1. Bible Couples
"18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Genesis 2:18-24
Although I have games and puzzles on this web site for Bible Couples, I have not used this as a theme. So, as we take a short time to look at couples in the Bible, let's go back to the beginning. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) After each day of creation God looked over what He had created and saw that it was good. After He created man, God said, " It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." Adam and Eve were the first Bible Couple, and even though they had a honeymoon in Paradise, their life was not picture perfect. As we begin to look at couples in the Bible we will see that they had ups and downs just like any marriage today.
2. Adam And Eve, Honeymoon In Paradise
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads." Genesis 2:7-10
No matter how perfect the relationship may seem, very few marriages begin in Paradise. Adam and Eve had the perfect home in the Garden of Eden with all their needs provided. They walked and talked with God in the cool of the day. Life was simple. Life was good. In fact, all they knew was good, until they went against God's Word and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Suddenly their lives changed. For the first time they felt the effects of sin and guilt in their lives and tried to hide their failures. They were driven from their beautiful home in the garden and the ground was cursed. I have been married for over 35 years and I can still remember those honeymoon days. Our lives seemed perfect. We rented a little old house and ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches and soup, but we were happy. Oh how hard it is was when a little "bad" entered that life of "good" and as people say, "The honeymoon's over." The first disagreement is hard, but life goes on and we learn that marriage takes work. I am not an expert on marriage and I am not going to use this web site for marriage advice. We will look at some of the Bible couples and see that they faced many of the same problems we face today.
3. Lamech And Adah And Zillah, Bible Marriages Were Often More Than Just Couples
"And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah." Genesis 4:19-22
Let's look again at the first family. Adam and Eve had a son and named him, Cain. They had another son named Abel. Cain killed his brother and left home. Eve had another son and named him Seth. These are their only three children which are named in the Bible, but Adam lived to be 930 and had many sons and daughters. (Genesis 5:4-5) Many of the genealogies in the Bible are listed by their fathers, but do not give the names of their mothers. Several generations pass before another wife is mentioned by name, and there are actually two wives. Lamech had two wives, Adah and Zillah. This is the first mention of a man having two wives. In the law provision was made for a widow who had no children, in that her husdand's brother was to marry her to keep the family name alive. (Deuteronomy 25:5) Some men in the Bible had many wives, such as King Solomon. It may have been a strategy to keep peace with other nations, but it caused him to turn away from God. "But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father." (I Kings 11:1-4) As we look at Bible Couples, keep in mind that not all of the Bible families had one husband and one wife. There were many extended families, and there are many extended families today.
4. Abraham And Sarah, And The Birth Of Nations
"As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee." Genesis 17:4-6
"And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?" Genesis 17:15-17
There is so much said in the Bible about Abraham and Sarah. They are listed in the Hebrew Hall of Faith.
"8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable." (Hebrews 11:8-12)
Abraham was called the Friend of God in James 2:23. "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." As a parent, I find it a notable attribute that he was a good parent and leader in his household. "And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him." (Genesis 18:17-19) Many think of Abraham being the father of the Jewish nation, but as we have seen he was the father of many nations. I have read some commentators state that the blessings in the Old Testament were only given to the Jews, God's chosen people, but I praise the Lord that I can also have the blessings of God through Jesus Christ my Lord. "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Galatians 3:14)
5. Zacharias And Elisabeth, Continued To Serve God Through Their Old Age
"5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,
9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Luke 1:5-17
God chose Zacharias and Elisabeth to be the parents of John the Baptist. "And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 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. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless." (Luke 1:18-22) When Mary went to visit her cousin, Elisabeth, the baby leaped in her womb and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. Zacharias remained speechless until the baby was born and named John, then he prophesied, "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," (Luke 1:76-77) This couple was old but they continued to serve God, "and they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." And God blessed them to be the parents of John The Baptist, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." (Luke 3:4) They did not quit serving God because they were barren. They did not quit serving God because they were old. They did not quit serving God because of threats from without. (Remember that Joseph and Mary took Baby Jesus and hid from Herod when he killed all the babies. Zacharias and Elisabeth would also have had to hide their baby from Herod because he was of the same age. "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel." Luke 1:80) God chose Zacharias and Elisabeth to be the parents of John the Baptist, and I believe they served Him as long as they lived.
6. Isaac And Rebekah Play Favoritism
"63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.
64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.
66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.
67 And Isaac... took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her:..." Genesis 24:63-67
Chapter 24 of Genesis tells the beautiful story of how Abraham sent his servant back to his home to get a bride for his son, Isaac. The servant asked for a sign that the woman at the well whom he asked for a drink of water would also draw water for his camels. The beautiful damsel Rebekah gave him water and drew for his 10 camels. She gladly received the bracelets and gifts from the servant and returned with him to become Isaac's bride. It seemed like a match made in heaven. With such a beautiful beginning, this would be a perfect marriage, with no problems, right? No, even the best marriages have problems. After a while Rebekah gave birth to twins. "And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob." Genesis 25:25-28) Do you see the problem? Isaac loved Esau, and Rebekah loved Jacob. This may have been a natural process with two boys, one spending time with Mom and the other spending time with Dad. But this may have been the worst case of sibling rivalry since Cain and Abel. Jacob traded Esau a bowl of pottage for his birthright. Later, with the help of his mother, he tricked his father and cheated Esau out of his blessing. Esau hated Jacob so much that he said he would kill him, so Rebekah sent Jacob to her brother to "tarry with him a few days." (Genesis 27:44) Jacob, in turn, was cheated by Laban and given his oldest daughter in marriage (but that is another story.) Isaac and Rebekah had favorites among their boys, and it strained their relationship forever.
7. Jacob And Rachel And Leah, The Cheater Gets Cheated
"16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.
18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.
22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.
24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.
25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?
26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid." Genesis 29:16-29
Remember Jacob? He cheated his older brother out of his birthright and blessing. He had to leave the country for fear of his life, and fell in love with Rachel, a beautiful young girl. We come to this loving verse in Genesis 29:20. "And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her." Well, on his wedding day, the cheater got cheated. Laban dressed his older daughter up as the bride and Jabob woke up the next morning, married to Leah. Jacob served seven more years for Rachel. Now he has two sisters as wives. Competition between siblings can be fierce and in their struggle to have the most boys, both wives give their handmaids to Jacob to claim the children they have. Jacob gets tired of being cheated by Laban and takes his family and goes back home. "This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes. Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times." (Genesis 31:38-41) Jacob ends up with four wives, twelve sons, and one daughter. After wrestling through the night, God changes his name to Israel, and his sons become the twelve tribes of Israel.
8. Mary And Joseph, Chosen Of God
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:18-21
Today we see the most familiar of all Bible couples. Each year we display our nativity scenes with Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus. Somewhere around the manger we stand the shepherds and wise men. Our set is complete with a couple sheep and a donkey or cow. These figurines are a big part of our Christmas decorations and help us feel like we are doing our part to show everyone that we will keep Christ in our Christmas. The scene was not so clean and pretty back in real time. "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Luke 1:30-34) Gabriel also appeared to Joseph to ease his mind. But in those days Mary and Joseph would have faced public ridicule. When the time came for the baby to be born Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem and there was no room for them in the inn. Baby Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger. Not a clean little private room with fresh smelling hay for a bed, but a dirty barn where the animals were kept. They were visited by lowly shepherds. Later, after the visit of the wise men, the angel of the Lord told Joseph to take Mary and Baby Jesus and flee to Egypt. Life was not simple and easy just because they were chosen of God. Yes, they were blessed and favored by God, but life was hard for Joseph and Mary and their newborn Son.
9. Boaz And Ruth, The Kinsman Redeemer
"1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.
2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.
3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.
4 And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee.
5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?
6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.
8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:...
12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust." Ruth 2:1-8, 12
The little book of Ruth is a beautiful picture of a kinsman redeemer. According to the laws given by God to Moses for the Children of Israel a man's possessions, land, and even his person could be redeemed by a kinsman. "If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold." (Leviticus 25:25) Ruth proved herself to be true to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and Boaz heard of her faithfulness. He married Ruth and became their kinsman redeemer. This is a simple little story that took place during the time of the book of Judges. This story is important to us in two ways. First of all, Boaz and Ruth had a son and named him Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of David who became King of Israel and forefather of the promised King of Kings. Then, this story is important to me because I was born lost, a slave to sin. Jesus Christ came to be my Redeemer. He gave His life to give me eternal life. I can say with Job, "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:" (Job 19:25) God has redeemed me and no matter how dark this world may become, I know how it all ends! I know my Redeemer lives!
"9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." (Revelation 5:9-13)
10. Elimelech And Naomi, She Went Out Full And Came Back Empty
"1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread." Ruth 1:1-6
We go back to the book of Ruth again today and see Elimelech and Naomi. They left the house of bread to sojourn in Moab, "my washpot". (Psalms 60:8) In the process of time Elimelech died and also their two sons. Naomi is left with her two daughters-in-law and decides to go back home. Ruth proved her love for Naomi. "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." (Ruth 1:16-17) "So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?" (Ruth 1:19-21) How many of us have gone out full and come back empty? How many people have lost a spouse or children and have been left alone? I would dare say that many mothers have experienced what is called the "empty nest" syndrome when their children leave home. The little book of Ruth does have a happy ending. Naomi went back to the house of bread and found that she was not alone.
11. Nabal And Abigail, A Foolish Man And A Wise Woman
"And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb." I Samuel 25:2-3
As Nabal's servants sheared the sheep, David and his servants camped around them and gave them protection. Nabal had a great feast afterwards for all his servants. "And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel. Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David." (I Samuel 25:5-8) Nabal refused to share his feast with David and his men so David planned to go in with swords and take what they wanted. One of the sheep shearers told Abigail that David and his men talked with them and protected them day and night while they were in the fields. Abigail took food and wine to make peace with David. "Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord." (I Samuel 25:25-27) David listened to Abigail and blessed God for sending her with these kind words of wisdom. "And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light. But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died." (I Samuel 25:36-38) After Nabal died, David sent for Abigail and she was glad to become David's wife.
12. Ananias And Sapphira, A Couple Who Lied To God
"32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
37 Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet." Acts 4:32-37
The Holy Ghost came down on the day of Pentecost and filled all the men and women who were waiting as Jesus had told them to do. Many were saved and the church grew. The church not only grew in numbers but in love for God and each other. Many sold their land and houses and gave the money to be distributed to the poor. Ananias and Sapphira wanted people to think that they had sold their land and had given all the money to the church, but they kept back part of the price for themselves. This is a very unusual account from the fifth chapter of the book of Acts.
"1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.
10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.
11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things." (Acts 5:1-11)
13. Aquila And Priscilla, A Blessing To The Church
"After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." Acts 18:1-4
Today we see a couple that was a true blessing to the early church. They are mentioned by name six times in the New Testament. They are always mentioned together and each time they are doing something for the Lord. We first meet them in Acts 18. They are tentmakers, as was Paul, and they open their home to him. When Paul sailed from Corinth, they travelled with him to Ephesus. "And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow." (Acts 18:18) Paul left Ephesus, but Aquila and Priscilla stayed on and were able to help explain the gospel to Apollos when he came to Ephesus. "And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly." (Acts 18:24-26) We leave this chapter in Acts and move on to Romans 16:3 where Paul says, "Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:" Paul also mentions them in his letter to young Timothy. "Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus." (II Timothy 4:19) They had been companions to Paul and his "helpers in Christ Jesus." Our last mention of them is found in I Corinthians 16:19, "The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house." When the early church began they did not have beautiful buildings as we have today. They began in the homes of Christians and this faithful couple had a church in their house. Aquila and Priscilla were truly a blessing to the early church and the Lord used them.
14. Ahasuerus And Esther, A King And A Beauty Queen
"12 Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)
13 Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house.
14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.
15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
16 So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king." Esther 2:12-18
King Ahasuerus had a feast for all the princes, servants, and nobles of Media and Persia that lasted for 180 days. Then he had a feast for everyone in the palace for seven days and Queen Vashti had a feast for all the women of the palace. "On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine" he commanded the queen to come so he could show all the people and princes her great beauty. (Esther 1:10,11) Queen Vashti refused to go at the king's command and the wise men suggested that the queen be banished from being queen so that all the other wives would not hear of the queen's refusal and also refuse to do as their husbands demanded. A great beauty pageant was held to choose a new queen and after a year of preparation, a Jewish girl, Esther, was chosen to be the new queen. The book of Esther is a wonderful account of how wicked Haman tries to destroy all the Jews because Mordecai, Esther's uncle who brought her up after her parents died, would not bow to him. Mordecai sends word to Esther to help the Jews and she said that she had not been called for of the king and would risk her life going before the king without being called. "Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:13-14) As we face difficulties in our lives it helps to take the attitude that maybe God put us right where we are "for such a time as this". The Lord willing, we will see more from the book of Esther tomorrow as we look at wicked Haman and his wife, Zeresh.
15. Haman And Zeresh, And A Plot To Destroy The Jews
"8 If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said.
9 Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.
10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.
11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
12 Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.
13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.
14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made." Esther 5:8-14
The plot thickens as Esther invites King Ahasuerus and Haman to a banquet and maybe loses her nerve and invites them to come back for a banquet the next night. Haman's excitement is shortlived because Mordecai still refuses to honor him on his way home. He calls for his friends and Zeresh, his wife, and brags of his riches, his children, his job, and how he was the only other person invited to the queen's banquet. He then complains of Mordecai and his wife and friends tell him to build a gallows fifty cubits high, which would be around seventy five feet high. The king could not sleep and when the book of records were read to him he was reminded of how Mordecai reported that two chamberlains had planned to kill him. When Haman comes back to the palace the king asked him what should be done for the man he wants to honor. Haman's pride tells the king to put him on the king's horse, dressed in the king's clothes and wearing the king's crown and be led through the street of the city proclaiming "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour." (Esther 6:9) To his surprise, King Ahasuerus tells Haman to honor Mordecai in this way. "And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered. And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him. And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared." (Esther 6:12-14) Notice that his wife, who had encouraged him to build the gallows for Mordecai, now tells him that he will fall before Mordecai. Read the book of Esther to find what happens at Esther's banquet and what was done to save the Jews because the law of the Medes and Persians could not be changed.
16. Amram And Jochebed, Parents Of "A Goodly Child"
Numbers 26:59 And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.
If I asked how many people could identify Amram and Jochebed in the Bible, there may not be many with the correct answer. I think the number of right answers would be much greater if I asked, "Who was Moses in the Bible?" Moses was a great leader for God's people, but he would not have been who he was without the faith of his parents. "And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him." (Exodus 2:2-4) It took faith to put her three month old baby in a little basket in the river. Pharoah's daughter went down to the river to bathe and found the little ark and when she opened it the baby cried and she had compassion on the baby. Sister Miriam offered to go get someone to take care of the baby and she ran to get her mother who was paid wages to take care of her own little baby. We continue the story in Acts 7:21-25. "And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not." Moses had faith that he would lead God's chosen people out of Egypt, and his faith began with his parents, Amram and Jochebed. "By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward." Hebrews 11:23-26
17. David And Michal, Like Being Caught In A Snare
"20 And Michal Saul's daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.
21 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain.
22 And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king's son in law." I Samuel 18:20-22
I am old enough to remember Elvis Presley and these verses remind me of his song, "I'm caught in a trap. Baby, don't you know. I can't walk out. Because I love you too much Baby." After David killed the giant the women sang, "Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." (I Samuel 18:7) This made Saul very jealous and angry at David. So much so, that he tried to kill David. "And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul." (I Samuel 11-12) Saul was a man of war and he was frightened that the Lord kept him from killing David. So he comes up with a plan that David can marry his daughter if he kills 100 Philistines. "And Michal Saul's daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain. And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king's son in law." (I Samuel 18:20-22) I have always thought this was a strange thing for Saul to say. "I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him." I don't think it is just because of going against the Philistines. I think Saul knew that his daughter would hinder David. But Michal actually saves David's life from the hands of Saul and his servants in I Samuel chapter 19. After David became king he wanted to bring the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem.
"14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart....
20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.
22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death." (II Samuel 6:14-23)
It was David's son, Solomon who wrote in Proverbs 21:9, "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house" and Proverbs 21:19, "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman."
18. David And Bethsheba, Another Man's Wife
"1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child." II Samuel 11:1-5
We saw in our text yesterday that King Saul gave Michal his daughter to be David's wife. When David had to flee for his life when Saul tried to kill him, Saul gave Michal to Phalti. We looked at Nabal and Abigail last week. After Nabal died, Abigail was happy to go with David and be his wife. Then David married Ahinoam.If we look at the list of David's sons in II Samuel 3 we see that David had wives named Maacah (the mother of Absalom), Haggith, Abital and Eglah. David also sent messengers to take Michal back. When we come to II Samuel chapter 11 we find King David in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our opening verse says, "at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel..." It seems as though David should have been with Joab and the men of Israel since it was the time when kings go to battle and David was the king. In Bible days people used the tops of their roof as extensions of their living areas. So it was not unusual for David to be on his roof. But it does seem unusual that David was getting out of bed at eveningtide to go out on a roof that overlooked the public bathing pool. Today we have many places of temptations, such as public beaches and swimming pools, and internet, movie, and television screens. David fell to the temptation and actually had Uriah killed in battle and took Bathsheba for his wife. But, King David did not get away with his sin. God sent the prophet to King David.
"1 And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:
3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
4 And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
5 And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:
6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
8 And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.
9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon." (II Samuel 12:1-9)
David was able to get forgivness from God but the Bible truth, that you reap what you sow, came through in the life of King David through Absalom, his beloved son. (Uriah is listed among David's mighty men in II Samuel 23:39 and Bathsheba had another son who followed David as the wisest king, King Solomon.)
19. Felix And Drusilla, A Governor And A Jewess
24 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
26 He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.
27 But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound." Acts 24:24-27
Felix is addressed as "most excellent governor" in Acts 23:26 and "most noble Felix" in Acts 24:3, so it seems that he had the respect of the people. We see that his wife was a Jewess, and that may have given him a greater concern for the Jews. Paul had been safely delivered to Felix after some of the Jews vowed that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. In Acts 23:23-24 we see the army of men that delivered Paul to Felix. "And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night; And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on, and bring him safe unto Felix the governor." If you were the governor and a prisoner was brought to you by 470 armed men you would be interested in finding out the situation regarding such a prisoner. "And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." Felix called often for Paul but we are never told that he accepted Jesus as his Savior. All we know about his wife is that she was a Jewess. We don't know what type of influence she had on Felix, but since it is noted in the scriptures, I feel that her nationality had an impact on his life.
We can continue the story of Paul in Acts 25:13 "And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus. And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix:" King Agrippa allowed Paul to speak for himself and he preached to them the gospel of the risen Christ.
"24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." (Acts 26:24-28)
Paul used every opportunity to preach the gospel and here we see two rulers, both almost persuaded to believe.
20. Samson And Delilah, A Catastrophic Relationship
"4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
6 And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.
7 And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.
9 Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.
10 And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound." Judges 16:4-10
Samson was chosen by God before he was born. "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." (Judges 13:2-5) When Samson was grown he took a wife of the Philistines, the enemies of Israel. Samson went down to the vineyard of Timnath to see her and a lion roared against him. The Spirit of the Lord came on him and he killed the lion with his bare hands. On his way back home he saw that there was a swarm of bees in the carcass of the lion and he ate some of the honey and took some home to his parents. Samson made a bet with the Philistines and gave them a riddle. " And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?" (Judges 14:14-15) His wife cried to him for seven days and he finally told her the riddle and she told the Philistines. Samson's wife was given to someone else and Samson burned the Philistines' crops down, so they burned his wife and father-in-law. The Spirit of the Lord came on Samson again and he killed one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. Now we come to the story of Samson and Delilah which begins in our scriptures above. Delilah had Philistines waiting to capture Samson three times but Samson had not told her the truth. "And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth. And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man." (Judges 16:15-17) Delilah let Samson fall asleep on her knees and she called for a Philistine to shave his head. "And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him." (Judges 16:20) The Philistines put out Samson's eyes and made him grind in the prison house. In time Samson's hair grew back out and he cried to God to give him strength one more time and he pulled the house down where they were making sport of Samson and about 3,000 men and women were killed.
21. Ahab And Jezebel, A Totally Wicked Couple
"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." I Kings 21:25
Were King Ahab and Jezebel as bad as the reputation they have carred all these years? Here is what the Lord had to say about King Ahab. "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. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him." (I Kings 16:29) King Ahab was a wicked king, and our main verse above tells us that his wife, Jezebel, stirred him up to work wickedness. Here are some of the things that the scriptures tell us about wicked Jezebel. 1. She served Baal (I Kings 16:31) 2. She killed the prophets and servants of the Lord (I Kings 18:13, II Kings 9:7) 3. She threatened to kill Elijah (I Kings 19:2) 4. She had Naboth stoned so she could take his vineyard for King Ahab (I Kings 21:5-1) 5. She practiced witchcraft (II Kings 9:22) Ahab was killed in battle. "And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot." (I Kings 22:34-35) Jezebel was thrown down out of a window. They were such a wicked pair, that even today they are known for their wickedness.
22. Lot And His Wife, "Remember Lot's Wife"
"28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
32 Remember Lot's wife." Luke 17:28
We have come to the last couple in our series, Lot and his wife. We don't even know her name. I chose this couple as our last entry because the Lord Jesus said, "Remember Lot's wife." I think it is important to go back to the story in Genesis. The Lord appeared to Abraham and told him that He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of the great sins of the people. Abraham asked if He would destroy the cities if there were 50 righteous people there and the Lord said that He would not. Then Abraham asked about 45 righteous, then 40, all the way down to 10 righteous people in the city. The angels went and warned Lot to flee from the city so Lot went to his son-in-laws.
"14. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed...
22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:
28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.
29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt." (Genesis 19:14-17 & 22-29)
Jesus said, "Remember Lot's wife." Lot's wife looked back at all she was leaving in Sodom. She was leaving all her possessions, and even more, her family. When the Lord comes back it will be too late to call our loved ones to follow the Lord. When we die all that we have down here will be left here. We need to lay up treasure in heaven today. Jesus said, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." (John 9:4) This world is going to be destroyed by fire in the end of time and we need to work now, to bring our loved ones to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Trust the Lord today! Don't look back to the things of the world. Remember Lot's wife.