One of the things that continues to hit me over and over again as I’m doing my reading through the Bible this year is the roles of men and women in the Bible compared to them now. I want to take a look at a few of the differences over the next few posts. As I’ve already discussed previously head coverings, clothing, hair length and Biblical Standards, I won’t rewrite my thoughts there– unless I have to.
The first, and probably most striking thing, about male/female relations in Bible times was the number of wives Biblical characters had and how the Bible is relatively silent in criticizing that fact. In fact, in one place in II Samuel, the Lord even says that he gave David many wives (in regards to his taking Bathsheba and sending her husband to his death).
At first glance, this could argue that God permitted or even encouraged multiple marriages. I mean, Jacob had twelve children by four different women who became the tribes of Israel (more or less!). However, we can quickly see both the OT and NT that God planned for the family to be a male and female. It existed this way until a man named Lamech in Genesis decided that he was important enough to take two wives.
The point here is this: Just because God chooses to use something that happened, or report it, does not mean that it was what God planned or what is best. Too often, we as Christians think that because a person gets saved or something happens where God gets the glory, that somehow justified the way the ends were made. However, the ends do not justify the means, and we must be careful to examine our practices and motives. Just because people come to Christ does not mean that God is happy with the method– or even that the given method is the best.
In this case, multiple wives caused the demise of Solomon and his walk with God, caused humiliation for David and loss of his son because of his sin with Bathsheba, caused infighting among the wives of Jacob, each of them trying to have more kids or more special kids for their husband and caused friction among the children where they almost killed Joseph because he was favored, etc. The fruits are not as obvious because they take place later, but the fruits are there.