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A Brief Defense of the Bible Doctrine of Monogamy

“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” – Gen 2:18

In man’s quest to walk in the imagination of his own evil heart (as against obeying the word and instructions of God), he often devises means by which his conscience is seared or silenced into submission. If he cannot prevent the forceful proclamation or the hearing of the Word of God which is the Light that enlightens and prompts his heart on his duties to God and to his fellow man, he tries to prevent its practical application by impugning the intention of God with the classic old-trick, “hath God said?” “Did God truly say that?” “God does not encourage it or discourage it.” Each trick is simply a different variant of the machinations of Satan to twist the minds of the unstable ones and lure them into his net.

We live in a perilous time when sensuality and perversion has taken monstrous dimensions and it seems to be permeating almost every sphere of modern life. Lawlessness and rebellion against God and His Word are becoming a fad and a badge of honor among men. It appears the Bible and its tenets are increasingly been seen by many as a passing fad, a threat to their “liberation” or something that needs to be dispensed with altogether.

To make the matters worse, the Bible is being corrupted on all sides by both men ecclesiastical and secular. In the age of social media, the seed of doubt in God’s Word is easily sown by men of dubious life and character, who have a hidden agenda different from a sincere heart to please and glorify God. The pollution of the Word of God is one of the side-consequence of a sensual and hypocritical culture. The final stage in the downward spiral is when men began to “have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof”; they create their own religion and tenets based on willing misrepresentation of the Bible, or they simply “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” We are gradually getting to that stage.

Heterosexual Monogamy as God’s Exclusive Instruction
One re-enactment of the old-trick playing out in recent times is the attack by some very clever men and women against the biblical definition of marriage to pave way for polygamy (alongside its close-cousin of homosexual-ism, and the other different perversions: polyamory, open-marriage, etc.).

In the great plan of God for man, the very first institution He created was the institution of marriage. It was an institution, a foundational institution, because not only did God set an example for Adam’s offspring to follow, He explicitly gave an instruction to that effect. The instruction that a man will enter into a heterosexual and monogamous relationship with a woman for the purpose of companionship (Gen 2:18), procreation (Gen 1:28), sanctification (I Cor 7:2) and illustration (Rev 19:7). Marriage must have been something so central and strategic to God’s ultimate plan for man that it was the first institution He checked on His great list.

And when God instituted the first marriage, He practically defined it as strictly between one man and one woman. God could have created more than one woman or wife for Adam, if He deemed it fit. And we even noticed His singular use of the word “helper”, and not “helpers”, to describe the justification for marriage and the great role Eve would play in the life of Adam to bring God’s purpose to pass in their union. Adam needed a help-meet, not help-meets.

It is instructive, that in the whole length and breadth of Sacred Scripture, God never at any time spoke good of polygamy. Wherever and whenever it was mentioned, it was always in the negative; as a blight on the person, a warning and with disastrous consequence. In all of Bible illustration of marriage, it is always monogamous, heterosexual union that God uses to illustrate a good marriage. So, God wasn’t silent about polygamy; He made it clear that He’s not the author of confusion.

The very first sets of marriage in the history of man were strictly heterosexual and monogamous, even after the entrance of sin into the human race. It was not until Lamech, the descendant and great-great-great grandson of evil and malicious Cain, who himself confessed to be worse than his father Cain, did polygamous surfaced in the history of man. “And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. Genesis 4:19” It was as if this very act was given a special, but brief, mention to indicate its very aberrant and rebellious nature. Cain had moved far away from the presence and fellowship of God (Gen 4:16) that by the fourth generation, his descendants became so bold in taking steps that’s in sharp contrast to the laid-down principles of God. It is often the case that men that have banished God and His ways from their thoughts are often prone to take very wicked and pernicious steps (2 Tim. 3:13).

This Lamech was a man who was a rebel, a stranger to God and to grace, a presumptuous, angry and wicked man. He killed “a man for [simply] wounding [him, and] a young man for injuring [him].” He was so presumptuous that he assumed the role of God in declaring his own vengeance on anyone who harms him, as against God who directly pronounced the judgement on Cain (Gen 4:15, Deut 32:25).

It is this Lamech that pioneered polygamy. He was a man that occupied pivotal position in the history of the human race (he was the seventh from Adam), that this very action further solidifies the godless culture that was becoming the norm among the descendants of Cain. Polygamy was not instituted by God, never permitted by Him. The good men of early ages were all in strictly heterosexual monogamous relationship. But in the process of time, like all evil, that “little leaven [of Lamech] began to leaven the whole lump.” The onset of sin is always small, but it often turns into a mountain if left unchecked, and “evil communications always corrupts good manners” (1 Cor 15:33).

The evil example of Lamech was too strong an influence that it began to permeate cultures as men multiplied on the surface of the earth. Even some good men of old fell into that temptation (to their own shame and confusion and sufferings) and thereby directly contributed to the misery and sufferings and evils in the world. Every instance of polygamy in the Bible always have a very sad component. From Abraham to Jacob to David to Solomon, they all bore the brunt of the consequence of following the devil into the dark pathway of polygamy.

Now, someone might object that what of the polygamy or concubines of Abraham, and of Jacob or even of David and Solomon? To that we can simply answer that their disobedience is not an example for Christians to follow nor a justification for polygamy. We follow God and not man, no matter how lofty or how great. We are enjoined strictly to “follow not that which is evil, but that which is good (3 John 1:11)” This ugly disobedience of a few among good men of ancient times is not a justification to disobey any of God’s express commandment. That “times of this ignorance God winked at; but now command all men every where to repent”. Christ clearly made it clear that polygamy was never His intention. That settles the matter for the child of God.

Christ has come to show us the Way and He is the Way. And everyone that is born of God listens and follows Jesus (John 8:47). From whatever angle we look at it, polygamy is a crime against the divine intent. God clearly defines monogamy expressly in Genesis and Christ re-affirmed heterosexual monogamy as the only divinely instituted concept of marriage.

Apart from its sinfulness, polygamy is one of the greatest source of sorrow in this world. We can directly trace violence in the first world to the polygamous culture Lamech established. His descendants became so corrupt and violent that by Genesis 6 they have corrupted the other cultures with their violence (his descendants were skillful in “bronze and iron”). Polygamous household, like that of Abraham, Jacob, David were replete with violence and betrayals and jealousies and envies. It must be so for whatever is from the devil is intended “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”

Those who claim the Word of God is permissive or silent on polygamy are willingly ignorant of Scripture or are corrupting the Word of God. And to say “God gave David multiple wives” (like one charlatan said recently) is sheer blasphemy and a total corruption of 2 Samuel 12:8 where God simply meant that He put the wives of Saul under David’s power, together with Saul’s house and other property. Not that He gave David Saul’s wives to marry, but to be subject to him just as God gave him the “house of Israel and of Judah,” that is, to be under David’s control and power.

Never has there been a time when the need to arm ourselves with more and more of the Bible and its doctrines have been more urgent. Increasingly the lawless ones will attack Bible doctrines, but we must learn from the saints of old to firmly take our stand in Scripture and fearlessly defend the truths that have been delivered unto us.

Equally, the believer must avoid totally these charlatans who are teaching rebellion against God, men and women whose god is their belly, who minds earthly things, teaching things for worldly advantage such as fame and money (Phil 3:17-21).

Fornication, polygamy, homosexual-ism, polyamory, open-marriage and all forms of sexual relationship outside of exclusive heterosexual monogamous marriage is a crime against the Great Divine.

“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” (1 Tim 6:3)

A servant of Jesus Christ, husband, father and an entrepreneur. Aspiring theologian and preacher. Owolabi is happily married to Oluseun and their union is blessed with children.

Further reading

Keeping the Good Wine in Marriage

The story of the wedding at Cana of Galilee teaches us vital lessons about our marriages as Christians.This beautiful story unfolds in John Chapter 2...

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