Lessons from Old
In his will, German poet
Heinrich Heine offered his estate to the man who married his widow. The
reason, he said, was that this way he'd be sure that there would be at
least one person who mourned his death.
Of all the devastating effects of sin, one of
the worst has to be what it has done to marriage. From what we can
gather from Scripture (and the wonderful insights from the Spirit of
Prophecy), marriage was meant to be one of the most uplifting and
edifying aspects of human existence. It was designed to reveal our
humanity in ways that nothing else could. As if God, after the earth
came forth from His creative word, hadn't already done enough for the
race. In His love for us He gave us more, perhaps what was to be even
the best blessing of all—marriage.
Of course, from the first bite of the forbidden
fruit, things went from bad to worse. In the Bible account, right after
the first couple sinned, the first thing we see is how sin immediately
impacted their relationship. "And the eyes of them both were opened,
and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together,
and made themselves aprons" (Gen.
3:7). Nothing between men and women, husbands and
wives, has been the same ever since.
What should have been a source of joy, freedom,
and fulfillment has become, too often, a source of misery, oppression,
and despair. Not always (indeed, in many cases marriages are wonderful
expressions of spiritual and physical unity that helps complete a human
being), but still far too often.
This quarter we're going to look at married
couples in the Old Testament, not so much as a study on the principles
of marriage but rather to use married couples (though in many cases the
marriages were composed of more than "couples") as a starting point to
learn various lessons—about faith, works, obedience, hope, trust, love,
and a host of other aspects of what it means to be a follower of the
Lord in a fallen world.
It makes good sense to use marriage as a
starting point, simply because marriage is so fundamental to human
existence. This relationship forms the foundation of the family, and
it's out of the family that (for the most part) we propagate ourselves.
Also, considering how often marriage is used in the Bible as a symbol
for various spiritual truths, it seems to be a good starting point.
Of course, not everyone is married; many of the
great Bible characters—Daniel, John the Baptist, and even Jesus—weren't
(maybe we ought to do a quarter on the singles in the Bible!).
Nevertheless, the principles we can learn from studying these marriages
often can be applied to various aspects of our lives, whether married
Thus, for the next few months as we explore the
relationships of various couples—Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Ruth
and Boaz, even Ahab and Jezebel, and more—we'll seek to mine from the
Word of God practical truths that we can apply to our daily
relationships with one another and with the Lord, who says to His
people: "For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry
thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God
rejoice over thee" (Isa.
Our two authors this quarter have been happily
married for many years. Gordon Christo is director of collegiate
education of the Southern Asia Division; his wife, Rosenita, works in
the division office. They have two grown children.
School Study Helps
Jerry Giardina of
Pecos, Texas, assisted by his wife, Cheryl, prepares a series of helps
to accompany the Sabbath School lesson. He includes all related
scripture and most EGW quotations. Jerry has chosen the "New King James
Version" of the scriptures this quarter. It is used with permission.
The study helps are provided in three wordprocessing versions
RTF for our
MAC friends (this is now a zip file); and HTML
Last updated on June 10,
Office: 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904.
Gordon Christo, Ph.D.
and Rosenita Christo, M.A.
Clifford R. Goldstein
Soraya Homayouni Parish
Lea Alexander Greve
Larie S. Gray
Pacific Press Coordinator
Paul A. Hey
Art and Design
© 2007 by the Office of the Adult Bible Study Guide, General Conference
of Seventh-day Adventist. All Rights Reserved.
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