While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it.
Jacob had twelve sons:
The sons of Leah:
Reuben the firstborn of Jacob,
Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
The sons of Rachel:
Joseph and Benjamin.
The sons of Rachel’s servant Bilhah:
Dan and Naphtali.
The sons of Leah’s servant Zilpah:
Gad and Asher.
These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram.
- Genesis 35:22-26
Sons were born to David in Hebron:
His firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel;
his second, Kileab the son of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel;
the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith;
the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
and the sixth, Ithream the son of David’s wife Eglah.
These were born to David in Hebron.
- 2 Samuel 3:2-5
Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s steward, and said to him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.)
Then Ziba said to the king, “Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.
- 2 Samuel 9:9-11
King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.
- 1 Kings 11:1-3
The reason for the Scriptures is that a few of the biblical characters that we know and love had a lot of children and by way of many wives. The Scripture about David’s sons only lists those born in Hebron. He had more in Jerusalem, including Solomon and Nathan (in the Luke genealogy). But then, he even treated Saul’s grandson as a member of his family.
But I say that to remind everyone that no matter how many they had, they had no one that was carelessly left behind. But these days people joke about that.
One day after the worship service, my wife went up to some visitors to greet them. I have no idea how many people have said, since my wife passed away a month ago, that her greeting and her smile made them feel welcome at the church. She did this out of her curiosity and love for everyone. She never met a stranger, just someone she had never met before.
But back to this casual greeting… She started talking, and she probed as to how many children they had. If given the chance, she might see them a month later and recite all their names and birthdays.
But then the husband said, “We have three children. At least three that I know about.”
A crowd had gathered, and there were a few groans at the inappropriate joke in an inappropriate place. Then the man’s wife, trying anything to cover up for his arrogant and crude attempt at humor, she asked, “And do you have children?”
Without blinking an eyelash, my wife said, “Two boys. At least two … that I know about.”
There was silence for about a second. All the ladies began to laugh. Then, a few seconds later, too many seconds, but sometimes guys are simply stupid, a few of the guys started to laugh.
Then one of the other church ladies naively asked, “Wait, if you had more than two boys, you might keep a secret from your husband, but would you not know about it?”
Now the guys that did not get my wife’s response finally figured out the reality that is biology.
The visiting husband suddenly had to refresh his coffee.
His wife turned to my wife and said, “Don’t worry! He deserved it.”
My wife was famous for her subtle wit, but I had never heard my wife purposely throw a punch beneath the belt, so to speak.
It is crude and vulgar in any setting to brag about promiscuous sex that might have led someone to get pregnant and by that time, you were long gone. Of course, that sexual act required two people and the woman is painfully aware of the pregnancy for the next nine months, give or take. To have that physical encounter and then move on down the road is horrid behavior in the first place. In saying that you might have children that you do not know about is bragging about your own sin nature. And while visiting a church?!
I know that a three-part testimony of how you came to Jesus covers the before Christ, the encounter with Christ, and the aftermath of how Jesus had changed your life. In so doing, you might admit that you had careless sex in your youth, but the setting is different. You are not joking. You are saying that you were a sinner in need of salvation. You simply gave something specific that maybe some listeners might relate to.
But even beyond this sin, there are ways to belittle our sins, make them seem insignificant. We should guard against doing that.
And with that in mind, I cannot say that I have not a sin like that, at least none that I know about.
I may be quite adept at not seeing my sins for what they are.
And even then, God has forgiven me.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
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I am looking forward to meeting your wife in heaven.
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Oh, my, it seems to be getting contagious, but then again, I have met a lot of nice people because they wanted to meet her.
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