Ephesians 5

Ephesians 5: Husbands and Wives

                Paul tells the Ephesians that “…fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness [desiring possessions of others], let it not be once named among you… Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking… For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, no covetous man…. Hath any inheritance in the kingdom Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:3-5)

Paul goes on to explain that as followers of Christ and Saints of His church they should refrain from all evil things and instead of being drunk, they should be filled with the Spirit; “…be not drunk with wine… but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) Paul urges the members of Christ’s Church to have music in their heart always so that they will know the power of God and fear Him; “…making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” (Ephesians 5:19-20)

Paul explains a little about the roles of Husbands and Wives;

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Ephesians 5:22-25)

Are Wives subject to their Husbands?

If we only read that Wives must ‘submit themselves’ to their husbands, we might find the scriptures to be extremely sexist and controlling of women. However, we must read the entire chapter to understand what is meant when Paul said that wives must submit themselves to their husbands. Paul is saying that as Christ is the head of the church, so the husband is the head of the household. This is sacred calling and not a position of authority. Paul goes on to say; “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord  the church.” (Ephesians 5:28-29) If a man held his position of ‘head of household’ and use it as a position of authority he would not love his wife.

Modern day Apostles and Prophets have spoken about this in a Proclamation that they wrote to the World; The Proclamation to the World, which reads;

“HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations…. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

Husbands and Wives are to work TOGETHER as EQUAL PARTNERS to raise a family and take care of one another. Husbands are given the responsibility to care for their families, while Wives are to provide motherly nourishment of young minds. No one is above another… and both are equally responsible.

1 Corinthians 7

1 Corinthians 7: Marriage

                Paul addresses the Corinthians and explains that; “…It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” (1 Corinthian 7:1-2) Some will argue that Paul is teaching that being single and without sex is more pure than being married with sex. However, I don’t believe that is what Paul was teaching… but rather he was teaching that sex should only occur between a man and woman who are lawfully wedded.

It is interesting to note that Paul (an Apostle of the Lord) speaks of a man having a woman and a woman having a man. He speaks out against fornication, but rather stresses the importance of marriage between a man and a woman. Why? Because Marriage is important in the eyes of God; “…for it is better to marry than to burn.” (1 Corinthians 7:9)

Paul explains that marriage should not end in divorce, divorce should not be considered except in rare cases. Paul does stress that if a marriage starts to crumble that both the husband and the wife should; “…give yourself to fasting and prayer; and come together again…” (1 Corinthians 7:5)

Paul goes on to explain how the husband and the wife (working in equal partnership) should strengthen one another in the Faith of Jesus Christ. Not only should they both strengthen each other in Spiritual matters, but in all matters. Husbands and Wives should lean on each other and show their children a good example. “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” (1 Corinthians 7:14)

Paul explains that it is wise to get married at a younger age, as to not commit sin. “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.” (1 Corinthians 7:28) Especially in today’s modern world, where sex is considered ok outside of marriage, it is important to not wait around to get married so as to not be tempted into sexual relations before marriage.

Paul ends by explaining why some people believe it is more pure to be single and without sex; “But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:33-34)

Here is the question; does being married mean you will care only for the things of the world? No, husbands and wives should bring each other sexual joy, along with friendship, and a loving relationship throughout all life and ETERNITY. But husbands and wives should also build one another up in everything from Spiritual matters, to education, work, physical well-being and emotional support.

Proverbs 19-20

Proverbs 19-20

Chapter 19: A Wise Wife from the Lord

“A false witness shall not be unpunished…” (Proverbs 19:5)

                If you are a liar you will be punished.

                “…every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts.” (Proverbs 19:6)

                You can have fake friends if you have money and are willing to give them something… but the minute you stop giving those fake friends “things” or money, you will lose your friends.

                “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent [wise] wife is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 19:14)

                Money or knowledge is a gift that can be handed down from one man to another. Whoever a WISE WIFE is hard to find and can only be given to man by the Lord. Respect your wives! Respect their wisdom and listen to what they have to say… work as equals!

                “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” (Proverbs 19:20)

                If you hear wisdom and counsel you will be much better off!

                “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 19:27)

                If you are given wisdom or counsel that is not leading you down a good path… CEASE from receiving any more instruction and find someone else to get advice from.

Chapter 20: Don’t Drink

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)

                The Bible is very clear on alcohol, IT SHOULD NOT BE CONSUMED! Those who consume alcohol and get drunk are fools. The LDS church has been very clear for more than 100 years… alcohol is to be used for cleaning… not for consumption.

                “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.” (Proverbs 20:13)

                We need to get what we NEED in sleep. The amount we need would be about 8 hour’s average. If we only get 6 hours throughout the week and we can sleep in one day a week that is probably ok. But if we waste our lives sleeping and taking more than we need, we will not go very far.

Proverbs 17-18

Proverbs 17-18

Chapter 17: Friends Forever

“Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.” (Proverbs 17:5)

                I really love this verse, but when I read verses I often look at other translations of the same verse to see what kind of differences or possibly new interpretations of the verse exist. This particular verse had a different translation that I think really captured the message. The translation is from the Douy-Rheims Bible and is basically the same except; “…he that rejoices at another man’s ruin, shall not be unpunished.” Essentially we learn that we should never make fun of someone because of their social status and if we rejoice in seeing someone else suffer or be ruined (example: tricking them into paying you more money, taking advantage of someone) then those people will be punished for that.

                “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” (Proverbs 17:9)

                This is another verse where I hate to say it, but I like the entire translation better than the King James Version, and I REALLY like the King James Version… “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it seperates close friends.” (New Living Translation of Proverbs 17:9) When we are forgiven by others or forgiven of sin, LOVE can prosper. If we dwell on things and never let them go it will ruin relationships.

                “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

                Friends and Family are important. True friends and “brothers” (which can be both friends and family) are there for each other… ALWAYS!

                “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” (Proverbs 17:28)

                Sometimes it is just better for us to keep our mouth shut and move on. We will probably look a lot more intelligent if we do so.

Chapter 18: Find a Wife

“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” (Proverbs 18:8)

                In other words… we can say that the words of the gossiper or liar will come back to hurt the one telling the stories.

                “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22)

                Marriage is important in the eyes of the Lord. We must get married, instead of “living” with someone.

                “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

                If you want friends, you too must be friendly and keep the friendship going. Friendships that are not taken care of will eventually die off.

 

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.

Genesis 37-39

Genesis 37-39

Chapter 37: Joseph Sold into Egypt

Jacob/Israel dwelt in the land of Canaan and loved Joseph more than all of his sons. Because Israel loved Joseph more than all of his other sons (the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah), his other sons despised Joseph because they were jealous.

Israel even gave Joseph a special coat, a coat of many colors. Joseph has a dream that his brothers would bow down to him and this upset everyone. Joseph’s brothers are in the land of Shechem feeding their father’s flock and Israel tells him to go and help them.

Joseph journey’s after his brothers, and when he cannot find them in the field a man tells him that they went down to Dotham, so he travels there, but as he travels his brothers look off from a distance and conspire to kill Joseph. So as Joseph approaches him, they take his coat from him and desire that he be placed into a pit in the wilderness, then cover the coat with sheep’s blood and tell Israel that he was devoured by a wild beast.

After they throw him in the pit, they sit and eat bread, when they notice some Ishmeelite merchants from Gilead coming towards them. So they decide to sell Joseph to these merchants. They sell him for twenty pieces of silver, and they bring Joseph to Egypt. Later he gets sold to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s in Egypt.

When Joseph’s brothers bring Israel the bloody coat and tell him that he was killed by wild beasts in the wilderness, Israel mourns for many days.

Chapter 38: Judah and Tamar

Judah goes down to a Canaanite named Shuah and lies with her and she bares a son named: Er. Then she conceives again and they name the son: Onan. Then she conceives yet again and bares a son and they name the son: Shelah.

Er marries Tamar and does evil in the sight of the Lord and the Lord slays him. Onan by custom would then come in and marry his brother’s widow, to raise seed unto Er. Well Onan does not like this and makes sure that Tamar cannot get pregnant, by “spilling his seed on the ground” (see Genesis 38:8-10), what Onan does, displeases the Lord and he is also slain by the Lord.

Now that Tamar is a widow with no one to take care of her, she is invited to come and live with her father, until Shelah is old enough to marry her. But when Shelah is old enough, Judah does not permit him to marry Tamar. During this time Judah’s wife also dies, so Judah takes a trip to where his sheep are being sheered and by the roadside Tamar disguises herself as a prostitute (because she knew that Judah would be coming that way).

So Judah asks this “prostitute” (not knowing that the “prostitute” was Tamar) to sleep with him, and Tamar asks him: “…What wilt thou give unto me, that thou mayest come in unto me?” (Genesis 38:16), Judah responds: “…I will send thee a kid from the flock (a young goat)… what pledge shall I give thee?” (Genesis 38:17-18) Tamar the “prostitute” asks for his signet, bracelets and staff, because it had his seal on it. Then she “lies” with him and conceives with him.

So, after this Judah sends a friend to bring this “prostitute” her young goats and to collect his things, but cannot find her anywhere. Judah gives up the search, for fear that he be ridiculed. But 3 months later he finds that Tamar is pregnant and commands that she be burnt and Tamar tells him here are the things of the man that I slept with. Judah realizes that it was him and Tamar does not get burnt. Judah also realizes that he was in the wrong, because he never had Shelah marry Tamar. Tamar bares two sons (twins), Pharez and Zarah.

Chapter 39: Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife

Joseph was brought down to Egypt and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh buys him from the Ishmeelites. Potiphar sees that the Lord is with Joseph and makes him the overseer of his house. Joseph was a good person and was highly favored. But Potiphar’s wife noticed Joseph and repeatedly asks him to “lie” with her, thus committing adultery.

After several failed attempts by Potiphar’s wife, because Joseph resisted her every single time. Potiphar’s wife grabs his garment as he fled from her one day and falsely accuses Joseph of wanting to lie with her. Potiphar finds out about this and sends Joseph to prison.

But the Lord looked out for Joseph and made the keeper of the prison realize how great Joseph was, and gave him the power to run/control the prison and the prisoners.

 

Genesis 22-24

Genesis 22-24

Chapter 22: Sacrifice of Abraham’s Son Isaac

God commands Abraham to take his son Isaac to the land of Moriah and “…offer him there for a burnt offering…” (Genesis 22:2)

                Abraham takes his son and they journey towards the mountain that the Lord had commanded him to go, but Abraham does not tell his son what the Lord had planned.  As they journey to the top of the mountain, Isaac even asks Abraham “…where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7)

                Abraham tells Isaac that God will provide one for them, once they get to the top Abraham builds an altar and bound his son Isaac, Abraham takes a knife out and gets ready to kill his son… when an angel calls out to him and tells him “…lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him; for now I know that thou fearest God…” (Genesis 22:12)

                So we learn that the whole thing was just a test to see if Abraham would listen and do as the Lord commands. But they notice a ram caught in a thicket.

God tells him, that because he did as the Lord commanded, that Abraham would be blessed with the seed as the number of stars and grains of sand, or in other words… A LOT!

Chapter 23: Sarah Dies

When Sarah (Abraham’s wife) was 177 years old she died. Abraham buys a cave for her to be buried in for four hundred shekels of silver.

Abraham buries his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre.

Chapter 24: Isaac’s Wife

Abraham commands Isaac to not marry a Canaanite, but instead commands his servant to go to Meopotamia into the city of Nahor.

Abraham tells the servant that when he comes across a lady who offers him and his camels water that she would be the one for Isaac. So the servant waits at a well and is offered water for him and his camels by a young fair virgin named; Rebekah.  The servant offers her a golden earing (1/2 shekel), two bracelets (10 shekels weight) of gold. She is impressed and takes them home, where he brother Laban is also impressed and invites the man into their home. The servant than explains what his business really is and the family and Rebekah accept and head back to meet Isaac.

When Rebekah and Isaac meet eyes, she jumps off her camel to meet him. They get married and Isaac is now comforted after the death of her mother.