy life, set apart from the lust of the flesh for worldly things and pleasures. Live in such a way as the Spirit of God in you can draw others to Himself.
Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and He rose again. He forever lives making intercession for us.
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJB)
Many of the Christians in Corinth seems to have been indifferent to the culture in which they lived. Sexual immorality was rampant in the city, and Christians were participating in the sin as well becoming more and more bound by their sinful actions; and thinking nothing of it.
It does the Christian of 2019 and every age to read the words of Paul in this chapter concerning these matters.
As Christians we are to live a life that honors, edifies, and glorifies the Holy and Righteous God who has purchased us through the blood of Jesus His Son. That is done through the Holy Spirit and the word of God; applying His teachings and commandments to our lives. We are not part of the evil world culture.
To yield to the temptation of the world is to be brought under the power of sin. There is gross sexual immorality in the Christian community. Eagerly participating in sexual intercourse before marriage; some after marriage who have no problem with sleeping with as many women or men as they can find. God is not pleased with this. He is not honored, He is not glorified; and neither is the Christian living such a licentious life a faithful witness for the Holiness of God.
Let me leave you this morning with the commentary of the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary:
“1Co_6:12-20. Refutation of the antinomian defense of fornication as if it was lawful because meats are so.
All things are lawful unto me — These, which were Paul’s own words on a former occasion (to the Corinthians, compare 1Co_10:23, and Gal_5:23), were made a pretext for excusing the eating of meats offered to idols, and so of what was generally connected with idolatry (Act_15:29), “fornication” (perhaps in the letter of the Corinthians to Paul, 1Co_7:1). Paul’s remark had referred only to things indifferent: but they wished to treat fornication as such, on the ground that the existence of bodily appetites proved the lawfulness of their gratification.
me — Paul giving himself as a sample of Christians in general.
but I — whatever others do, I will not, etc.
lawful … brought under the power — The Greek words are from the same root, whence there is a play on the words: All things are in my power, but I will not be brought under the power of any of them (the “all things”). He who commits “fornication,” steps aside from his own legitimate power or liberty, and is “brought under the power” of an harlot (1Co_6:15; compare 1Co_7:4). The “power” ought to be in the hands of the believer, not in the things which he uses [Bengel]; else his liberty is forfeited; he ceases to be his own master (Joh_8:34-36; Gal_5:13; 1Pe_2:16; 2Pe_2:19). Unlawful things ruin thousands; “lawful” things (unlawfully used), ten thousands.” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Be sure to read the whole chapter six. Let those of us who name the name of Christ Jesus live the name as well.
There are many questions, and at times many accusations, and arguments over the issue of marriage. Biblically, marriage is between one man, and one woman “until death do we part”. The issue of same sex or homosexual marriage is playing a large part in that definition today.
As a Christian I take the Biblical view of marriage, and will until the Lord returns to take me home with Him. A question comes to my mind, however, “Why has marriage been so cheapened, so degraded?”, and I must answer that with this.
The divorce rate is around 50 percent. That sounds awful to me. Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. Is that what is meant by that statistic? If so, that is truly terrible, and a shame to be attached to something that God has ordained.
There is something that makes the matter even worse to me, and that is the divorce rate among those who profess to be “Christian”. It is at the same rate, and maybe even higher. It seems that many Christians have bought into the “Me” lie. They may not admit it, but live as though their living life is all about “Me”, and there is no surrender, no commitment, no loyalty to the spouse (husband or wife).
Let me ask this question, “Who has really cheapened marriage; those who have no commitment, or the issue of same sex marriage?” I dare say that had we Christians stood firm on faithful marriages, and committed ourselves to our own wife or husband, then there would not be the issue and debate of same sex marriage.
Here is the Biblical idea for marriage. “Wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22); and “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her…” (Ephesians 5:25). When these are followed there will be happiness in the marriage, along with joy and peace.
Just my thoughts for today.
-Tim A. Blankenship
“Let brotherly love continue.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Let your way of life be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’ So that we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.’
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their way of life.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
Be not carried about with different and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied with them.” Hebrews 13:1-9
REFERENCES: Genesis 18:3; 28:15; Matthew 25:36; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 22:14; Joshua 1:5; Romans 14:17; Colossians 2:4
The Protected Home
ADULTERY (Matthew 5:27-28)
– An act against marriage, betrayal of trust, an addition to the oneness of marriage – (1 Corinthians 6:16-20).
FORNICATION (Matthew 5:31-32)
– The act of sexual immorality; probably before marriage.
THE LOOK (v. 28)
– with desire was to commit adultery by Jesus’s sermon.
THE PRICE OF SIN (Matthew 5:29-30)
– Is the sacrifice of the eye that offends too high to pay to deal with sin?
– Is the sacrifice of the hand that offends too high to make amends for sin?
-Think about this – Jesus laid down His life for our sin.
Job made a “Covenant” with his eyes: “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? Job 31:1 (KJV).
It is the Christian’s responsibility to deal with their own sin. A individual with no eye or eyes can and will still have lusts. The individual with no hand(s) can still touch what is supposed to be untouchable. It is a matter of the thought life that needs dealt with.
CAST INTO HELL (vv. 29-30)
– Sin will be dealt with harshly in judgment.
– Sin must be dealt with harshly now to avoid Hell.
– Jesus took the judgment that should be ours.
-Our trust and faith in Him justifies us; it is God’s decree.
WRITING OF DIVORCEMENT (v. 31)
– Deuteronomy 24:1-4 seems to be the Scripture to which Jesus is referring. The scribes and Pharisees were promoting a “No Fault” divorce; giving themselves and others an easy opportunity for sin. This is what Jesus condemns.
CAUSES HER TO COMMIT ADULTERY (v. 32)
– When the woman was forced to leave because of this “divorcement” decree; if it was not because of sexual sin against the marriage, then, he caused her to commit adultery when she married another, and the man she marries commits adultery as well.
PROTECTING THE HOME –
– Husbands cherish and love your wives. Quickly replace those lustful thoughts with thoughts of the Lord, His Word, even your wife and family.
-Wives be devoted solely to your husbands, honor and obey him.
– Men keep that look of love upon your wife, not other women.
– Women when you are devoted to your husband, no other man will come between you and your husband.
– Men and women; most of all stay true to God, His Word, and pray. Pray for wisdom, grace, discernment, and knowledge.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Yokes are a farming tool from years past where the farmer or wagoneer even would place two animals; for a yoke it would most generally have been oxen. The cart, wagon, or plow was usually teamed with an equally powered pair of the animal. Consider this as we look at the following passage of Scripture.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (KJV)
The apostle Paul was writing to Christians in the city of Corinth. Professing Christians were joining together with non-believers, and were having complications due to their inabilities to get along, and do what was right.
We are living in an era of time where many Christians are saying things and doing things that align themselves more with the lost world – the unbelievers – and pulling away from God, and His word. In order to get along with the world that is usually what happens. It is the same as thinking you can take a clean bucket of water, and a bucket of mud, then thinking you can pour that water into the mud and make it come out clean. That cannot happen. What you end up with is muddy water.
We are dealing with Christian life and living. When it comes to building a business and teaming up with someone to enter enterprise all parties should have the same moral standards, and like heart for what they do. In marriage, the man and woman entering that lifetime commitment to one another should have a like passion and love for Christ; realizing Jesus Christ is central to their individual, and couple’s life together. There are going to be enough difficulties in partnerships in business, and in marriages without adding the spiritual aspect to the situation.
If we will follow the Lord’s direction spoken through the apostle, then there will be fewer problems, and more love and peace.
When you team an ox with a donkey you will have problems. The ox will be more consistent in pulling while the donkey may not be as reliable, and balk more often.
God has told us, “Come out from among them (the unbelievers), and be ye separate.” He has also said, “Touch not the unclean thing.” We are all unclean until we come to Christ. If you are outside of Christ, then come to Him today.
Song of Solomon 2:1-17,
“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Song of Songs 2:15 (KJV) Also see John 10:10
With there being deceptions and lies concerning marriage and love in our society and culture it is needful, even necessary for the Church of Jesus Christ, and every individual Christian to stand firm on God’s definition of Marriage, and His meaning of love.
It is my conviction that the Home and Marriage is the beginning or the end of a Nation or a society of people. When marriages fail so will society and nations. “As goes the home/marriage; so goes the nation.”
There are hindrances to a good marriage. These can be the children, and the job, or career, school activities, failure to build your marriage and home upon the foundation of Christ and His word.
So what can be done to keep a marriage strong. Let us look at four ideas from Solomon’s Song of Songs;
- Be sure; even make it a habit to praise, and adore and admire one another verbally (vv. 1-3).
- Be sure to make yourself accountable to one another, and to another; who is not of the opposite sex; so as to maintain a holy lifestyle (vv. 4-7).
- Be sure to make time for one another… Have some alone time.. Go to the “clefts of the rock” and get away together (vv. 8-14)
- Be sure that within marriage you have a sense of belonging… “I am my beloveds, and he is mine”
- This is an addition to the original post… Make God the primary Person of your marriage.
You are not your own. You are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20)
The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ must be the bedrock of your marriage and home.
I was running short on time this morning so I wanted to share this with you.
“And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: and I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: but thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; He shall send His angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter. Genesis 24:1-9 (KJV).
I will not post all 67 verses, but I will put the verse numbers for your reference to check out.
We have been LOOKING FOR JESUS in Genesis for several articles. I will do one more following this one, and then I am going to do a study in The Revelation of Jesus Christ; Lord willing.
There is a wedding which is going to be celebrated, in what I believe to be the not too distant future. Here in the Old Testament book of Genesis is a picture of the bringing together of the bride and the Bridegroom.
Jesus promised that after His ascension into Heaven He would send a Comforter. This comforter would guide into all truth. He would draw people to Jesus Christ.
In our text we have an unnamed servant of Abraham who is sent to find a bride for his son. It is amazing how the Holy Spirit inspired the writings of Scripture in the way He has here showing forth the glory of God, and His work bringing the lost to Jesus.
The servant went to the assigned place to seek a bride for Isaac. Rebekah was that chosen bride. This bride 1). “Believed a man she had never met before, 2). was asked to go to a land from which she was never to return, 3). was asked to marry a man whom she as yet had never seen.” M. R. DeHaan. The journey was about 600 miles on the back of a camel.
When the servant chose Rebekah it was then, a decision for her to make. The decision was one that could not wait (vv. 55-58). So Rebekah chose to go on a journey over hard country – a barren, dry and dangerous country.
When Rebekah saw Isaac for the first time he was coming from Lahairoi, which means, “The well of a Living One”. This is the first appearance of Isaac since the altar of Mount Moriah. Jesus will one day appear to take His bride who has been chosen by the Holy Spirit.
Let’s look at four of the characters in this text, and we will try and focus the picture on the One who is True.
First of all, look at the father. He loved Isaac and wanted a bride for him. He believed that God was faithful and would keep His promise and provide the bride. The bride could not be an outsider. The Father getting a bride for His Son, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day”. John 6:44 (KJV).
The next character we see in the text is the servant. He is a model servant. He does not go unsent (vv. 2-9), he goes where he is sent (vv. 4-10), he does nothing else, is prayerful and thankful (vv. 12-14, 26-27), he is wise to win (vv.17, 21), he speaks not of himself, but of his master’s riches, and Isaac’s heirship (vv. 34-36; Acts 1:8), he presents the true issue, and requires a clear decision (v. 49).
The work of the Spirit of God is the True: the antitype. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” John 15:26 (KJV). “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” John 16:13-14 (KJV).
The third character is the chosen bride herself. She welcomed a stranger, whom she had never seen. This servant came to the well, seeking God’s direction, and Rebekah came and fulfilled the needs of this servants prayer (vv. 18-20, 24, 25). She accepted the servants invitation (vv. 55-58). The invitation was that she return to Canaan to be the wife of Isaac and receive the blessings of what he would inherit. Rebekah and the servant must have spoken much on the journey to meet the Bridegroom. She learned more about Isaac (v. 65) and more as she saw him and was getting nearer to him. She went over hard country in the care of the servant. This “Hard country” is the hardships, trials, and tribulations of living and growing in the Christian life. M. R. DeHaan said, “Rebekah was asked to believe a man she had never met before, to go to a land from which she was never to return, and to marry a man whom she as yet had never seen.”
The final character, but certainly not the least of the four is the son, in particular; his wedding. Weddings are most always a joyous event. It was for Isaac, and it was for Rebekah. When Rebekah came riding up on the camel with the servant she leaped off the camel. It does not say what she did when she leaped off the camel, but I just suppose that she ran to meet him, and their hearts became as one. In leaping off the camel Rebekah had left the last of her worldly possessions behind. Her journey is complete.
When Jesus and His Bride are joined together at last, they will never part, because it will be for all eternity.
The invitation is still extended. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev 22:17 (KJV).
If we have “Eyes to see, and ears to hear” we can see quite clearly the picture the Master has painted for us. We can see Jesus’ death in Isaac at the altar, we see His resurrection and ascension in that Isaac came from the “Well of the Living One”. We can see the work of the Holy Spirit in Abraham’s servant as he sought a bride for Isaac.
God is so good He paints us such beautiful pictures to show us how He is working throughout all of time to draw us to Himself. The Antitype is even more beautiful.
“And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:5-10 (KJV).
What do I want for Christmas today?
I want to always be in the heart and mind of prayer to the GOD Most High, for my family – my children, grandchildren; and as my wife and I prayed for our children’s spouses from the time they were babies crawling on the floor, or before; so too pray for our grand children to have born again, and godly Christian spouses who love God, and His Word.
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
For your love is better than wine.
Because of the fragrance of your good ointments,
Your name is ointment poured forth;
Therefore the virgins love you.
Draw me away!” Song of Solomon 1:2 (NKJV)
Believing that the Song of Solomon is written to show a king’s love for His spouse before their marriage, and following the ceremony, and that Marriage is a portrait in type of God in Christ’s love for His Bride the Church…
What do I want for Christmas?
I want my Marriage, and my love for my wife Madge, to reflect the love of God in Christ to all people; and for people to know there is no better or greater love than the love the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit displayed on the cross of Calvary for all mankind.
It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Matthew 5:31-32 (KJV)
Today marks our halfway point to Christmas in this year – halfway since last Christmas (December 25). It is the last day of the first half. Just a note.
Marriage is an institution of God. He ordained that a man marry a woman, and cleave to her the entirety of his and her life. There are many words in our dictionaries and our vocabulary’s that are being voided by the PC people, and that we are being asked not to use. I have one I would like deleted; especially between a married man and woman; and that is the word D-I-V-O-R-C-E.
What do I want for Christmas?
I want marriage, between one man and one woman to be sacred again; for the man and the woman to take their vows seriously; for the man to train his heart and his eyes to desire only his wife, and no other, to be faithful to her, to cherish her, and value her even more than his own life; and that the word “Divorce” never be uttered between them of themselves.
What do I want for Christmas?
I want my friends, and sister’s in law parents; Denny and Linda Ball to have a wonderful day celebrating their fiftieth Wedding Anniversary; On this day in 1966 Denny and Linda were united in marriage.
May the Lord give them many more years together.
And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:4-6 (KJV)
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery:’ but I say unto you, ‘That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.’ It hath been said, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:’ but I say unto you, ‘That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.'” ~Jesus (Matthew 5:27-32)
“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” 1 Corinthians 7:1-9 (KJV)
In a day when marriage has been weakened and mocked Christians must learn to love as Christ loved, cherish one another; and enjoy one another in Biblical marriage.
-Tim A. Blankenship
GOD Pursues the Redemption of His Wife (Continued…)
The conclusion of this study will include verses 14 – 23 of Hosea 2.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call Me Ishi; and shalt call Me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto Me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.” Hosea 14-20 (KJV)
There are many times that we think of God’s judgment as only being punitive – to punish. It is so much more. It is also redemptive. It is God’s desire to have His people in the place of blessing, and He gets His people to blessings by both punitive and redemptive judgment.
In verse 14 God says He will “allure her”. This is to attract her to Himself (Romans 2:4). Why would God, who is “Beautiful in holiness”, rich in glory, and worthy of praise, want to attract this people who were in effect, in a state of whoredoms against Him? That is what His grace is all about. Loving the unlovable. Cleansing the unclean.
How would God “allure”, attract her?
- By taking here as His “Wife” again;
- By speaking “comfort to her” [these would be words of love, romance, telling her of her beauty. This loving comfort would even cause her to forget her former lovers];
- By restoring her fruitfulness.
“The Valley of Achor” is the place of Achan’s sin (See Joshua 7). God had commanded Israel not to take any accursed thing for themselves; as they conquered Jericho. The silver, gold, and vessels of bronze and iron were for the LORD’S treasure house. Achan disobeyed and kept a “Babylonish garment” and a “Wedge of gold” which he buried in his tent. Because of this rebellion by one man, and his family the nation lost a battle that should have been won.
We learn from this story that harboring sin is futile to God’s people. Taking to ourselves what God forbids is harlotry against God. Yet God says through Hosea, that “The Valley of Achor [is] as a door of hope”. “When Israel embraced the Baals, she took what God had cursed just as Achan did in taking the spoils of Jericho. Their sin had brought terrible destruction upon them, their children, and their land. Its transformation would be a token of the eternal blessings they would enjoy from now on.” (From Hosea: God’s Reeeming Love by John Traylor pp. 23&24).
A place where a man and his family judged for sin becomes “A door of hope”. There was a man who was judged that is our place of hope. The cross of Jesus, and ugly, despicable judgment, is the only hope mankind has. Because Achan died Israel became victorious. Achan died for his own sins. Jesus “Became sin” for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), and died, making victory possible for all who will believe.
What love God has for His people. In verse 2 God said, “She is not My wife, nor am I her Husband!” In verse 16 He says, “You will call Me ‘My Husband’ and no longer “My Master’. Before Israel in their harlotries were recognizing God equally with the Baals. Baali equals “master”, making her a slave [a slave to sin] (See Romans 6:16). God says, “You will no longer be a slave, you will be My Wife, and I your Husband.”
God was going to make their love for Him so great that they would forget about the Baals, and their names. God’s covenant with Israel would be an eternal covenant. Their land would be blessed. The beasts of the field would even be a blessing to them (v. 18).
She would no longer be unfaithful, but holy and righteous unto God. It is God’s work, and they would know that God is the LORD (Ephesians 2:8-10).
“And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. And I will sow her unto Me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not My people, ‘Thou art My people; and they shall say, ‘Thou art my God.'” Hosea 21-23 (KJV)
God declares that He is God over the earth. He controls the rain, the wind, the plague, and the harvest – good and bad. For some reason many Christians have stopped believing this, and it is partly due to our technology; whereby we are sadly mistaken. Technology is good as far as it goes; but God is still God. Not one meteorologist or scientist can make our weather or take it away, they can only make predictions and maybe explain how it happened; nothing more.
Because of Israel’s departure and adultery God had withdrawn His blessings, mercy and grace so they might see His grace, and their evil ways more clearly. Now, God is preparing to return His blessings upon them; the blessings of mercy and grace. They had no mercy, but they will; they experienced no grace, but now they would receive it and see it. They would be His people; who were not a people. They would proclaim “You are my God.”
“The love of God is greater far, than pen or tongue can ever tell.”
The ultimate and final blessing for Israel is yet to come. Even so Come Lord Jesus.
-Tim A. Blankenship
Hosea’s Call, Circumstances, and Marriage
Several years ago I did a study of Hosea. I spent a few days in the church I pastored teaching in special services for that purpose; and I was also invited by my home church to come for a week of services to teach the book of Hosea. It was the year that our Convention – the Southern Baptist Convention – had Hosea as the Winter Bible Study. This was a study i thoroughly enjoyed, was encouraged by, and prayerfully have grown through; and more since that time.
We will be in this study for some time. I will endeavor to keep the studies readable and short. I pray God’s richest blessing on you, as you read and hear the word of the LORD.
“Hosea was the second of God’s spokesmen known as eighth-century prophets.” Amos was the first, and he and Hosea were contemporaries, both preaching in the Northern kingdom also know as Israel, or Ephraim. Isaiah and Micah preached to the Southern kingdom, usually called Judah, during this same century.
There are two main divisions to the book: 1) Hosea’s marriage, and 2) Hosea’s message. There are four prominent themes: 1.) God’s love, 2.) the sin of God’s people, 3.) God’s judgment, and 4.) hope.
“Hosea 1-3:5 emphasizes God’s faithful love in spite of the people’s unfaithfulness to Him. Hosea 4 – 7:16 shows God’s indictment of the sins of unfaithful Israel. Hosea 8 – 10:15 stresses the sure judgment that awaited Israel because of their stubborn refusal to repent. Hosea 11 – 14:9 presents the hope that God’s healing love will eventually lead some to repentance and renewal.” From the WINTER BIBLE STUDY for this study.
Let us begin by reading chapter 1 verse 1,
“The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.” Hosea 1:1 (KJV)
If you will note the kings of the kingdom of the South – Judah; Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Three of these kings “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD”; one did not – that was Ahaz (2 Kings 15:30-34; 16:1-4; 18:1-3). Joash, fit in with Ahaz. For those who might think leadership in the nation does not have anything to do with morality, or blessing beware.
Sometimes hearing the Word of the LORD is through our circumstances. The spiritual and moral attitude of Israel was one of not only spiritual adultery against God, but adultery of the flesh as well. Because of this it might have been quite difficult for a man to find a woman who was morally and physically pure. Does that sound relevant to our times? Through these circumstances of life Hosea heard the Word of God.
“The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, ‘Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD. So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.” Hosea 1:2-3 (KJV)
The Northern kingdom was a kingdom which had departed from the LORD from their inception (1 Kings 12:16-33). If you were to study the kings of the Northern kingdom there is not one king of whom the Scripture says “Did right in the eyes of the LORD”, not one.
Remember, also, the moral circumstances of the land in that day. There was much idolatry; all connected to Baal worship. There was temple prostitution, used in “worship” of Baal, pleasure oriented god who was made after the image of man. The prostitution was both male and female; or heterosexual and homosexual abomination. The people of the era believed these adulterous practices would bring s harvest of bounty, the rains would be plentiful. Many a young woman and many a young man was convinced that to present themselves as a prostitute for Baal was her duty and an honor. Many a married – betrothed woman would go to Baal’s temple and engage in this behavior believing that to do so would make her womb fruitful and bear many sons.
Hosea loved a woman named Gomer who – possibly after the wedding – began these pagan rites of worship. God definitely used this in speaking to Hosea. Hosea learned in this the pain, the heart break of God in Israel’s departure from Him.
“And the LORD said unto him, ‘Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.” verses 4-5 (KJV)
As a result of this marriage there was a son born to Hosea and Gomer. God told Hosea to name him Jezreel. Jezreel means “God sows”. In this case God is saying that He is going to sow judgment. Jezreel is a city approximately 55 miles North of Jerusalem. It is in an area known as the “Plain of Jezreel [Megiddo]”. A place where much blood has been shed, and much will yet be shed in that plain (See Revelation 19:11-21).
At this time the house of Jehu will be judged, because of their father’s sin (See 2 Kings 10:29-31). It seems that Hosea has no doubt about Jezreel being his son.
And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, ‘Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.’
Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, ‘Call his name Loammi: for ye are not My people, and I will not be your God.'” verses 6-9 (KJV)
The next child that was born was a daughter. Lo Ruhamah means “No mercy”. Do you suppose Hosea may have began to realize that his wife was unfaithful at this time.
Then Gomer had a third child, and God called him Lo Ammi meaning “Not My people”. Was Hosea coming to understand the heart of God? His heart- ache, pain, and anger with adulterous affairs, with worldliness among His people?
“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, ‘Ye are not My people,’ there it shall be said unto them, ‘Ye are the sons of the living God.’ Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” verses 10-11 (KJV)
Speaking through the circumstances of Hosea’s day God has spoken words of judgment and rejection. However, we see in these last verses of the chapter that there is hope.
In these verses God promises that He is not through with Israel. This is truly a hope and promise of THE REDEEMING LOVE OF GOD.
What does God promise?
- They shall be “accountable – without number” (v. 10);
- …Those “Not My people” declared to be “Sons of the living God” (v. 10);
- …There shal be a gathering of Judah and Israel (v. 11);
- …They shall have one head – “The root of David” (v. 11; Jeremiah 30:8-9);
- …They are told to refer to one another as “brother” and “sister” (2:1).
We will look at number five further in the next study.
When we look at Israel, the Northern kingdom, God’s promises to them; then we can know and rest in the assurance of God’s promises that His Word is being fulfilled; even today. The whole law and the prophets is revealed fully in the person of Jesus Christ. He suffered the agony, suffering, rejection of death, was buried, and rose again bodily from the grave; justifying all who will believe Him.
-Tim A. Blankenship
The call of the prophet was one of separation. It was one for Jeremiah that would separate him from his family, due to the message he would be proclaiming, it would even keep him from marriage. There were times he would even feel that God had forsaken Him. We will see these things as we progress through this wonderful prophecy which our LORD God has given us.
The passage of the prophet is chapter one, verses 17-19;
“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.” Jeremiah 1:17-19 (KJV).
The idea of “girding up the loins” is the idea of getting one’s self ready for the task at hand. You might say of a preacher called by God, “Get yourself ready to do My bidding”. As Paul spoke to Timothy, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV). Jeremiah was called to preach the Word of the Lord and he must be prepared. He must know that calling is sure, because there were going to come times in his ministry where that would be all that he had.
“Arise”, get up and get going, the time is short. “Speak to them all that I command thee”. There can be no changing of the message to soften the impact. It must be spoken as God has given it. It is sad to say and to think, but there are many preachers, who are pastors of churches and preach (if you can call it that) messages that are watered down versions of the truth, thus not the truth, but lies. They would rather be popular with their people. Popular with the people unpopular with God. Which would we be? God says to the prophet, “Be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them”.
The prophet is called to stand, to be strong. God tells Jeremiah, “I have made you this day a defenced city, an iron pillar, and brazen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests , and against the people of the land.” This is God’s promise to Jeremiah of God’s protection from harm. Even when the judgment comes on the land, even though the people, the kings, the princes, and the priests turn against him Jeremiah is promised protection. His life will be kept and preserved. Someone has said, “The man of God in the will of God is immortal, until God is through with him”. That is a profound statement. Of course the one who made that statement must have been speaking of this temporal life we live here on earth, because with Jesus as our Lord and Savior we are immortal anyway.
The promise of God for protection would be a mighty force in the faithfulness of Jeremiah. The promise is a mighty power in our lives as well. To think that his own family, friends, king, princes, and others would try to harm him, even try to kill him, and he having the promise of God’s protection and keeping. “They shall fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you; for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you.” Would you rather have the friendship of the world, or the protection and power of God on your life? Think about it. You cannot have both, if you are going to be a preacher of God’s Word.
How would you describe a “Bad Marriage”? For some men it might be described as “Having a wife that does not do what I tell her”. That would be domineering, power crazed husband. To some women it could be having a husband who “doesn’t put his dirty clothes in the dirty clothes hamper”. Men, how would you feel if you had an unfaithful wife? How would you feel if every time you turned around she was hanging out at the brothel, and participating with the prostitutes?
Most men would cry “Foul!” on that one I am sure. Women frown on a husband who takes on multiple women too. Women like their men to be faithful too. It is, as a matter of fact, part of the Marriage vows, to have no other. That goes for the husband and the wife.
My reading this morning was Hosea 3 – 14 and Joel 1-3. Hosea was a prophet who was told by God to marry “wife of whoredoms”. Now this is a little difficult to understand seeing how God forbade his men from marrying unclean women. However, we do see God in some places telling His prophets to do strange, and unusual things. Isaiah was to parade “naked” through the streets (Isaiah 20). He had Ezekiel laying on his side for several days eating food prepared with cow dung, and had first told him to use human dung (Ezekiel 4). Now God tells Hosea to marry a whore.
Hosea is to be a picture of Israel’s departure from the LORD. Israel has committed adultery, whoredom against God, and God in His love, mercy and grace calls out for them to come back to Him.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.” Hosea 2:14-15 (KJV)
I realize this was not part of my reading today, but it is part of Hosea. If you will, remember the “valley of Achor”. It was the place where Achan had hidden contraband under his tent and brought judgment upon the nation of Israel after they had conquered Jericho (Joshua 7 and look at verse 26). You could even say of the word “allure” above that God had in mind, “romancing” Israel back to Himself. He has loved her with an everlasting love. What better romance can that be?
I have heard the prophecy of Hosea referred to as the Old Testament’s “gospel of John”, particularly “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
One of the things we can see in the reading of Hosea is that God does not love blindly. You have heard the phrase, “Love is blind”. God’s love is not blind. I believe it is in front of our National Justice Department that there is an statue of what is often referred to as “Lady Justice” (Probably showing my ignorance here), and it is of a woman holding scales in her hands while blind folded; giving us a picture of justice being blind. God’s love nor justice is blind. He loves seeing clearly the sins, faults and failures of the one He loves. He judges justly as well without a blind fold.
That is what makes His love so powerful and wonderful. He loves despite our sin.
God says to Israel through the prophet Hosea,
“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for Mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.” 14:4-7
Yes! You could say Hosea had a “Bad Marriage”, but he also followed God’s plan and restored that marriage. It was based on open eyes, seeing clearly, and loving his bride anyway; alluring her back to himself. What a wonderful, holy, love.
The gift of Christ on the cross is the marvelous gift of God’s wonderful love. Jesus Christ bore our iniquities on His cross, took our sins upon Himself, and paid the price that was owed to God for our sins. By His bodily resurrection we are justified by God forever. You cannot find a stronger love than that.
-Tim A. Blankenship