Broken Marriage and War Between the Nations

John C. Rankin (May 24, 2006)

It is a simple observation to say that sex outside of marriage is the root of the greatest social evils, and most particularly, “the chosen absence of the biological father.” This is because the exclusive intimacy of marriage is broken, and trust is replaced by distrust — which metastasizes throughout any culture that allows it. Let’s look briefly at highlights of the historical sequence:

  • Adam and Eve were given to each other for a lifetime of mutual fidelity in marriage.
  • In Cain’s lineage, Lamech broke that covenantal understanding of marriage, married two women and bragged to them how he has killed a man for wounding him, a young man for injuring him.
  • By Abraham’s day, ca. 2000-1800 B.C., the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah were famous for their sexual perversions and violence, and thus Yahweh judged them.
  • Abraham and Sarah were waiting for a promised son in their old age, a son chosen by God through whom to bring the Messiah.
  • Sarah sinned as she lost patience with the promise, and suggested that Abraham take her Egyptian maidservant, Hagar, and sleep with her as his concubine, so that Sarah would then forcibly adopt the child as her own. Thus, we have the first case of surrogate motherhood in recorded history, and Abraham was complicitous in this sin.
  • Hagar, realizing how she was being used, and not even being allowed to raise her son (Ishmael), even as with other concubines in pagan culture, despised Sarah.
  • Sarah despised Hagar in return, rejected Ishmael, and a war between the two women began.
  • Abraham, having broken the marriage covenant by sleeping with another woman, could not be a real father to Ishmael despite his deep love for the boy — reaping the war between the two women which he helped set in motion. Thus Ishmael grew up as a de facto fatherless boy, and became “a wild donkey of a man” with “his hand against everyone,” living “in hostility toward all his brothers.” Abraham had a chosen yet unchosen absence from Ishmael’s life.
  • When the promised son (Isaac) came to Abraham and Sarah, the war continued to the next generation as Ishmael despised Isaac, the first of his many half-brothers.
  • The Bible records this war over the following centuries; from the slave-trading Midianites (descendants of Ishmael) selling Joseph (descendant of Isaac) into slavery in Egypt; the Midianite war against the Jews (children of Isaac’s son Jacob [later renamed Israel]) beginning when they were being rescued from slavery through Moses 400 years later; to the war today between the Arabs (descendants of Ishmael) and the Jews in the Middle East.
  • The Arab peoples are descendants of Ishmael, and tracing back to Muhammad’s public life starting ca. 610 A.D., a hostility toward the Jews has grown to the epic proportions we see today in the Middle East. Distrust is so rampant, rooted in Hagar’s bitterness toward Sarah, and Ishmael’s hatred of Isaac.
  • Islam is rooted in the shame of Ishmael suffering through no fault of his own. Jews and Christians know the guilt of sinful actions that are their fault. Shame is healed with honor that comes from knowing guilt and forgiveness of sins found in Jesus the Messiah.
  • September 11, 2001 is part of the war that started between Hagar and Sarah due to the broken covenant of marriage.
  • The chosen absence of the biological father is at the root of sexual promiscuity, abortion, homosexuality and the cycle of poverty.
  • Armageddon, the final battle of the Bible, is thus directly traceable to the brokenness of Abraham and Sarah’s marriage.