Some Marriages in Scripture
Some Marriages in Scripture
October 23, 2005
- What is it?
- Some definitions
i. Webster: the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family
ii. New Bible Dictionary: Marriage is the state in which men and women can live together in sexual relationship with the approval of their social group.
- Characteristics & purpose (New Topical Textbook)
i. Divinely instituted. Ge 2.24
ii. A covenant relationship. Mal 2.4
iii. Designed for
1. The happiness of man. Ge 2.18
2. Increasing the human population. Ge 1.28; 9.1
3. Raising up godly seed. Mal 2.15
4. Preventing fornication. 1Co 7.2
- Would like to look at several couples in Scripture i. Examine their relationship
ii. See what lessons can be learned
iii. Zacharias & Elisabeth
iv. Ahab & Jezebel
v. Manoah & his wife (Samson’s mother)
- Zacharias & Elisabeth
- Lk 1.5-25, 39-45, 57-80 #. Both were of the tribe of Levi, descendents of Aaron the high priest
- Lk 1.6-7 - And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
i. Had been faithful to God for many years despite being cursed with barrenness, in the Jewish culture one of the worst things that could happen
ii. Obviously recognized in the community for their godliness, or else he would not have been allowed to serve in the Temple
iii. Speaking as half of a (formerly) infertile couple, I can vouch for the fact that he would have had to be constantly encouraging & supporting his wife
- Lk 1.19-20 – And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
i. Had a brief moment of faithlessness, which God punished
ii. Yet he believed enough to go ahead & have physical relations with Elisabeth, despite their age, and was rewarded with a late-life pregnancy
- Lk 1.57-64 - Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. i. She no doubt supported & helped him during his time of being mute (& probably deaf as well, as the family needed to make signs to him)
ii. Both parents showed their obedience to God in the face of pressure from relatives, when they persisted in breaking family tradition in the naming of the baby
- Lk 1.76-80 - And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel. i. Their child was godly
ii. Became a prophet, probably the greatest in the history of Israel save Elijah, whom he resembled
- Lessons i. A godly couple can build up and encourage one another – Pr 27.17 - Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
ii. Each can enhance the other’s witness for the Lord
iii. Such encouragement can also lead to children who do mighty works for God
- Ahab & Jezebel
- 1Ki 16.29-31 - And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. i. Came from a line of kings that had initiated idol worship in Israel
ii. His father had become king by killing his predecessor while serving as a captain in the army
iii. Married Jezebel, whose father had been a priest of Ashtaroth and had taken the throne of Tyre by murdering his predecessor
- She taught him to worship Baal and the other gods of Tyre
i. Together they introduced Baal worship in Israel as a state sponsored religion
ii. “above all that were before him” – and actually above any that came after him, for this expression is not used again anywhere in the descriptions of kings of the north kingdom
- She taught him to kill the prophets of the Lord i. 1Ki 18.4 - For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)
ii. 1Ki 19.1-2 - And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
- She murdered and stole in his name and on his behalf – 1Ki 21.5-16 (story of the vineyard of Naboth, which Jezebel & Ahab stole when Naboth wouldn’t sell it to them) #. She was the main mover in all the evil he did
i. 1Ki 21:25 - But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.
ii. Pretty obvious who wore the pants in that family!
- Lessons i. An ungodly wife can drag her husband down, the same as a godly wife can build him up
ii. 1Co 15.33 (NASB) - Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." (not that Ahab had good morals!)
- Manoah & his wife (Samson’s parents)
- Judg 13.1-22 - And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death. Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her. And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day. And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am. And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him? And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe. And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee. And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. i. Another godly couple like Zacharias & Elisabeth
ii. Also barren
iii. Also had an angel appear (though this one was actually the pre-incarnate Jesus & not Gabriel)
iv. Both were anxious to seek & do the Lord’s will in the matter
1. Both sought additional information & instruction from the angel in terms of what they were to do
2. He was willing to sacrifice & worship
3. She was willing to subject herself to the Nazirite vow by abstaining from wine & unclean food while carrying & nursing Samson
- They did what was right in raising their son
i. Jdg 14.2-3 - And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
1. Deut 7.3 – forbids this sort of relationship
2. They tried to teach him to follow God’s law
ii. Jdg 14.9 - And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.
1. Obviously they followed the Jewish dietary laws, otherwise Samson would not have hidden from them the fact that the honey was unclean by virtue of having been in contact with a dead corpse
- God rewarded them by giving them other children i. Jdg 16.31 - Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.
- Lessons i. God rewards those who honor him and who seek to raise their children for him
ii. Not all of those children will necessarily follow the Lord as they should however
- Summary –
- Marriage is God’s fundamental institution for families & raising children #. 3 couples who illustrate how a marriage can turn out good or bad depending on how they relate to each other
- A husband & wife can do great things for God if they honor Him and build each other up
- They can fall to unparalleled depths of evil if they don’t
- A godly marriage is the best environment for raising children, but doesn’t guarantee a good outcome