MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

The Couples of Acts – Ananias & Sapphira, Aquila & Pricilla, and Timothy’s Mom

May 28th, 2018 Viewed 49 times, 2 so far today

Whose plan was it and why did they do it? (Acts 5:1-2)

There was much praise heaped upon Barnabas for selling his land and buying it. Therefore, Ananias figured that he could get praise for doing the same—except he didn’t want to give it all, but figured that he wouldn’t get as much praise unless it was for the total amount. So they decided to lie and thought that no one would know the difference.

Sapphira decides to do the same thing, why?

It would seem that it would not make sense. Certainly they would know that they were a married couple and that Sapphira knew the plan means that he would have already claimed that it was the entire proceeds, this makes one wonder what she was trying to do or prove? In either case, she was given a chance to go against her husband (for she did not know that he was dead at the time) and be honest, and yet she did not.

What’s significant about Timothy’s parents? (Acts 16:1-2)

His mom was a Jew and was a Christian. His dad was a Greek, and unsaved. Yet Timothy was a disciple of Christ. This spoke to him learning the truth from his mother.

What is Aquila and Pricilla’s background? (Acts 18:1-4)

They were part of the Jews that were exiled from Rome because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. They cross paths with Paul in Corith. They were tent-makers just like Paul. This shows that Paul was not silent about his faith even while at work.

How do we know that they got close to Paul? (Acts 18:18)

They traveled with him, and in many of the Epistles Paul makes mention that greetings are coming from them or that they are present with him.

How did they minister to Apollos? (Acts 18:24-26)

Apollos was a great speaker and many were coming to Christ because of him. Yet he only knew of John’s baptism. Aquila and Priscilla took him along side and educated him in the truth. This wasn’t something they did in public, but they both shared in that ministry to Apollos.

Do we see any couple in Acts being separate in their decisions?

No. While there are many men that are referenced, we know that it was possible to have saved and unsaved being together, but ministry happened together.

photo by: holl7510

Jesus on Marriage – Divorce and Heaven

May 21st, 2018 Viewed 90 times, 1 so far today

What does Jesus have to say on the topic of Divorce? (Matt 5:31-32, 19:3-12; Mark 10:1-12; Luke 16:18)

The religious leaders ask if a man can divorce his wife for any reason, hoping to catch him in between two different sets of beliefs on the topic—hoping to alienate Him with one group. Instead, He takes it back to Genesis, showing that it wasn’t good for man to be alone and that God made the two into one flesh. Therefore, there is no provision for divorce. This is consistent across all passages.

So the religious leaders take him to Deut 24, and ask why Moses included divorce. Jesus tells them that it is permission, not rule, and that it was because the Jewish men had hard hearts. This goes toward the fact that the Jewish men could have treated their wives harshly before the law, and Moses was protecting the women while respecting the rights of the man. The rule did not change.

The Proper Role of Intimacy – Delight in Your Own Spouse, Be Attractive To One Another

May 14th, 2018 Viewed 168 times, 2 so far today

Why is the Wife Compared to a Cistern or a Fountain? (Prov 5:18; Song 4:15)

In a land that had not a lot of water, she would be something of tremendous value.

What is the Significance of One’s Own Cistern?

How many people would love to have pure water that was not someone else’s? This is the value of the wife, as something that nourishes the husband. The point is that there is a source of “water” for the husband, and that is where he should be seeking it. If he is looking for it elsewhere, or his wife ends up offering it elsewhere, it’s a shame to him.

What are the fountains or rivers of water? (Prov 5:16-17)

These are the children which are brought forth from the act of marriage. These are legitimate children, whom the husband can know are his because he has been faithful.

What is the Significance of the Fountain being blessed and Joy from Wife of Your Youth? (Prov 5:18)

A woman that would have the children of her husband was blessed. We can see this in the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Rachel, Elkanah and Hannah. In each of these cases, the women felt that they were deficient because they did not bear offspring, and when they did then they felt worth.

The idea of “wife of his youth” has more than just “marry a young wife” embedded in it. It also refers to the fact that when you married you did marry young, and had a lifetime of intimacy together. This would mean that you’d have a tight bond—in contrast to the adulterous couple in other passages.

On Whom Should the Husband Fix His Affections and What Should Satisfy Him? (Prov. 5:19)

His affections should be affixed on his wife. The allusions would make more sense in the Eastern world at the time, but these were very high compliments. The idea is that his wife is the most attractive woman that he knows, and that he is not seeking out anyone else.

The problem here is that often in marriage, both men and women can let themselves go instead of continually seeking to be attractive to their spouse. They can use the excuse that they “have to love me anyway” to mean that they will not put any effort into their appearance. I don’t get that from this passage as much as I get that the husband should not be looking to be attracted elsewhere, for he should get all he needs sexually and visually from his wife.

This falls into the idea that the husband should be intoxicated with the love of his wife. He should have eyes only for her, and her love should be something that draws him to her. Attraction is powerful.

photo by: rightee

The Husbands of Proverbs – The Adulterer, The Pledger, The Sloth and The Mischievious

May 7th, 2018 Viewed 172 times, 1 so far today

Adultery Takes Two: Just as the Woman Sought to Entangle, the Man Was a Willing Participant (Proverbs 2:16-19; 5:3-14; 6:20-35; 7:1-27; 23:27-28; 30:20)

There are two key questions here. The first is “Where do you draw the line?” If there is no line drawn and nothing keeping one from going further, then you will be easily tempted when you are offered the temptation. This goes for any sin, and men are especially susceptible to the willing woman as Proverbs says.

The second is the question of risk. The man obviously allowed himself to be separated alone with the woman that was seeking him. She saw him and identified him as an available target. This also goes for both sexes—do we take precautions to keep us away from sin?

photo by: meemal

The Proverbs 31 Woman – King Lemuel’s Son’s Perfect Wife

April 30th, 2018 Viewed 144 times, 1 so far today

Who Determines that the Wife is Excellent? (Proverbs 31:10-12, 28-29)

The first thing that the King states is her worth, which is defined relationship to her husband (his heart trusts in her); therefore, I believe it is the husband that determines that his wife is excellent.

  • Does he trust in her?
  • Is she causing him gain?
  • Is she doing him good or harm?

While what follows are what she does, this passage is bookended by talking about how what she does affects him. This is the focus of this passage, as King Lemuel is attempting to teach his son what kind of woman to look for as he is considering a wife. It’s important that we get this context when we read through this passage, because the King is going to set forth a set of ideals for a woman (we know of no woman that he is talking about here directly). So the measuring stick in this passage for the Excellent Wife is what she does and who she is in relationship to her husband.

photo by: chiron3636

The Women of Proverbs – The Seductress, The Nag, and the Wife of His Youth

April 23rd, 2018 Viewed 178 times, 1 so far today

What are the characteristics of the Adulteress? (Proverbs 2:16-19; Proverbs 5:3-14; Proverbs 6:20-35; Proverbs 7:1-27; Proverbs 23:27-28; Proverbs 30:20)

She has forsaken her husband and her God. Her speech and ways are pleasing but she is really bitter and cutting. This adulteress leads men astray, to a place where he can never return. She is often beautiful and appealing to the eye. She is loud, and not where she is supposed to be (in her own house). She easily seduces a man. She approaches him with a kiss, and has prepared for their encounter. She is unfaithful to him. Following after her results in destruction of reputation, loss of wealth, and eventually to death. Solomon says that it would be better to get with a prostitute than to get with another man’s wife. The fact that there are six passages here again underscores the difference between adultery and other sexual sins.

Old Testament Husbands – Isaac, Jacob, Hosea

April 16th, 2018 Viewed 139 times, 1 so far today

What was the main problem with Jacob and Esau? (Gen 27:1ff)

Other than the fact that God had chosen one?  Each of the parents had chosen favorites, and there was no secret that the father preferred the older.  This is a problem that would manifest itself in the next generation, as Jacob would also consider Joseph his favorite.

What should a young man be willing to do for the woman that he loves? (Gen 29)

Jacob was willing to work for Laban for seven years, and then another seven years for Rachel.  While I’m not advocating working for fourteen years to earn the right to marry a woman, the commitment needs to be secure before entering marriage.  This follows through with the bride price, etc.  A woman is valuable—she completes a man, she is his helper, and therefore entering into a marriage covenant should not be taken lightly or simply because of feelings.

Was it wrong for Jacob to give Joseph a special coat? (Gen 37)

Old Testament Wives – Ruth, Abigail and Esther

April 2nd, 2018 Viewed 246 times, 2 so far today

What quality of Ruth’s is God’s focus?

Ruth is humble throughout—she stayed with Naomi, she was willing to glean food with the poor, she humbled herself in front of Boaz (looking for his direction), and was blessed because of it.  Ruth showed humility, something she didn’t need to do.  She could have stayed in Moab, she could have complained with the harsh loss of her husband and status.  She didn’t do any of this, and as such she’s in the line of David.

Ruth is one of the few discussions of Leverite marriage in that Boaz was a kinsman redeemer to her. This story plays out God’s love for us– an outsider that is chosen to marry someone with much. She is held up as an example of a godly young lady.

photo by: holl7510

Education and Authority – Marriage from the Israelite Law – Part 2

March 26th, 2018 Viewed 306 times, 2 so far today

Why is wife listed among the possessions not to covet?

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” – Exodus 20:17

The term husband actually carries multiple meanings in the Hebrew and Greek.  According to Strongs, the word “husband” has the following possible definitions:

husband, Lord, lord, lord’s, lords, master, master’s, masters, owner.

We covered this with Abraham and Sarah.  She belongs to him because she is one flesh with him. In the last post, marriage was shown to be, in Bible times, partly a financial transaction. The husband paid the bride price to wife’s family in exchange for her. This means that he had paid a financial price and had a financial obligation to her, but it would be wrong to infer that this is an indication of status as an object. While she is listed with the possessions, you can also interpret this to mean “you shouldn’t covet anything that is your neighbor’s,” just like when you are introduced you say “this is my husband” or “this is my wife.” While she may be in an inferior or subordinate position, she is not a possession.

You could easily reword this into the positive by saying, be content or grateful with what you have instead of wanting what someone else has or the common phrase, “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” which implies the same.

photo by: chiron3636

By the Book – Marriage from the Israelite Law – Part 1

March 18th, 2018 Viewed 209 times, 1 so far today

In order to understand marriage from a Biblical sense, you need to set aside your current understanding of modern marriage and start to explore what the Bible says about men and women and marriage– what does it say in the law, and how were these things done back then.

What was the status of a single woman?

“Ask me for as great a bride-price and gift as you will, and I will give whatever you say to me. Only give me the young woman to be my wife.” – Genesis 34:12

If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife.
– Exodus 22:16

The unmarried woman was considered to be a virgin, and she lived in her father’s house under his protection until such time as a man came and sought her out to be his bride. This could be for any number of reasons. Samson saw a woman and was physically attracted to her and requested that his father get her to make her his bride. Jacob fell for the beauty of Rachel and worked 14 years for her (again, a price for her). Abraham sent out his servant with money and possessions to procure Rebekah for Isaac. Throughout the Old Testament, the arrangement of marriage was more a financial transaction than one where compatibility was sought.

The unmarried woman, living in her father’s house, was transferred into her husband’s jurisdiction by his payment of the ‘bride price’ (Heb. mohar) to her father. If a man seduced a girl, he had to pay the bride price as a penalty and make her his legal wife.

photo by: be creator

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.