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Was God OK with All of the Polygamy in the Old Testament?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2022 6:30 am

Was God OK with All of the Polygamy in the Old Testament?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 10, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 963 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. How do I truly repent?

2. Did God condone all of the polygamy in the Old Testament?

3. Does the 8th commandment include gossiping?

4. What is the significance of the apostles laying on hands in Acts 8?

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Was God okay with all the polygamy in the Old Testament? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi, I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you and our phone lines are open right now. You can call us for the next 25 minutes or so. Here's the number. It's 1-833-843-2673. So easy to spell it on your phone.

It's 833-THE-CORE. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites. You can interact with Adriel right now live in the studio on our YouTube channel, and you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com.

Well, first up today, here's a voicemail we received from one of our callers earlier this week. Hey, Pastor Adriel. My name is Jasmine. My question is, how do I truly repent?

Hey, Jasmine. I appreciate that question, short and sweet, but also very, very important. And I think that there are a lot of Christians who have this question, especially if they're struggling with a particular sin or pattern of sin where they say, God, I'm sorry for this. I repent, and then find themselves struggling with the same sin the next day, the next week, and then they begin to question, well, did I really repent? Did I truly repent then and there?

And so a very practical question here that many people have. First, repentance is just a concept, I think, in the Bible. It's very simple. It means, in the New Testament, a change of mind, often associated with turning away from sin or self and turning toward God. In other words, it's not just feeling remorse over something bad that we've done and wallowing and guilt and shame, beating ourselves up for our failures. That's not what repentance is. It's turning away from our sins and turning toward the Lord, receiving his grace.

There's a positive element. We're thinking about faith in Jesus Christ. And I would say part of it is just confession. Oftentimes, repentance and confession of sin go hand in hand. When we're confronted by our sins in life, a lot of times our tendency is to minimize those sins. Maybe we'll sort of confess. We'll confess a part of it, or we'll say, it wasn't that bad.

I know I messed up, but it really wasn't that bad. We have this tendency to minimize, to pretend like we're better than we really are. Minimizing sin is not repentance, and neither is blame shifting.

That's the other thing. Oftentimes, when we're confronted by sin, maybe by the Holy Spirit or even just somebody comes to us, a friend, a spouse, and they bring something to our attention, a sinful pattern or behavior, and we begin to say things like, I know that's bad, but I only did this because of something you did or it was in response to you. So we tend to minimize and we tend to blame shift. Repentance looks like truly owning our sins, saying, look, this is it. I'm going to be honest. I'm going to be honest about what I've done. I'm agreeing with God that sin is sin and that I can't save myself from it, that there's nothing I can do to earn God's love, God's favor. I'm confessing my sin as it is. I'm not minimizing it or blame shifting. I'm confessing my sin, and I'm turning to Jesus to receive His grace.

I'm not just sitting and wallowing in my shame. That's not what God wants. God wants us to direct our eyes to His Son and to receive the forgiveness that He offers to all those who look to Him. So I would say it's agreeing with God about what your sin is and confessing that sin and then turning towards Jesus and receiving the grace that He has for you. What you'll find in life, and brothers and sisters, I'm sure you'll agree with me on this, is that you can truly repent of a sin and still find yourself struggling with that sin the very next. It doesn't mean that you didn't actually repent. Repentance really is a daily thing as we're looking to the Lord, turning away from our sin, confessing it. The real issue is when instead of confessing our sins and turning from them, we hide them, we conceal, we minimize, and it's there in the darkness that sin continues to grow. I would say be honest about your sin, confess it, and receive the grace that Jesus has for you when you do.

Some great advice. I was thinking yesterday, Adriel, I lost my temper with my teenage daughter, and after I blew up with her, I apologized, but then throughout the day, I kept feeling the sense of guilt kind of wallowing in that shame. Even though I'd repented to God and told her that I was sorry for my actions, I just couldn't seem to let go of it. What do you do then?

Yeah. There are at times those consequences where we feel like, man, I can't believe I did that, and we have to continually go back to the mercy of God for us in his son, Jesus, because it's really easy to focus on our failures, focus on our shortcomings, to wallow in that, as I've said, but instead, focusing on the forgiveness that God gives to us, magnifying the cross of Jesus Christ so that we can say, yes, that sin was wrong, was bad, hurt other people. I can own that, but there is a God in heaven who is gracious to me, and his cross is big enough to deal with my sin, whatever it is, no matter how bad it is, and so the focus becomes not on us and our shortcomings. The focus gets directed to Jesus and the immensity of his grace, and that should result in worship, but of course, it is difficult, Bill, and you know and I know as well, and so we need the help of the Holy Spirit to guide us through that. You don't have to confess on the radio, but people can call, but there is grace, brother, and so we praise God for that, and Jesus gets all the glory.

Amen. By the way, if you have a question for Adriel, we would love to hear from you. We'll be taking your calls for the next 20 minutes or so. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.

Hop on your phone right now. We received two voicemails on a similar topic, one from JC and one from Jasper. When David married several people in the Bible, was God ever angry at him for that, or did he ever get consequences for that? Jesus was overall pleased with the person, but I wonder, did he ever show his displeasure with those people for those things specifically? Thanks. I was just wondering why in the Old Testament everyone had so many wives.

Solomon had 700? I don't know. How does that work?

Thanks. Yeah, that's a great question. How does that work? I don't know. Yeah, I mean, you look at the Old Testament, and clearly among the patriarchs and various figures, kings in the Old Testament, there was this practice of polygamy, and a lot of people will say, well, is that something that God was about in the Old Testament? Then he sort of changed his mind in the New Testament. Was that okay?

Was that condoned? A couple of things. One, as we're reading the Bible, we need to be able to distinguish between that which is descriptive and that which is prescriptive. In other words, sometimes the Bible is just describing things that happened. It's not setting this up as a model for us to follow.

Certainly, polygamy is not the model for us to follow. This is a description of the people of God in the Old Testament, some of the things that they were doing, and really it was not what God intended from the very beginning. It wasn't prescriptive for us.

It's not meant to be prescriptive for us. We also have to distinguish, again, between what God intended and then what God allowed at various points in redemptive history. It's clear from the very beginning of creation that God made them male and female, one man, one woman, to be married, to be brought together, to become one flesh. This union, ultimately we're told by the apostle Paul, reflects the union between Jesus Christ and his one bride, the church.

Polygamy doesn't fit into the equation at all. Yet, at various times in redemptive history, God allowed his people to do things, not because it was the goal, the intention, if you will, from the very beginning, but because of their own hardness of heart. In fact, that's what Jesus says with regard to the certificate of divorce when he's asked about it.

He says, look, from the very beginning, it wasn't meant to be this way. God is not for divorce, if you will. That's not how God intended man and woman to come together and then to separate.

God has joined them together. But because of your hardness of heart, Moses allowed you to have this certificate of divorce. The other thing I think we have to remember is that when you look at the examples of polygamy in the Old Testament, it's always associated with pain and suffering and bad things happening. In fact, bringing up David's son, for example, Solomon, in 1 Kings 11, his many wives were a part of his downfall.

I just want to read some of this section here because I think it helps us to understand what the Bible has to say about this. In 1 Kings 11, verse 1, it says, King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh, Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, you shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods. Solomon clung to these in love. By the way, let me just say here, whatever it is that you cling to in love that God has said, don't cling to that, that will be your downfall. If you don't repent, if you don't turn from it, as we were talking about just in the previous question, Solomon clung to them in love. The text says he had 700 wives who were princesses and 300 concubines and his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. Even that statement there about David, we have to provide some qualification because we know David sinned in very grievous ways, taking the wife of another man, Bathsheba. No, God was not pleased with that at all.

In fact, God judged him severely for that. It's important that we see that. So distinguishing between what's described in the Bible, the people of God did, and the prescriptions for us in Scripture, I think is really important. It helps us to unravel this knot, if you will.

Thank you for those questions. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. One of the things you just mentioned was that marriage, how God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman, one man and one woman, and yet in our society right now, there's some different views of marriages. We actually have a wonderful resource on the topic of homosexuality.

It's free, and we'd like to offer you that today. Yeah. The resource that Bill is talking about, which you can get over at corechristianity.com, is called Ten Things You Need to Know About the Bible and Homosexuality. Again, as Bill just mentioned, this is a thorny issue. It's one of the things that a lot of people are talking about today. It's important that we have a biblical perspective here, that we're allowing the Word of God to shape what we believe more than just broader society and culture. We want to hear what the Lord has to say about this. Get ahold of this resource over at corechristianity.com forward slash offers.

Again, it's called Ten Things You Need to Know About the Bible and Homosexuality. You can also call us for that resource or any one of our resources. Our number is 833-THE-CORE.

That's 833-843-2673. Let's go to Jeff, who's calling in from Lincoln, Nebraska. Jeff, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, I was wondering, how do we deal with the eighth commandment within our respective faith communities as well as within our communities and communities at large? Do you mean, so, we're talking about, Jeff, bearing false witness, and what do you do when somebody is lying in the church? That and or if people, like with gossiping, how that even goes with gossip, how do we handle this within our respective churches?

Yeah, thanks for that question. I mean, and what an issue, right, in our churches. It's one of those sins that, I mean, typically when we think about sins that are disciplined within the church, and we might think of, you know, sins that people would see as, you know, really grievous, heinous, out-there sins. But I'm sure you know that gossip, the way we use our speech, has the ability to really destroy people and to destroy churches. This is, I think, in part what James is getting at when he talks about taming the tongue, right?

The tongue can set things on fire, and it's set on fire by the fires of hell themselves. It's really, I think, an important issue, and of course gossip and lying is so out of accord with the call that God has given to us as new creations in Jesus Christ. I was just thinking of Colossians chapter three, verse nine, do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices, and have put on the new self. In other words, we have to see this as a great implication of the new identity that we have in Jesus Christ, so that when we're seeing this in the church, lying or gossip, we're confronting it with the gospel.

We're telling people, you have a new identity. You are called to speak the truth in love for the edification of your brothers and sisters, not to speak things that are not true, or to speak in ways that are corrupting, and not building up people within the body of Christ, but tearing them down. So I think first, this is something that we just have to say, it needs to be confronted. If it's something that's happening in the life of the church, it's something that the leaders in the church in particular, the elders, if they're seeing this, need to confront, need to address from that place of, hey, brothers and sisters, we're new creations in Christ.

This is not how we're called to speak. We are called to speak the truth in love for the edification of the other, for the edification of the body of Christ. This is also something, I think, Jeff, within the church that we each as members have to be careful with, because how easy is it?

You're spending time with people in the church or a friend over coffee or something like that, and they begin to bring up something juicy. We just can sort of go along with it and listen and chime in and really don't have any business talking about it or spreading that information. We also have to be careful and I think can gently exhort one another in saying, hey, let's speak about one another in ways that are edifying and uplifting. So we want to help each other in this, I think, and we want to be able to identify when it's happening in our own lives so that we can repent of it, or when it's happening, somebody else is doing this, so that we can come alongside of them as a brother or sister and say, friend, we are new creations. God calls us to speak the truth in love, to build each other up, and that's not what's happening here in this conversation. And I think, as hard as that is, it's something that we really ought to do. So I would say within the body of Christ, as members of the church, it's something that we need to address with each other and caring for one another and exhorting one another. But it's certainly also something that when it's getting out of hand that the leadership in the church has to address and call people at times to repentance and say, this is destructive to the body of Christ and it's not okay.

We're not going to allow this and so we need to address this issue. Jeff, may God bless you and your church and all of our churches that we would be places where we're encouraging and building each other up with our words instead of tearing one another down. Thank you for your question. Jeff, thanks so much and thanks for listening to Core Christianity.

Let's go to Danny in Morton, Illinois. Danny, what's your question for Pastor Adrian? Yeah, I appreciate your wisdom of God's holy word. I'm kind of confused on Acts chapter 8. In that chapter there, it's talking a lot about laying on the hands to receive the Holy Spirit and other places not.

Can you explain that a little bit? What verse specifically, Danny, are you looking at in Acts chapter 8? Well, last night is where I can't remember, but it's in Acts chapter 8 where the laying on the hands is what actually they did for them to receive the Holy Spirit. Okay. And I can't remember what verse though.

Yeah. Well, at first when I'm thinking of laying on hands in the book of Acts, my mind goes first to Acts chapter 6 where you have what many people think is the establishment of the diaconate in the church. And they chose a group of men, laid hands on them and prayed for them and commissioned them, set them apart, ordained them we might say to this special office to serve the Lord in the service of tables there in Acts chapter 6. But you do have also in other places the laying on of hands. I mean now this is something in particular, Danny, that was really prominent in the Old Testament, specifically with the ordination of the kings, of the priests, even of the prophets.

You have this sort of endowment, this calling, this office that's being given. And so I think that's some of the background imagery to this concept of the laying on of hands. But maybe thinking of it as the endowment of this gift, this giving of authority if you will. And in particular with regard to the Holy Spirit, the blessing or the giving of the Holy Spirit, I think this was something that the apostles themselves were doing. Now what's really interesting is in Acts chapter 8 you have that whole scene with Simon the magician.

And he sees the disciples doing these kinds of things and he wants this kind of power, this kind of authority. I'm just going to read beginning in verse 14 it says, When the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet he had not fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. In other words the apostles laid their hands on the people there in Samaria to receive the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles hands, he offered them money saying, Give me this power also so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him, May your silver perish with you because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money. You have neither part nor lot in this matter for your heart is not right before God.

Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours. So what you have here is the apostles as those commissioned by Jesus, sent out by Jesus with this apostolic authority, taking the gospel to the nations Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the uttermost parts of the earth. As a sign of that they're laying their hands on these individuals and there's this very visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit. And in part one of the reasons why that was happening is to communicate to the Jews there at that early stage of the advancement of the gospel, that the Holy Spirit and the grace of God was not just for them but also for the Gentile world. That's precisely why the people in Jerusalem when they hear about this, the people in Samaria receiving the Holy Spirit, receiving the word of God, there's some shock there.

Wow, God is granting repentance unto life even to them. And so that's what's being communicated here I think in the book of Acts, is that the apostles going out with this apostolic authority, carrying the message as Jesus commanded them to, to the uttermost parts of the earth. Now practically, Danny, maybe the question is well are we supposed to lay hands on people so that they might receive the Holy Spirit? I do think that we still practice the laying on of hands when it comes to ordination, ordaining someone as a pastor or elders or even into the diaconate.

And again there's this setting apart for a particular office there. And we're praying for the grace of the Holy Spirit to fill an individual and sustain them to fulfill that office, to carry it out. But you and I aren't new apostles. This is one of the big confusions out there today, is you're trying to sort of, people, individual Christians trying to replicate the apostolic ministry as though they were eyewitnesses of Christ's resurrection, commissioned in the exact same way that the apostles were.

No, we have to distinguish there. You have these unique individuals in the history of redemption who are carrying forth the message of the gospel as Jesus commanded them to. And that message is being attested to by these miracles, these signs and wonders, these manifestations of the Holy Spirit there at that early stage in the apostolic church. And so that's how I see that text in particular. And I appreciate your question, Danny.

Thank you for your encouragement as well. You know, Adriel, there are some churches that really focus on people in the church currently being apostles. And that they're called to that, somehow the Holy Spirit has given them that authority, that right.

What's your perspective on that? Because that does happen in some denominations. Yeah, I mean, usually, just to be honest with you, Bill, if I see somebody who's identifying themselves as an apostle, the sort of red flags go up in my mind, the alarm sirens, you know. Because the apostles in the New Testament, specifically, when we're thinking of the Twelve, these are people who are eyewitnesses of Jesus's resurrection sent out by him with this apostolic authority, with the word of God.

And so anyone who's just assuming that to themselves, I would say, I mean, that's a very dangerous thing. We don't call ourselves to be teachers of the word or apostles, certainly not. The church does that. The church calls people to be pastors and then commissions them. You know, they're ordained to the ministry of the word.

That's what it should look like. We need to be cautious when we hear people saying, I'm an apostle. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar. Or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-20 21:24:12 / 2023-04-20 21:34:00 / 10

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