But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT (Part 2)
“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)
“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband ... But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” (1 Corinthians 7:2 & 9)
Sex is a legitimate reason for marriage. But no happy marriage can be built on sex alone.
As missionary medical doctor S.I. McMillen points out, “The superlatives in sex—the best, the most, and for the longest time—are only possible when thoughtfulness, consideration and love for others exist.”
1 Corinthians 7 is why, in many Amish communities, teenage marriages are the norm. They are almost always successful, because they have the support of both families (and their church). Biblical obedience, not age, is the deciding factor.
"Cannot contain" also one reason why fornication and masturbation are so prevalent among today's secular, teenage males. American society has made a fetish of higher education at the expense of teen marriage.
Just when the teenage male most needs a wife (physically -- per 1 Corinthians 7:9) his society (family, teachers, peers) tell him he is too young. Our society fosters immaturity and makes it last, in many cases, right through age 30 and beyond.
When he finally does marry, he may come with prior sexual experience. This may include prior hurts, betrayals, shame, perhaps even illegitimate children and/or sexually transmitted disease. Love and trust will be difficult for him in marriage.
CANAANITES AND STRANGE WOMEN
The Book of Proverbs condemns extra-marital sex, adultery, and prostitution. It speaks often of the “strange woman” as a whore or adulteress. Why? The Hebrews considered Canaanites “strangers”.
They spoke a similar language and shared the same alphabet. But Canaanites were strangers to the living God and His Law. Their idolatrous religion exalted sex and violence.
Canaanite fertility cults spawned religious prostitution as an act of worship to Ashteroth (Isis in Egypt, Ishtar in Babylon) the goddess of fertility. This is why God ordered the extermination of the Canaanites and their idols Baal and Ashteroth.
“Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.” (Leviticus 19:29)
“There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.” (Deuteronomy 23:17)
A strange woman was a stranger to God's Law. She did not fear God. She might be very beautiful. She might even be a Hebrew rather than a Canaanite. But she was (and still is today) a grave danger to any true man of God.
“For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.” (Proverbs 6:23-26)
“For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.” (Proverbs 23:27)
Proverbs warn that a strange woman's ways are moveable (unstable) and therefore unknowable. She cannot be trusted. Her house is the way to Hell. “Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house” (Proverbs. 5:8)
While a whore was called a strange woman, a homosexual (sodomite) was termed a dog. The former was still a woman, though lawless. But a homosexual was outside the human race -- a despised, filthy animal.
The Bible forbids all prostitution, female or male. Prostitutes could not bring their earnings into the Tabernacle (later the Temple) as a sacrifice (vow) for worship.
"Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God." (Deuteronomy 23:18)
WHAT ABOUT POLYGAMY?
As the Apostle Paul pointed out, "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband" (1 Corinthians 7:2). Note that he did not say, “let every man have his own wives (plural).”
“... 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?” (Matthew 19:4-5)
Messiah, in the above verses, points out that in the beginning God made them male and female. The twain (two) shall be one flesh. Thus, marriage was intended to be between one male and one female. Polygamy and polyandry are not the norm.
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife ... One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”
God gives us the requirements for a bishop in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. Verses 2(a), 4 & 5 quoted above insist that a bishop be the husband of one wife. Whatever else the husband of one wife may mean, it definitely rules out polygamy in pastors.
This passage also rules out the celibacy required of Roman Catholic bishops. If they are unmarried, and have no experience ruling their own house, how shall they take care of the church of God?
Some godly men practiced polygamy in times past. But God warned Moses that future Hebrew kings should not be polygamists, lest their heart turn away from God.
“Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” (Deuteronomy 17:17)
Solomon, for example, violated this principle. His foreign wives turned his heart away from God. He died as an idolater. The Law of Moses did regulate polygamy (Exodus 21:10-11; Leviticus 18:18 and Deuteronomy 21:10-14).
 S.I. McMillen, NONE OF THESE DISEASES (Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey, 1963, 1975) p. 52.
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows the Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at email@example.com
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss