Friday, November 9, 2007
What Did John MacArthur Say About Polygamy?
The following "Question" was asked by a member of the congregation at Grace Community Church in Panorama City, California, and "Answered" by their pastor, John MacArthur Jr.
Question: I know that a man is supposed to have only one wife, [then] what is the reasoning by Solomon having 600 - but God still blessed the men that had more than one wife - like Abraham.
Answer: Just plain stupid! Just plain disobedient! What you have to understand is that God never blessed anybody for having more than one wife--all it did was to bring cursing.
There were other reasons why God blessed them--that wasn't one of them. When you study the Old Testament you find that out. You go all the way back to the beginning in Genesis, and it says "one man, one woman for life," and that's the way God always wanted it.
Now, I don't want to be personal, but have you sinned? [reply: "yes"] Yes, me too. Are you alive? Yes, me too. Are you blessed? Yes, me too. Get the picture? But we didn't get blessed for that--did we? Not for our sin--we got blessed in spite of it, because God is a loving, gracious God. So, we don't want to conclude that because David committed adultery with a whole bunch of women, that adulterers get blessed. We want to conclude that in spite of that, God was gracious to him, and there were periods in his life, and times in his life when he was obedient to God, and God blessed him for those times, and God was patient in the other times.
So, God's standard never, ever, changed. And if you really want to find out, you just find all the polygamists in the Old Testament and watch the pain they went through.
Everybody thinks that Abraham had it good, no he didn't--he had a very painful life. He had a disastrous life. The very fact that he went in there and had a child by Hagar and produced Ishmael--the Jewish race, ever since Abraham, has been upset that he did that, because that produced the Arabs. It's true, the Jews they don't like that he did that, and the Arabs, the children of Ishmael, have always claimed the right to the land as the sons of Abraham--that's what the conflict is all about. So, God blessed Abraham, but He didn't bless him for that.
God blessed David, but He didn't bless Him for his many wives. God blessed Solomon in parts, but when you read the Book of Ecclesiastes you get a feeling that Solomon went through some times in his life when he was anything but blessed, and that was written by a man in deep pain.