We were doing devotion the other night and reading about Abraham. Our kids noticed right away that Abraham had more than one wife and they asked why? I didn’t have an answer for them. I also know that other OT figures (Solomon, David etc) had many wives and concubines. Why did God allow this? Why is polygamy present in the OT (even seems to have God’s blessing) but is called sin in the NT? Where does the “one flesh” that God joins together come into this? Your help would be greatly appreciated!
God allows all sorts of aberrations and abuses of His creation to go on. That doesn’t mean that because there is an abuse that it nullifies the fact that God designed a family to flow out of one man and one woman. Actually if you look closely, in the case of Abraham, while God permits Abraham to commit adultery with Haggar, this is hardly seen as a good thing, but rather the fruit of unbelief on Abraham and Sarah’s part. That God still keeps His promise and give Abraham a son through Sarah and then blesses that child is sheer grace and mercy. The same could be said with David, who, through his adulterous marriage to Maacah (who was also a pagan Geshurite), David fathers Absalom… this really turns out terribly; as does his adultery with Bathsheba. Also Solomon, through marrying many wives, especially foreign wives (who had other religions) ends up losing his faith. Polygamy in almost every case turns out poorly.

Matthew Lorfeld, Pastor
Messiah Lutheran Church
La Crescent, MN


God’s Grace for Sinners, In Spite of Sinner’s Sinfulness