Proverbs 5-6

Proverbs 5-6

Scripture Thought (What I Learned):

Both Proverbs 5 and 6 have a very clear message that is directed towards men, but can easily be applied to women. That message is pretty simple; 1: Don’t fornicate or commit adultery; 2: Be careful who you marry or who you trust in general. People can deceive and have lying lips that appear to be sweet as ‘honey’ but once you partake the ‘sweet honey’ turns ‘bitter’; 3: Once you are married is important to stay married and ensure that both partners feel a strong connection on all levels that includes a very healthy sexual intimacy.

I believe that all too often (especially in the LDS Church) that sex is talked about as something evil and perverted. Which is true if done outside of marriage, but in marriage it should be something that both husband and wife can have sexual fulfillment that will keep them from lust and sin. Eternal Marriage goes one step beyond traditional marriage in the sense that being married to someone who you can trust with your physical and spiritual life. Husband and wife should be a check and balance system to ensure that both return to our Heavenly Father and dwell in the Celestial Kingdom. God knew that man was weak, so he gave man the woman to keep man in check and ensure that we will return to live with him. Mankind in general is weak, and men and women sin. But if man and woman are bound together in Holy Matrimony they become ONE, just like God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are ONE, one in purpose.

Chapter 5: Don’t Divorce

In this proverb we learn a lot about the importance of marriage to the right person. We also learn about the evils of the world and the ways that man can be tricked into evil ways.

“…the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:” (Proverbs 5:3)

Essentially this is a warning to men who may get caught in the trap of lusting after a woman who may appear to have “lips of honey” and someone who is a “smooth” talker. She may appear to be sweet, but… “…her end is bitter… sharp as a twoedged sword… her steps take hold on hell… her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.” (Proverbs 5:4-6)

The counsel given in this proverb is very clear: “Remove thy way far from her…” (Proverbs 5:8)

But the proverb continues to tell us who we should marry “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” (Proverbs 5:18-19)

Something very important to remember and take away from this Proverb… sex is not evil. Sex outside of marriage is evil. Those who are married should enjoy sexual intimacy between one another and if a healthy sexual relationship is balanced with all other activities of being married, spending time together, working through problems together, having children etc… then the marriage will be successful and filled with love. God does not want us engaging in sexual relations before marriage and wants to make sure that once we are married, WE STAY married. God does not like divorce.

Chapter 6: Seven things the Lord Hates

This proverb lists seven things that the Lord hates (in my version of the Bible, which is the King James Version it tells me that there are ‘6’ things the Lord hates, I like to classify them as 7.

  1. 1.       “A proud look…” (Proverbs 6:17)
  2. 2.       “…a lying tongue…” (Proverbs 6:17)
  3. 3.       “…hands that shed innocent blood.” (Proverbs 6:17)
  4. 4.       “An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations…” (Proverbs 6:18)
  5. 5.       “…feet that be swift in running to mischief.” (Proverbs 6:18)
  6. 6.       “A false witness that speaketh lies…” (Proverbs 6:19)
  7. 7.       “…he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:19)

God does not like sin, period. The laws don’t change, we either choose to follow them or we don’t. “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:” (Proverbs 6:23)

Essentially the law is light, we can choose how much light we want in our lives by adjusting the amount we follow the commandments (our lantern), if we chose to not follow the commandments it is like not putting any oil (or batteries) in our lamp. If we chose to follow the commandments and fill our lantern with fresh oil or batteries then we can have more of the light. If we go against this WE WILL be left in the dark. We also have to understand that criticism and even chastisement is part of life and it occurs for our own learning.

This proverbs ends by re-addressing what we learned from Proverbs 5; that is “…whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.” (Proverbs 6:32)

Committing adultery, or fornication (sex outside of the bonds of marriage) will be wounded and dishourned and will carry that sin for life (Proverbs 6:33)

We must remember that “…jealousy is the rage of a man…” (Proverbs 6:34)

 

2 Samuel 11-12

2 Samuel 11-12

Chapter 11: David Lies with Bath-sheba

The start of the chapter begins with David and his men going into battle to destroy the children of Ammon, and Rabbah. While in Jerusalem, David (from the roof top) notices a very beautiful woman bathing, her name; Bath-sheba.

David decides that he really likes this woman and has she called into see him. He “lies” with her and she ends up conceiving a child. David calls for the Bath-sheba’s husband and has him come to his home. There he gives him food and tells him to wait with him, until the morning. So Uriah (husband to Bath-sheba) stays with David, in the morning David has it arranged so Uriah will go back to battle and puts him on the front lines so that he will surely die in battle, and he does. Now David can be with Bath-sheba and have her, for himself!

Chapter 12: Plural Marriage

This chapter follows directly from the last chapter, where essentially David lusted after another man’s life (against the 10 commandments) and took her to be his wife, after he arranged for her husband to be “killed” in battle.

The Lord is not happy with this, so he sends Nathan to talk to David and this is what David said;

“…there were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: but the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb (a young female sheep), 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. And there came a traveler 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 who was come to him,” (2 Samuel 12:1-4)

                So to sum it up, this story is about one rich man and one poor man. The rich man had everything and the poor man had nothing, except one lamb. So the rich man, instead of killing one of his own lambs for a feast decides to kill the one the poor man has and take everything from him.

When David hears this, he is outraged and tells Nathan that the man who had done this must die! Nathan tells David that HE IS THAT MAN! Nathan tells David that the Lord had given him everything, the Lord anointed him King over Israel, gave him wives, cattle, sheep and a home. But he still had to go and despise God, by breaking one of his commandments and lusting after another man’s wife. Not only did he lust after her, he committed adultery with her and then had her husband “killed” in battle so he could have her.

So the Lord tells Nathan that because of this, he will take everything from David and his wives will be given to his neighbors. The Lord says that David committed adultery in secret, but he will punish him openly and publicly.

So here is a question; is plural marriage bad? The LDS church practiced plural marriage from about 1850 to 1890, the LDS church practiced plural marriage for about 4 decades. Many people condemned the church for this practice, but right here in the Bible it gives us an insight into plural marriage. We know that David had many wives, but he got in trouble for taking another wife. Why? Was it because of plural marriage? No, because David already had wives which the Lord had given him. So we learn that when God authorizes plural marriage it is ok. In the case of plural marriage in the LDS church, often times the woman (after having their husbands killed to mobs, who disliked the church) were left as widows. In the 1800’s being a widow was not a good thing, because woman had very few rights. So the wealthier more prominent and righteous men took them into their own homes as their “wives”, this gave them a place to live and a status in that era. Most of the time, the men still only had sexual relations with their original wife. Not all men in the church could have plural marriage, the prophet through the guidance of God would choose who could and could not have multiple wives. This was due to the fact that the Lord knew certain men would abuse this.

So, moving on… David repents and feels really bad for having committed this sin.  But the Lord causes the child he had with Bath-sheba to come down with a sickness. So David fasts for several days and lays himself on the earth in prayer and sadness. Even with all this prayer and fasting, the Lord’s will was different from David’s and his son still passed away. But David arose from the earth, washed and anointed himself in the temple, changed his clothing and worshiped the Lord (2 Samuel 12:20) – this shows the importance of Temples, something that the LDS church has today.

Bath-sheba was really upset (and rightfully so, her son had just died), but David comforts her and “lies down” with her, and she conceives another son, and they name the son; Solomon. The Lord is pleased with Solomon and blesses him. David conquers the Royal City of the Ammonites.

Deuteronomy 25-26

Deuteronomy 25-26

Chapter 25: Marriage Law

In Israel, judges will pass down sentences for those who commit crimes and wickedness. Marriage law in Israel provides that if a woman’s husband die and they have no children, that the brother of the husband who died shall go in unto the widow and raise children unto his brother (verse 5).

In doing business, Moses speaks about using just weights and measurements as to not deceive. Essentially today, you could say that Moses was speaking out about proper business ethics, to be fair and proper.

Israel is commanded to “blot out” the Amalekites from under heaven, to kill them.

Chapter 26: Law of Tithing

If you keep the law of tithing and help out your neighbor you will be blessed. See verse 12.

Deuteronomy 23-24

Deuteronomy 23-24

Chapter 23: The Congregation

Moses speaks to the congregation and outlines who can and cannot enter into the congregation and more importantly the Tabernacle of Israel. This of course from previous chapters and books includes all unclean things, including those who disobey and do not follow the commandments of God.

Moses also outlines the laws of servants/slaves, usury and vows.

Moses states that if a slave comes into the midst of the children of Israel and the slave master comes to claim his slave/servant that the children of Israel can give refuge to the servant/slave that has escaped. (verse 15-16) and he states that they (the children of Israel) should not oppress the slave, or in other words the slave is now free among them.

Then in verses 19-20 Moses speaks about Usury, and that among strangers it is ok to have usury. Now I interpreted what Moses said, as the children of Israel were to not have interest rates, or very low interest rates among themselves on people who borrow money. But among outsiders whom were not part of the family that they would offer money to borrow at higher interest rates. Essentially helping out those who were family to you.

Chapter 24: Laws of Moses

Moses outlines the law of divorce, saying;

“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house” (Deuteronomy 24:1)

                Essentially stating that only in unfaithfulness or any other sin against the holy matrimony shall divorce be permitted.

Moses also speaks to the congregation regarding newly-weds, stating;

“When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken” (Deuteronomy 24:5)

                If we took this literally, everyone who gets married would go on a 1 year honey moon, which I don’t think would be very practical. But we can take from this, that everyone who gets married should ensure that they start their marriage off strong and make sure that a huge focus is placed on each other and the development of that beautiful relationship. If this is done, we can see a higher percentage of happy marriages.

Moses then ends this chapter off, by stating that;

 “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:16)

                The second Article of Faith of the LDS church states; “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression”

                Again we see a very clear principle in the Bible that is not followed by mainstream Christianity, for example many religions believe in the “original sin”, that we are “naturally sinful” because of the transgression of Adam and Eve, and that is why some religions (the Catholic church for example) baptize infants, because they are “born with sin”, this however, in my personally opinion is an abomination! Jesus himself said that

“…Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little once which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:3-6)

                Jesus spoke out about offending the children, because they were part of heaven, and we must become like a child to enter into the kingdom of heaven. If that is true, how can a baby, completely innocent and incapable of committing sin, needs to be baptized to be cleansed of sin?

The Book of Mormon has an entire chapter on the abomination of this practice. Moroni, who was ancient prophet who lived in the Americas spoke out about this;

“…little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell… For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.” (Moroni 8:12-14), see also Moroni Chapter 8 in its entirety.

Deuteronomy 7-8

Deuteronomy 7-8

Chapter 7: The Mercy of the Lord

When the Israelites go in among the nations of the; Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and the Jebusites the Lord commands them to not be afraid. All seven of these nations are much mightier than the Israelites. But the Lord commands them to not marry outside of their tribes and especially not to anyone from these nations. The Lord commands them to destroy the nations as he places them in their hands.

The Lord reminds the children of Israel that they were chosen for their actions, even though they numbered very few.  (see verse 7). Verses 3-4 talk about the importance of marriage within the covenant, because marrying outside of the covenant can lead to a loss of faith and is not approved by God.

The Lord promises that if the Israelites obey and are faithful to his commandments that he will show mercy on them, bless them and love them. He will also cure their diseases and make them prosperous. (Deuteronomy 7:12-15)

Chapter 8: Don’t Forget God

The Lord speaks to the Israelites regarding the 40 year experience in the wilderness and desert. The children of Israel wondered for over 40 years, and the purpose of this was to humble and prove the congregation of Israel whether they would follow the commandments or not. (verse 2)

“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)

We learn that the Lord wanted to prove the worthiness and dedication of his chosen people, by teaching them this principle. Someone can be fat and have plenty of food and wealth, but that person can only live so long without the Lord. The Lord, our Heavenly Father is just like our earthly father or parents. Sometimes they do things that upset us.

Children often get upset with their parents for limiting their ability to be free, because they want to protect them. For example a parent will try and prevent their child from touching a hot stove, because they know that it will hurt them. But what happens? The child will usually do it anyways, and then when they do it they cry and think why do I have to suffer? The parent of course will come in and love them and make things better, but sometimes the parent will let them learn from their actions by not taking away the consequences.

“…that as a man chasteneth his son, so shall the Lord thy God chasteneth thee” (Deuteronomy 8:5)

Chasten means; to discipline or correct by punishment. Punishment doesn’t always have to be of a physical nature, it can be done in a variety of ways; including shame. For example, a parent can punish their child just be letting them know that they are disappointed in them for something that they knew was wrong, but did it anyways. The Lord, is our Heavenly Father he disciplines us, because he knows what is best for us and wants to give us anything that we need. Sometimes however he has to step back and let us learn from our own mistakes, just like a good parent. When God doesn’t offer his helping hand in our life, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love us. I am sure he is saddened and upset because he knows that he needs to step back, when really he wants to step in and make everything ok.

I look at the current situation of the world, not only from a distance, but also right in my own backyard. I see people complain and say that God cannot exist if he were to permit such violence and misfortunes in the world. But hasn’t God warned us about all of this? He has, and he continues to warn us. But like a good parent he steps back and lets us learn from our own mistakes. Think about it, let’s use the example of pregnancy, abortion and sexually transmitted diseases. God has warned us about the dangers of sex outside of marriage.

                “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his wife, and let every woman have her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2)

If everyone waited until marriage to have sex, and were faithful to their husband or wife than we would not have teen pregnancies, homes with single parents, sexually transmitted diseases or abortion issues. I would even say that we would have less crime and more productivity in the world. Think about it, if everyone came from a loving family with a loving father and mother, who chose to have children to love them and nurture them, would we have so much crime? I think not. Would we have so many emotional problems in the world? A lot less.

God, just like our earthly parents, warned us to not touch the stove, but we have and we continue to do it. There is only so much God can do, because after all we are free and able to make our own decisions. God gave us our agency and we must live with the consequences of not listening to his warnings.

The chapter ends with a warning, that if we do not follow the commandments of God and forget about him, then we will perish.  Look at the world today… and we can see why we are “perishing”.

Exodus 21-22

Exodus 21-22

Chapter 21: Law of Moses

The Lord reveals his laws for, as part of the Law of Moses:

Servants:

  • If you buy a Hebrew servant, he will work for 6 years and on the 7th year he shall go free.
  • If he came by himself or with a wife, both shall go free.
  • If the master gave the servant a wife, then the servant shall go free. But the wife and any children born belong to the master.
  • If a servant is given a wife by the master and chooses to be with the wife, then he becomes property of the master for life.
  • If a servant is assaulted and has his eye damaged then he can be set free.

Plural Marriage:

  • If a daughter is sold as a maidservant she shall not go out and be free as the servant.
  • If a man take another wife, then his duty to both wives (to feed, clothe, shelter, etc) remains.

Death Penalty:

  • If a man kills, then he shall be killed.
  • If a man steals (kidnaps) or enslaves man, he shall be put to death.
  • If a man causes the “fruit to depart from her” killing a baby in a pregnant woman, then the husband can do with the man as he pleases, and the judges will decide how much he pays.

Eye for an Eye:

  • Life for Life
  • Eye for Eye
  • Tooth for Tooth
  • Hand for Hand
  • Foot for Foot
  • Wound for Wound
  • Stripe for Stripe

Chapter 22: Law of Moses

  • If a man steal an ox or a sheep and kill or sell it. He shall restore 5 oxen for an ox and 4 sheep for a sheep.
  • If a thief is breaking in and is killed, the one who killed him will not be killed.
  • If a thief is unable to make restitution he will be sold.
  • If a thief is caught with an ox or sheep alive, he will restore to the owner double.
  • If a man eats from  a field that is not his, he shall make restitution.
  • If a man causes a fire that burnt down a field he shall make restitution.
  • Anything stolen, once caught the thief must pay the owner double.
  • A witch shall not live, but shall be killed.
  • Anyone who lies with an animal shall be killed.
  • Anyone who sacrifices unto another God, other than the Lord shall be destroyed.
  • Thou shalt not oppress a stranger.
  • Thou shalt not afflict any widow or fatherless child.
    • Anyone who afflicts a widow or a fatherless child and that widow or child cries unto the Lord. The Lord will visit the person who afflicted and make widows and make them fatherless.
    • If you lend money, you cannot be a usurer.