“At that time, Judah left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam named Hirab. There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man name Shua. He married her and lay with her; she became pregnant and gave birth to a on, who was named Er. She conceived again and gave birth to a son and named him Onan. She gave birth to still another son and name him Shelah. It was at Kezib that she gave birth to him. Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah’s firstborn was wicked in the lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death. Then Judah said to Onan, ‘Lie with your brother’ wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother.’ But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so he put him to death also.” (Genesis 38:1-10)
By Hebrew law, if a man died and left no children, his brother was required to marry the widow and father children who would bear the name of he deceased brother (Dt 25:5-6). Under the patriarchal family structure of that time, neither the widow nor the brother could refuse the demand of the head of the family to fulfill this obligation. So Onan took Tamar as a second wife and had intercourse with her but withdrew before ejaculation in order that she not become pregnant. He did not want to father a child that would not bear his own name. This disobedience resulted in his death. Unfortunately, the experience of Onan had been identified with masturbation. (Masturbation in the past was Onanism.) The punishment on him had been interpreted to show God’s displeasure with self-stimulation. This interpretation misrepresents the passage under consideration. The Bible does not speak specifically about the issue of masturbation in this passage or in any other. Attitudes toward masturbation must be informed by general principles of biblical teachings about sexuality rather than from the experience of Onan.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, worldwide we have a threat progressing at an alarming rate. It is sexual immorality with children, and is intentional by those who arrange these acts only by the adults. Give comfort to those young people who are being abused in the worst possible way and remove them from these circumstances. For those who participate or arrange these immoral acts, let them understand their depravity and let their acts come into the light and let them be punished for their ungodly acts. In addition, let them understand the innocence they have stolen from those children, that can never be replaced. Today we continue to pray troops serving in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that a peaceful solution might be found and let the fighting be silenced. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Character is what we stand for, reputation is what we fall for.”
“On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—-Mehuman, Bitha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carcas—-to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger. Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times and were closest to the king—-Carshen, Shethr, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memucan, the seven nobles of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom. ‘According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?’ he asked. ‘She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.’ Then Memucan replied in the presence of he king and the nobles, ‘Queen Vashti had done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For he queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come. This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord. ‘Therefore, if it please the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.’ The king an his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memucan proposed. He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom to each province in its own script to each people in its own language,, proclaiming in each people’s tongue that every man should be ruler over his own household.” (Esther 1:10-22)
The fear of women gaining an upper hand over men, if not forced into submission is clearly reflected in the text. It is apparent that the king was drunk and wanted to put Vashti on display when he sent servants to bring her into the banquet hall. Her refusal was not based upon stubbornness but upon propriety. She did not want to be a spectacle. The fact of her refusal, however, aroused the king’s anger and created tension for his advisers. Fearful that other wives would follow her example, they decreed that every man should be the ruler in his household. The text suggests two principles: 1) a wife is not wrong to refuse her husband’s will when it would make her do that which she believes is wring for herself, and 2) fear of women becoming dominant may lead men to take actions that re ill-advised and inappropriate to the circumstances involved.
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of he living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, an I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ ‘Therefore come out from hem and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, an I will receive you.’ ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’” (2nd Corinthians 6:14-18)
A Christian should marry a Christian. Since Christ through the Holy Spirit dwells within the believer, Christians are not to marry unbelievers and participate in their false worship. Marriage should strengthen Christian faith.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“His father had never interfered with him by asking, ‘Why do you behave as you do?’ He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.” (1st Kings 1:6)
Unwillingness to confront children when their actions are contrary to family expectations encourages them to continue those actions. David failed to exercise his parental responsibility in this case. The long rage result was revolt and ultimately, death for David’s son.
I cannot emphasize enough the need for parents to turn a blind eye to behavior that is destructive or at the very least disruptive for the family. These are warning signs and our children are not looking for a parent to be their friend, they need a parent to take their responsibilities seriously, and confront any behavior that is out of the ordinary or taking place on a regular basis. Tough love is just one name for a parent taking their responsibility seriously. It is a show of love and that you care for your child, not trying to be overly intrusive in their lives. The warning signs are there for a reason and must be dealt with.