|Volume 17 Number 1 January 2015||
Mark N. Posey
The Book of Job is the story of a normal human being who was beset by misfortune and suffering. In James 5:11, he is pointed to as an outstanding example of steadfast faith in the way he handled severe trials. He provides specific life-lessons we can learn about for responding to trials in our lives.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb.” All of us come into this world with the same number of possessions – nothing!
“Naked I shall return there.” “How much did he leave?” asked one to another at the graveside. “He left it all,” was the reply. Possessions end at the cemetery (Luke 12:16-21; Matthew 19:23-24).
“The Lord gave.” The Lord can give because all belongs to Him (Psalm 50:9-12). We must overcome pride’s right hand – selfishness. Do you daily acknowledge God’s gifts to you?
“The Lord has taken away.” Often our favorite word is “mine.” Only when we truly trust the Lord can we accept that “the Lord has taken away.” We are clay in His hands (Romans 9:20-21). The lump does not question the amount of clay the potter adds. We must not cry out at the carvings done on us. How dare we lift up clay hands to heaven and question His works. We must trust His omniscience.
“Blessed be the name of the Lord.” We praise Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7) and has given us all good and perfect gifts (James 1:17). We pour out our hearts to Him in thanksgiving, love and praise.
What are true riches (Luke 16:11)? What will last forever (2 Peter 3:10-14)? Where are you storing treasures (Matthew 6:19-20)? Job possessed great riches, but his riches did not possess him. He remained faithful to God through good times and bad (Job 1:22; 2:10; 13:15).
Mark N. Posey
The Home is the backbone of society. Marriage is the most basic and influential unit in the world. The importance of marriage must be emphasized because each year there are more than half as many divorces as marriages. Recent statistics caught my attention: 1 of 3 marriages end in divorce, 1 of 50 marriages (where the ceremony is in a church building) end in divorce, 1 of 1105 marriages (who follow the Bible) end in divorce. The biblical pattern for marriage works! Therefore, consider what the Bible has to say about a God ordered marriage.
The Nature of Marriage
First, marriage is between a biological male and female. Genesis 1:27 says that God created “male and female.” The homosexual lifestyle is a deadly force against godly marriages. Second, marriage involves sexual union. God called it the “one flesh” relationship. This relationship must be saved for marriage and kept within marriage. Premarital sex and extramarital affairs are violations of God’s law (Hebrews 13:4). Third, marriage involves a covenant before God. Malachi 2:14 says, “She is the wife of thy covenant.”
The Duration of Marriage
First, marriage is a lifelong commitment. The time-honored words of Jesus express God’s desire for longevity in the marriage relationship: “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4). Second, marriage is not eternal. Notice Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:30, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
The Number of Parties in Marriage
Marriage is monogamous. It is for one man and woman for life. Notice Romans 7:2, “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth.” However, the Bible speaks against polygamy in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Monogamy was taught by precedent (God gave Adam only one wife; this set the precedent for the whole human race), precept (Deuteronomy 17:17, “neither shall he multiply wives for himself”), moral prescription against adultery (Exodus 20:17, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife”), population proportion (roughly equal numbers of males and females are born) and punishment (every polygamist in the Old Testament paid for his sin, e.g., Solomon, 1 Kings 11:4). The fact that God permitted polygamy no more proves He prescribed it than permitting divorce indicated He desired it.
The Blessings of Marriage
A husband that treats his wife well is a rich blessing to her (Ephesians 5:25). Women grace our world with beauty, tenderness, love and kindness. A loving wife is a rich blessing (Ephesians 5:22). Good children are a rich blessing (Psalm 127:3-5). Godly children obey and honor their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3).
In conclusion, the greatest human contract is when a man and a woman pledge their love for life. God is the witness to every marriage whether He is invited or not.