CARRYING OUT THE FIRST COMMANDMENT

     What is the first commandment in the Bible?  It comes long before Moses goes up on Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. It appears in the very first chapter in the Bible and says: “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:27,28). God created Adam and Eve, male and female, and told them to “multiply and fill the earth.” 
     Why is it so important to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman? Because that was God’s plan from the beginning of creation. We read of the first wedding way back in Genesis: “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man” (Gen. 2:21,22). And, as someone aptly said, “That was no side issue!”  “Heterosexual relationships are the foundation of society. Procreation, and the nurturing and care of children, are the primary purpose of marriage, because these relationships bring forth and best nurture the next generation. While some heterosexual relationships don’t produce children, the only relationships that do are heterosexual–and we have to preserve that, legally and nationally” (Dr. Frank Turek in Faith & Justice, Vol. VI, Issue 1 by Alliance Defending Freedom).  Same-sex relationships that are being pushed today cannot even be defined as “marriage” and they definitely go against God’s pattern of one man and one woman and His command to be fruitful and multiply. To insist that marriage be heterosexual isn’t bigotry. It is biology!  You can’t raise chickens if all you have is two roosters or two hens!  “The law is a great teacher. Whatever is legal, people (tend to) think is moral, and whatever is illegal, people (tend to ) think is immoral” (Dr. Turek).  The push for “same-sex marriage” isn’t so much about marriage as it is about social validation. It’s about transforming a society so that those who practice homosexual behavior (which the Bible condemns) feel better about what they are doing. They are looking for validation of living in sin and being acceptable.
     Just because two people of the same sex love each other and want to live together doesn’t mean they can establish a “marriage,” at least not according to God’s design.  Marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of a society, and when our marriages are strong, our families are strong, the nation is strong, and the government has less to do!  Think of all the programs and the funding required that our government is involved in to support the problems created by the breakdown of the family. Passing laws to approve of same-sex marriage (and who knows where it will go from there?) only exacerbates the problem. When a man and a woman come together and stay together, and bring up children, we have a safer society, fewer problems,  a larger work force,  and lower taxes, because the government doesn’t have to be as big to take care of all the problems that result from broken families. Economic problems come from moral and spiritual problems. In fact ultimately, all our problems are moral and spiritual. “The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart.” Solomon, in his great wisdom, wrote: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Pr. 4:23).
     Unfortunately, today we face these issues of gay rights and same-sex marriage largely because Christians over the past several decades have been compromising their faith rather than “walking worthy of their calling” (Eph. 4:1)  and “contending earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3).  We have become “conformed to this world” rather than being “transformed by the renewing of our mind” (Ro. 12:2). The church has been silent. Instead of being “salt and light” (Mt. 5:14-16), we have withdrawn from and haven’t engaged our culture. And, if you take the godly people out of the culture, you are going to get a godless culture. Now we see these disturbing things happening and we are finally beginning to take a stand and voice our concerns, but it may be too late. Only God knows, for He is working His plan and nothing will change that, but we pray that in His plan, He would still include a revival for our nation. Our nation has been so blessed and used so mightily by God to carry the Good News to the far corners of the earth, but that can’t continue unless we return to Him. And it must begin with the church, the household of God. God spoke to His people, the Jews, through Solomon, saying: “If My people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chr. 7:14). I believe we can apply that principle to the Church today. It would seem that Christians are responsible for the condition of their nation. Over time believers in this country have become complacent, apathetic, and compromising. God’s Word has been watered down. We have tried to cater to the whims of people, to entertain them to keep them coming, rather than to continue faithfully holding forth the Word of Life. We have failed to “retain the standard of sound words (doctrine)…and guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to us” (II Tim. 1:13,14). We have failed to “preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (II Tim. 4:2).  Instead we have accommodated those who “want to have their ears tickled” (II Tim. 4:3). And as a result, many “turned away their ears from the truth, and turned aside to myths” (v. 4).
     So, the trends in our nation today that are so disturbing (at least they should be) to us as believers–homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion, the loss of religious freedoms, etc–have happened in a big part because we, the church, have been asleep. We have become too comfortable, and complacent. What we are seeing are symptoms of spiritual decline. They don’t really have to do with politics or economic philosophies. They have to do with the need for believers to again put Christ first in their lives, and to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in a bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1-3).
 
                      Forever His,
                            Pastor Dave
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About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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