Mankind came from the hands of the creator with a great capacity for improvement and eventually ushered into full access to the very presence of God. Before the man can be uplifted to repopulate the heavens, he must prove himself faithful to God, not in some ways but in all ways. God provided everything that man needed before creating him.
After creating man, God added two important things to add value and meaning to his life. These two things were to preserve them before the fall and add value to their lives as they worked to fulfil God’s purpose for their creation.
The first thing that God gave man was the gift of marriage and family. In the unfallen world, with the pristine perfection from the hands of the master designer, there was yet one thing that was not right; the fact that the man was alone. To solve this and set things perfectly well, God made a woman and presented her to Adam, and it worked well, for Adam began reciting a poem:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
God always gives the best for his people. There were animals, beautiful in form and appearance, but only the woman could perfectly complement Adam. And because God created Adam, it was not hard for him to create another man, but he created a woman instead. This was the only arrangement that could help Adam fulfil God’s purpose for his life. The direction given was straightforward: Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.[NKJV Genesis 2:24] This cleaving business makes other formations ambiguous and out of order.
The second was the Sabbath.
After finishing the creation with the woman, God ushered the new family into a sabbath rest. An entire twenty-four hours was set apart for rest, giving the man time to cease every form of labour and spend more time with his family and God. God was visiting them every day at the cool of the day, but I tend to imagine His presence must have been overwhelmingly immense on the Sabbath.
Remember, God did not create a lazy man; work was essential for character development; hence Adam and his wife were to work around the clock, but when the sabbath came, they were to cease labour as God himself did after the work of creation. If man maintained the original sabbath instituted by God, there could be no room for scepticism on the existence of God. A Sabbathless world is a Godless world.
This system was hacked by the very power that was to help the man grow and qualify for higher privileges—the power of choice. Then God, in His mercy, added another blessing to humanity that would be a blessing to man and teach him to fight the very enemy of his growth—self-centeredness. So God instituted the concept of tithes and offerings. Adam saw the lamb slain to preserve their lives from apparent death. People who doubt the death penalty have shared many erroneous teachings and opinions, yet Adam and Eve were preserved because the lamb of God was slain before the foundations of the world. In this order, man was to be reminded that God is the owner of everything, yet in a way, preserve in man the consciousness of God.
Before and after the fall, humanity had a threefold shield to preserve them in obedience to God and afford them abundant life in this world:
- Marriage and Family
- Worship and Giving
The Shields Under Attack
How are things today? Have the pillars been shaken from their very foundation? In a world burdened with sin, these threefold shields were to cushion us from the enemy’s fiery darts. However, the devil has been doing its work of bringing pain and woes to the world. He has attacked the three pillars meant to be our asylum in this troublesome world to make his work successful and to make the pain more apparent.
Let us look at them one by one:
The Marriage and Family
How is your family? Do you have everything right, and you can, with honesty and confidence, offer no supplicative prayer on their behalf? Then you are lucky. The fact is that the number of dysfunctional families outweighs the proper ones by an infinite margin. And the few with the ideal taste of God’s plan for families are improving daily.
The attack on families has started from the very foundation of families; marriage. If you marry wrong, you will never achieve the blessing God intended for families. Even if you change and move towards the ideal plan from a dysfunctional marriage, you will be doing so while stepping on scars that resulted from the wrong steps.
How has marriage been attacked?
Lamech [Gen 4:19], the descendant of Cain, invented this; wherever it has been, it has been pain and unhealthy competition. Remember the case of Rachel & Leah, Sarah & Hagar, Hannah & Peninnah, and you, who have six more co-wives(and vice versa) whom you have never met! Anyone raised in a polygamous home knows very well that the love that God ordained to be in a family cannot be achieved in such homes. Men can try to treat everyone equally, and the wives can pretend to love each other but wait till the man of the family dies (polygamous men mostly die before their wives) and see the next world war as people quarrel over bequest and recognition. Polygamy started from the rebellious sons of Cain and has always been perpetuated by selfishness, lack of faith in God, or wrong conception of marriage. Polygamy was not God’s agenda for families and does not serve to uplift God’s ideal will for families.
Intermarriages between Believers and Unbelievers
When people marry, they cease to live and start afresh. Marriage changes world views, religious persuasion, and even lifestyle. People need to adjust and accommodate each other’s peculiarities. Any careless union between people who are diametrically opposed to each other, like believers and unbelievers, usually lead to a shipwreck of faith on both sides. The downward path is agreeable, and the feet naturally turn that way. If you read Genesis 6, you will realise that carelessness in marriage between sons of God and daughters of men is one of the chief corruptors of the antediluvian world and led to the outpouring of the wrath of God to the world in its infancy. Such families do not have direction and tend to create anarchy; everyone is doing what they like! A family must and should have direction, culture, and values. These values should also be part of the things that attract two people(a man and a woman) when they want to be a couple. If you don’t believe in God, find someone who shares the same faith and enjoy your scepticism. Otherwise, making a family, someone whose belief system is diametrically opposed to yours, is dangerous.
Departure From Heterosexual Union
This is the final pill in the dose to bring down families. The modern world is a victim of this. God’s thesis had a man and a woman. What about your thesis? Does it accommodate Adam & Kevin (Homosexuality) or Eve & Agnes (Lesbianism)? God wanted us to multiply and fill the earth. This is only possible between a man and a woman. As well, the emotional needs of a woman can only be fulfilled by a man, and vice versa. A man thrives when he feels needed, and a woman wants someone to provide the shoulder of comfort.
The world is agitating for gays to be considered normal and respected. While I accept that out of choice and mostly lost of underlying issues, some people have made that strange move, it is not within the ideals. No one should force people to respect someone just because they are gay, and violence towards anyone because of their choices is also unacceptable. Unfortunately, the members of the gay community make it appear like their invention is very special and should attract a standing ovation! Let me leave this talk here because I can see you boiling and wading off our topic.
It seems we only accept God’s direction in our farms. Why don’t we keep only cows and kill all the bulls? Why don’t we only keep ewes and kill all rams? Or as well keep all our cows in one field and all the bulls in a different acreage? What will be the result? If we had forty cows and forty bulls, we would have forty fattened bulls and cows, and after 20 years, cows will be extinct. We will just tell our children that once upon a time, there lived an animal called a cow…, and other stories.
While everyone has the freedom of choice, no one should feel free to teach anyone anything far from ideal. Departure from the heterosexual union is a method of bringing extinction to the human race and lots of dysfunctional families. If someone makes such a choice, they should not be permitted to adopt any child into such families, nor should they be permitted to have artificial insemination or those other science-supported methods. Let them give us the results of such a union in its real form. We want to see two old men with no children who are deeply in love. Let us see two old childless women with no other person in their homes, yet they should be happy as they cut the tree of a generation without necessarily dragging a little child who resulted from ecstacies of love between a man and a woman into such a project.
Have you imagined a Sabbathless world? How does it look? People work 24/7 all year through. Families meet in the evening and leave very early the following morning. Children grow up without ever interacting with their parents; I mean a sufficient parent-child moment. If this were to be imposed by any government after just a month, people would be on the streets rioting. God knew we needed the sabbath, so he granted a twenty-four-hour vacation every week.
How is it today? Most people don’t keep it. Some do two hours, then go on with their hustles, and it continues an ever-busy streak. Sabbath is a time for God and family and relaxation from the pressures of life. It refreshes us from the labours of the past six days. When God gave it, it was sunset of the sixth day to sunset of the Seventh-day, and He has never changed because he doesn’t make mistakes.
If your secular labours still creep into the sabbath, you are too strong! Hats off, sir/madam! But your family needs some time with you. And God, too, needs to spend some time with you. And you need time with yourself without worrying about job targets. I don’t know about you, but I think Sabbath is a gift. It is for my good.
Yet this gift has been attacked too. Constantine, in AD 321, endorsed the first day of the week and bequeathed it to the Roman Church, which has sown it broadcast to the world. It comes not with the Holiness it deserves, and it creates room for deviation from the scriptures, which only can give the direct unbiased will of God. We have a lot of distractions on the sabbath than on other days. People are worried about work, sports, and the world’s ephemerals and follies. Sabbath rest, if kept aright, can change the quality of life for the better. A Sabbathless world is a stressful and Godless world.
Worship and Giving
Whom do you worship? Does God desire our worship? Can whom and the way you worship affect your life? God desires to be worshipped and insists on those who worship him in truth and spirit. [John 4:23]. Many worshippers are preparing for disappointments because they do so in vain [Mathew 7:21-23].
To preserve human life, God was to be worshipped and remember, we cannot hoodwink God. He knows us very well. In Eden, true worship preserved the descendants of Adam through the lineage of Seth, yet rebellion and all the woes we can talk about resulted from the path followed by Cain and his rebellious seed. A living sacrifice without blemish prepares us for the service of God. True worship makes people grow, but false worship shrinks humanity. Se what the psalmist says:
Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”
But our God is in heaven;
e does whatever He pleases.
Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes they have, but they do not see;
They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.
[NKJV Psalm 115:2-8]
This statement, “Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them”, should be clear to someone. If you want to be like God, worship Him, and the same is for those who want to be like manmade idols and even the devil. By beholding, we became changed into the very nature.
As part of true worship, God established tithing and offering to help humanity remain conscious that God is the owner of everything. A life of benevolence and faithfulness in tithes and offerings also is an antidote to greed and selfishness that easily corrupts us.
How is your life? Does the threefold shield protect you, or could it be that you’ve pulled down these needful bulwarks? The world is fallen and lost iniquity, but God’s people can have it differently if they stick to the original manual. As you commemorate the birthday of the human family today—through creation and redemption—take stock of your life and see how you stand with these shields.