Why did God approve of David, SOLOMON, and some of the other Kings in the Bible to have more than one wife? Why did GOD OVERLOOK THEIR sins?
From 2002- 2012 Michael Bloomberg (Mayor of New York) has attempted to ban the three “S’s” Salt, Soda’s and Smoking in the City of New York? Bloomberg attempts to use his Governmental power through Legislation to force or regulate the amount of Salt, Sugar, and Cigarette Smoke that New Yorker’s can ingest or inhale.
I believe the first man recorded in scripture that had more than one wife was Lamech. His wives were Adah and Zillah (Gen. 4:19). Jacob had the two wives: Leah and Rachel (Gen. 29:30). Esau had the three wives: Mahalath (Gen. 28:9), Basemath (Gen. 36:13), and Oholibamah (Gen. 36:14). King Saul had multiple wives (2 Sam. 12:7-8), and the two kings in question King David (2 Sam. 5:13) and King Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3). King David from my count had the eight (8) wives Michal, Bathsheba, Avital, Haggith, Maacah, Ahinoam, Abigail, and Eglah (2 Sam. 1 Chron.). King Solomon had 700 wives and 300, concubines. Was polygamy allowed by God?
Let’s be reminded that God allows us to see either sides or contrast of His people’s lives, the heroics and the failures. The life of Sampson as well as King Saul, David, and Solomon are perfect examples of a contrasted life. It seems to me that the Old Testament describes the problems that occur in marriages with multiple wives. God instructs us through His word on how to conduct ourselves in life and when we go against these teachings we should expect chastisement.
Unlike Michael Bloomberg, who may wish to force his law in New York City, God will not force His laws on us. God gives us an opportunity to choose what we will or will not do; the theological term for this is called “Free Will”. We read in Deuteronomy 30:19-20 that God has set before us life and death, blessings and curses and he asks us to “choose life” or face the consequences of our sin, which are curses or even death.
God gave instruction on how a king should conduct himself in Deuteronomy 17:17-20
“Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.18 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.
Because David or his son Solomon did not obey God’s law, they suffered loss, David’s life was all but glamorous, David’s daughter Tamar is raped by his son Amnon who is later killed by his ½ brother Absalom, Tamar’s Brother who later overthrows David’s throne and makes David flee into the wilderness, then Absalom is murdered by David’s general who in turn is killed by Solomon’s General. (2Samuel 13-15) And the kingdom that David built and Solomon expanded was ripped from Solomon’s son Rehoboam hands.
Paul’s word in Ephesians chapter 5 make it clear that marriage was intended as a picture of the relationship of Christ to His church, and a multiple wives certainly does not represent that view.
It is important to realize that even though polygamous relationships occurred in Old Testament times and it is recorded in the pages of the Bible, this does not mean that God approved of polygamy. Surely, God did not approve of the rape of Tamar by Amnon (2 Samuel 13). Yet, it is recorded in the Old Testament. It is important to remember that the Bible records many acts of both sin and righteousness. God also tells us how we should live our lives. As I Look back at David and Solomon’s life I would hardly think that God overlooked their sin but highlighted it so other may learn from their mistakes. And what if God did overlook or approve (read below)…
God is sovereign
Romans 9:19-21 ESV
You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
"Truth of the word".