A real Jew:
Let us look at an important point here before we proceed. Paul is talking about a real Jew. He writes:
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. (Romans 2:28, 29)
Paul clearly said that a Jew is not a literal child of Abraham, but the spiritual child of Abraham is a Jew. Attentively now listen to this discussion between Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus began:
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. (John 8:32-39)
Jesus continues further:
Ye are of your father the devil. (John 8:44)
He told the literal children of Abraham that their father was not Abraham, but the devil. A Jew is not one outward but one inward. Anyone who does not believe in Christ is not a Jew but a gentile! Paul also wrote:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:28, 29)
The truth is clear. The children of Israel are not the literal Israelites, but spiritual Israel scattered all over the world. These are the true Israelites in God’s sight. Anyone belonging to Christ is the child of Abraham, and is an Israelite, and has the promise of Abraham fulfilled.
Revelation 7 talks about God’s last days’ saints, the living saints, 144,000 in number. It states:
And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. (Revelation 7:2-4)
Remember, “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly…but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly”. It is spiritual Israel that John writes about. He continued:
Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. (Revelation 7:5-8)
God’s people, who are alive at the coming of Jesus, are all the children of Jacob, in the spiritual sense. In what way? We have all had strange histories, like Jacob and his children had. But thank God, He did not cast away Jacob and his children, although they were born from 4 different mothers. God is telling us—“As I accepted Jacob and his 12 children, in spite of all their histories, I will accept you too. Your names will be written and retained in the book of life just as I have written their names on the gates!”
Thank God for Jesus who divided history! It is His story that changes us from Jacob to Israel, from a deceiver to an over-comer, from a cheat to a faithful one.
Jacob went through a time of trouble, wrestled with the divine Peron, and overcame. Our life is no better than his. God has to send us, also, through a similar experience as that of Jacob. It is called “Jacob’s trouble”, because we have Jacob’s problem, Jacob’s character, one way or the other! Jeremiah writes:
Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. (Jeremiah 30:7)
It is a prophecy of last day’s saints, who will go through a time of trouble such as never was. Daniel too recorded about this trouble. He wrote:
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12: 1)
This trouble is the time of “Jacob’s trouble”. Before Jacob returned to his father’s house he had this terrible experience. We too, before we reach our heavenly Father’s house, we will have “Jacob’s trouble”, and a supernatural deliverance as Jacob had; for we are all in the category of the 12 tribes of Israel from God’s point of view!
The four wives of Jacob also symbolize the four corners of the world. From North, South, East and West God will gather His children to His eternal Kingdom.
Thank God we serve the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. They had their weaknesses, but they overcame them. God so loved them that He took them back. And it is written:
Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God.
The God of Jacob is our refuge and strength.
The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee. (Psalm 20:1)
God will defend us, but not our sins, when we come to Him in repentance.
Nowhere has God commanded the practice of polygamy. But when His people practiced it, He permitted it, but disciplined them.
BUT ONE MIGHT SAY: The very fact that God permitted polygamy indicates that He intended it to happen. Well, that logic is not sound. For instance, look at the story of our first parents. Did God command Adam and Eve to sin in the Garden? No! But when our first parents chose to sin He did not stop them, but loved them and made a way of escape through His Son. Man had to suffer the consequence nevertheless. Similarly the patriarchs were permitted to choose what they wanted but they had to bear the consequences!
God likes to save and not destroy. Polygamy was not an unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit. This sin could be pardoned but the consequences couldn’t be undone.
All those things that happened in the Old Testament were written down for our admonition, Paul says—to give us hope. They were the shadows of the gospel. God allowed the Holy Spirit to write down these histories, just to teach us the gospel as to how God saves His people.
God was trying to teach us that we have salvation in Jesus in spite of all that has ever happened. Paul wrote:
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)
Those who have gone to the “uttermost” can be pulled back. Thank God we serve the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. God invites, cleanses, and accepts us just as we are. He is able to save us by His power.
Thank God for the gospel in symbolism that was portrayed in the married lives of the patriarchs. What hope it gives to a hopeless soul!
God is going to unite Himself with us in oneness on that great wedding day—the wedding of the Lamb!
That is the truth about Polygamy. Christ accepting people from all backgrounds of life, and not casting them away; rather gathering them into His own body for the symbolic marriage on that grand day! What an awesome God we serve! If He does not do what He does for humanity, none would be saved! Paul said:
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. ..This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:30, 32)