There can be no barrenness in the Christian marriage.
Marriage is at the centre of the gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ is about a wife espoused to one husband, and about a husband who gave himself for his wife. Paul says: “I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him.” (2 Corinthians 11:2).
Therefore, the opening salvo of Jesus’ long retinue of miracles was fired first at a wedding in Cana of Galilee, where He turned water into wine.
Bride and groom
John the Baptist says: “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:29-30).
He who has the bride is the bridegroom, and the bridegroom is Christ. So, boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancés, fiancées, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, friends, and acquaintances must recognise their positions. We must not interfere in the relationship between the bride and the bridegroom.
The bride herself must know that the name of the bridegroom is Jealous. He will not tolerate the slightest hint of unfaithfulness. Jesus must increase and everybody else must decrease. We must recognise that the relationship that comes from heaven is above all earthly relationships.
Do not get married unless you are first married to Christ. Do not get married to anyone who is not married to Christ. Do not be in any relationship that does not have Christ at its centre.
Abigail and Nabal
Let me tell you the story of a lady called Abigail. Abigail was married to a devil called Nabal, who treated her very badly. She was in constant turmoil. She once contemplated suicide, but did not have the courage.
She even thought of murdering Nabal. On one occasion, she seriously considered poisoning his edikaikong soup. But she was afraid of spending the rest of her life in jail.
And then there was the nagging issue of divorce. She had nightmares about this. She was afraid that she would wake up one day and discover that she was divorced. Nabal made her understand that he could divorce her at any time for any cause. And then where would she be? Where would she go?
So, what happened? Thank God. Nabal died. What happened to him? He just fell and died.
Nabal foolishly picked a quarrel with David. You remember the David said to have killed Goliath? That is the worst person you can ever pick a quarrel with. He picked a quarrel with him and insulted him. David would not take this lying down. He decided to kill Nabal. He would have done so had his wife, Abigail, not intervened and pleaded with him.
She told David she knew that he would one day be the king of Israel. And that of his kingdom, there would be no end. She told him that her husband Nabal will surely come to no good. He is a scoundrel. His name means folly, and folly is with him.
But you, my Lord David, you fight the battles of the Lord. And evil is not found in you throughout your days. The Lord will certainly do all the good that He has promised concerning you and appoint you ruler over Israel. When He has done so, please remember me.
Later, Abigail told Nabal all that happened, and how near he came to death. She told him the person he had insulted was the David who is said to have killed Goliath. She also told him that David had come with his men to kill him and would have done so if she had not pleaded with him.
Suddenly, Nabal became very scared. He started coughing. He started choking. It was as if he could not breathe again. And then Abigail suddenly realised that he was having a heart attack.
Ten days later, he died. I suppose that is what they call an act of God.
House of David
It is important to learn from Abigail. Although she was married when she met David, she immediately started to behave like a single lady. She made sure David knew that she was married but single. I want you to observe certain things here.
This lady had no qualms about bad-mouthing her husband. Although she was not married to David, her intentions were clear. She was already calling him Lord, the same way Sarah addressed Abraham. You could tell immediately that she wished she could have been married to David instead of that good for nothing called Nabal.
But she knew that that would be adultery, and adultery was definitely against the law. So, you can imagine how glad she was when Nabal had a heart attack and died. She did not even attend his funeral. Once he died, David proposed to Abigail, and she accepted immediately.
The difference is clear. There is a big difference between being married to David and being married to Nabal. It is like chalk and cheese. There is no record of Abigail having any children with Nabal because that kind of marriage is characterised by barrenness. But there can be no barrenness in the Christian marriage.
Abigail had children for David. The bible gives an impressive list of women who were barren until they met the Lord. Consider the cases of Sarah the mother of Isaac, Hanna the mother of Samuel, Manoah’s wife the mother of Samson, and Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist.
It is the redeemed that is married into the House of David. In that marriage, we have peace like a river. We have joy unspeakable and full of glory. We have the patience of Job. We have the kindness of Jesus. We have in large measure goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
There is no sickness in our new family. There is no poverty in our new home. Our husband owns everything. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is always in power. His kingdom shall have no end.
When Abigail married Nabal, he gave her a list of things she had to do as his wife. But she could not meet the conditions. No matter how hard she tried she would always find that she forgot to do something, or forgot to say something, or did something in a way that was different from the exact way he wanted it done.
He wanted his rice cooked in a particular way. His meat had to be boiled in a particular way. His shirt must be ironed in one way, or you would not hear the last of it. If Abigail failed to meet even one of his many conditions, it was like she had failed to meet every condition.
But when she moved into the house of David, the difference was clear. She asked David for his list of dos and don’ts. He said he had none. I just love you, he said. There are no laws, no rules, no regulations, and no guidelines.
Just love. For love makes up for many of our faults. Love covers a multitude of sins.
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