"I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more" (2 Sam.12:8, NIV).
It is amazing the gems that are concealed in those scriptural passages - or parts of those scriptural passages - that we tend to ignore because they are overshadowed by others which are more important for our momentary purposes. Nathan's exposé of David's crime of adultery and murder carried with it not only an endorsement of David's polygamy - and therefore polygamy in general - but the astonishing revelation that every man has a capacity which Yahweh is willing to meet.
We learn in the eighth verse of the twelfth chapter of the second Book of Samuel that Yahweh gave David three things:
He was given the House of Saul as well as his wives as a stewardship based on the principles contained in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14ff). He was given the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah because he was capable of being a good and righteous ruler over them. The 12-tribed nation, his then current wives and children, and all the responsibilities that he had, were given by Yahweh to this son of Jesse because he was the man for the job. And he was given Saul's wives because he was again mature, wise and loving enough to be able to nurchure, love and take care of them.
- (1) The House (the lands and possessions) of unrighteous King Saul;
- (2) the wives of unrighteous King Saul, and
- (3) the Houses of Judah and Israel.
When it comes to wives, Yahweh gives to each man what he is capable of taking care of with the understanding, as the Parable of the Talents teaches us, that we are not only capable but actually have an obligation to multiply the capacity given to us. And if the Parable of the Talents is anything to go by, we are more than able to double what we were born with.
This is true even when we take wrong turnings and make a mess of things, so long as we repent and genuinely reform. We discover that Yahweh has the heart-desire to cause all of us to multipy and be prosperous in the righteous things we do. Thus He says:
"I am concerned for you and will look on you with favour; you will be ploughed and sown, and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt" (Ezekiel 36:9-10, NIV).
He ploughs over the messes we have made in our lives and allows us to start again, multiplying not only the numbers of His people but also the righteousness and talents of each individual centred in Him. Yahweh is always wanting to give us more but He only gives us that which is good for us. If He is withholding more wives or sister-wives from you at a particular time, then there is a reason. I believe, as I have intimated many times in my writings, that He actually wants everyone to be polygamous but denies this lifestyle to the majority because they are quite simply incapable of it because they are unwilling to live by its rules. And so when I come across couples hovering around polygamy chat rooms, bulletin boards and mailing lists year after year trying to find more wives or sister-wives and not succeeding, I must come to the inevitable conclusion: either the time is not right, or they are not right - and whatever the reason, they aren't listening to the Ruach (Spirit). (We shall ignore the anti-polygamist's explanation that polygamy isn't right!) And if this is (almost certainly) the case, then the people in question must initiate some serious spiritual reformation in their lives.
If Yahweh isn't increasing your household as you would like then the very real need to examine your faithfulness to His commandments needs to soberly considered. For as you I know I do not believe Yahweh is interested in bringing polygamy to the existing churches (assemblies) but in restoring His Remnant end-time nation of Messianic Israel consisting of His faithful remnant. Those whom He is calling to polygamy are the elect predestined (foreordained) to salvation in the last days, in other words, those willing to be faithful in all things and not just those expressing an interest in one facet of the Gospel. True, people will enter polygamy who were not called to, but time will reveal that - and sooner rather than later.
"I would have given you even more [wives]", said Yahweh through the prophet Nathan to David. Under what circumstances would He have done this? "If all this had been too little" - in other words, if Yahweh hadn't given David enough wives to enable him to realise his full created potential...but on the condition of sacricial service. For Yah'shua (Jesus) said:
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38, NIV).
A wife is a godly investment, meaning that Yahweh is investing that woman in the husband who is a kind of 'spiritual man'. Just as assets come to maturity, and just as banks are supposed to increase the value of the money invested in it thereby giving interest to the customers, so women placed in the care of a patriarch are supposed to increase in spiritual value as the husband spiritually nurtures them, sacrificially giving of his love and wisdom to them. The same principle applies to the Pastor in a local assembly or congregation - he hasn't been given this position for himself (to glory in rank) but because he has been entrusted with a flock to bring them to spiritual maturity in Christ. But even the Pastor must be careful - he mustn't try to manage a 'super-congregation' - he must not multiply members to himself just as kings are not supposed to multiply wives for the simple reason that neither pastor nor king is a superhuman. It is for this reason that in our Order we limit the size of congregations to 144 souls and split congregations even further into house fellowships. And that is why we also have a limit in size of polygamous families in our Order, not permitting Deacons more than four wives, Elders no more than seven, and Patriatrchs/Apostles no more than twelve, though this is not an absolutely fixed number but more of a guideline based on the spiritual capacity of those holding such offices. We are accutely conscious of the need to be watchful, ensuring that we do not muliply wives to excess.
So it is the will of Yahweh to give you more only when you are able to receive more. It may well be, because of rebellion or resistance to divinely ordained change in your life, that He withholds until you obey. Or there may be other reasons. We must never look upon polygamy as a kind of 'worthiness game' where those with the most wives must of necessity be the most worthy. Solomon with his thousand wives and concubines, many of whom were leading him into apostacy, was most certainly not worthy once his heart had been turned away from the divine ordinances. Just as in the Body generally, so in the polygamy fraternity wheat will grow alongside the tares. As ever, we must not judge according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment (John 7:24).
People and circumstances are not always what they appear to be and so the wise must be circumspect in their judging. We must all take responsibility for our actions whether in increasing our household or in our conduct generally. Yahweh wishes to bless you abundantly but only when you are responsible enough to receive His gifts to you ... unless He wishes to make you an object lesson of what he doesn't want His people to do. May yours not be that fate.