Biblical Perspectives Magazine, Volume 25, Number 17 April 23 to April 29, 2023

Beacons of the Bible

Ungodly Alliance

By Henry Law


"The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose." Genesis 6:2

The Bible is God's Book, therefore it is all divine. Each page gives proof. No human thought could originate such truths. No human mind could so unfold them. Infinite breadths and lengths--eternal depths and heights, are marvelously wrapped up in a few brief words. Enlightened readers see the sure conclusion--this author is more than man.

Take an early illustration. "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15.

This sentence--the Gospel of the old world--is brevity comprising boundlessness. It is a narrow field without horizon. Analyze the contents. Two antagonistic powers march forth. Two rival empires are portrayed. All earth's sons, who have been, are, and shall be, appear under opposing banners. Their enmity is ceaseless. One is bruised. The other wins eternal triumphs. Thus one little map unfolds the total history of Christ and His blessed subjects--of the devil and his cursed slaves. No mortal pen wrote this.

Doubtless the transcendent object of the verse is the God-man Jesus. The prominent spectacle is His deep humiliation--His painful sufferings--His noble achievements--His final trampling on all the powers of darkness. Christ, as the woman's bruised and conquering seed, largely fills the forefront. But as Christ personal is here--so, also, is Christ mystical. As the term, "your seed," addressed to the old serpent, embraces the whole race of the ungodly--so the term, "her seed," speaking of the woman, is Christ, and all contained in Him--Christ, and all the family of faith. "He is head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all." Eph. 1:22, 23. The head is lifeless without its members. Christ is no Christ without His people.

Thus this wondrous verse draws a broad line. On the one side, "your seed" appears--on the other, "her seed." No neutral standing is left. Each mother's son is Christ's or Satan's.

This momentous truth pervades the Word. Advance at once to Gospel times. Hear Jesus. "The field is the world--the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one." Matt. 13:38. This word is emptiness, except, some have the royalty of Heavenly parentage, while others belong to the apostate spirit's house. John echoes the note. "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil." 1 John 3:10. The conclusion cannot be eluded--earth is the home of two discordant families.

Sometimes the separate portraits are separately exhibited. The dark compartment is not cloaked. "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do." John 8:44. They were a reprobate race--and their lives proved their origin. Again, "You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?" Matt. 23:33. Here, again, is a vile progeny, and their final home.

The bright contrast also gloriously shines. God is the Father of a kingly race. "Fear not, little flock; for it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32. Jesus is the Father of an ever-living family. His name is "Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father." Isa. 9:6. The Spirit is the Father of a spiritual creation. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." John 3:6.

Thus Scripture marks out, two widely severed realms. It shows a great gulf fixed, and kingdoms on each side.

Vivid facts endorse these statements. Behold man's first-born. Let Cain and Abel be examined. Naturally they spring from the same stock. In form and lineament they correspond. Their outward frames and mental powers import one origin. They have like features. They tread the same earth. They breathe the same air. They have like cravings and desires. They are supported by the same food. They sleep the same sleep. They converse in the same language. Great is their outward sameness.

But greater far is their internal difference. In spirit they are as estranged as pole from pole. Cain "was of that wicked one." 1 John 3:12. To Abel the sweet testimony is accorded, "By faith he obtained witness that he was righteous." Heb. 11:4. All who have faith belong to heaven's family. "You are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Gal. 3:26. Therefore righteous Abel was a son of God.

One received Christ as King--for this is faith's constant act. The other toiled in Satan's prison-house--as all do, who are strangers to this grace. One was light--the other was sightless in a dark world. One was Zion's citizen--the other groveled a worldling among worldlings. One journeyed in the narrow way of life--the other went downwards in destruction's broad road.

This is the truth interwoven in the text before us. "The sons of God saw the daughters of men." Diverse families are here. Some were born again--and thus a new creation made them "sons of God." Others experienced no vital change. They remained corrupt offspring, of corrupt parents--conceived in sin--shaped in iniquity--unclean, because the stream of an unclean fount--dead, because hanging on a withered branch--children of wrath, because their heirdom was the curse.

Such is the mighty difference. What is the power which effects it? It must be external. For all men are equally dead-born. And death can never generate life. The strengthless have no strength. The motionless cannot move. The speechless cannot cry. The skeleton cannot rise. The dry leaf cannot bloom. Ashes cannot brighten into flame. The power, then, is not inborn.

Omnipotence from above achieves the change. The holy Spirit, descending on the wings of love, and moving in the almightiness of His strength, implants new being in the heirs of life. Others, unchanged by heavenly grace, cumber the earth, as moving sepulchers holding dead souls.

Here reason proudly asks--"What is the cause of such distinction? where is the just principle?" Faith with all reverence replies--"The cause is wise, for it is God's wisdom--it is good, for it is God's will--it is righteous, for it is God's resolve--it is holy, for it is God's decree.

"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Genesis 18:25. There is no stern severity--no arbitrary caprice--no sport of chance. "He works all things after the counsel of His own will." Eph. 1:11. True, faith reads not yet the records of the courts above--but it confidingly reposes on the word--"What I do, you know not now, but you shall know hereafter." John 13:7.

As the tabernacle rose after a pattern marked out in the Mount--so the antitypical Church rises according to an eternal model. Wisdom and love lay the first stone--wisdom and power frame the materials--wisdom and mercy fit each to its place--wisdom and truth bring forth the topstone--wisdom and grace receive the total glory. "Oh! the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!" Rom. 11:33.

The glorious reign of truth will soon break forth. Then the chosen family shall put off disguising flesh, and rightly put on robes of light, and show their crowns of gold. Now they are intermingled with the crowds of earth. They move as others up and down the world. In this field the wheat and the tares grow side by side. In this wilderness the rare flowers are beset with weeds. In these waters, good and bad fishes promiscuously swim. In these pastures, the sheep and goats crop the same herbs. In this great house vessels of gold and wood, of silver and earth, have the like shape. At this banquet guests robed and unrobed sit down. At this mill two grind together, the one to be taken, the other to be left.

Thus in time-state the heirs of mercy and of wrath are intermixed. The flesh is their common tabernacle. An atmosphere of contagion envelops both. The spiritual seed must traverse the slippery ground of earth. The tempter marks them well--and hates them most--and never ceases to assail. Traitors, also, in the heart, are active to betray. They are not, as to spirit, of the world. But, as to flesh, they are still in the world. Outward allurements woo them to forbidden paths. The old nature--still alive--looks too complacently on congenial evil. Old passions, pent up, beat rebelliously on the holy barriers. Thus countless are the occasions of transgression. Multitudinous are the pitfalls in the way.

The history of the old world brings these perils into open light. But it especially shows one sunken rock, the scene of many wrecks. It raises a Beacon on one tremendous precipice. It warns, that MARRIAGE, designed for pure delights, is often perverted to a deathful snare. The record thus speaks. "The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose." Such was the ancient mischief. Alas! it has survived the flood. Those waters drowned not the fire of such lust. They quenched not the evil embers of the heart. Proneness to ungodly alliance still exists. Here still a fruitful spring of misery is found.

What inlet induces this temptation? The word replies--the eye. "The sons of God SAW that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose." Just so Eve saw the many beauties of the baneful fruit. The fascination enters through the door of sight. The lovely features, the attractive look, the charm of countenance, the grace of symmetry, the beauteous frame decked in the elegance of attire, gradually fix the gaze. This gaze is danger. For the fleshy element ever has leaks--imperiling the bark. It opens many crevices to godless thoughts. It is not yet in heaven. It is not yet angelic. It has not yet escaped the tempter's territory. Child of man, beware. Make a covenant with your eyes.

If the spark of desire once kindles, Satan is quick to fan it into flame. Conscience, at first uneasy, is soon quieted by subtle opiates. Hindering mountains will soon sink down. A path will open to facilitate advance. At each interview objections will seem less, and at last almost nothing.

There may be moments of reflection, when the spiritual obstacles may intrude. It then may be felt, that the attracted hearts meet not in Christ--that the needles point not to the same Polar Star.

But then hope whispers, that wedded union may soon lead to union in the Lord. The child of God will fondly trust, My tender teaching, unreserved counsels, strict example, holy walk, and fervent prayer, will soon issue in my partner's thorough change. Soon the one Savior will be our common trust and joy.

Here is ungodly compromise. No hope of possibly resulting good can justify ungodly means. This principle is rotten to the core. It has been the sluice-gate of a flood of crime, and girdled earth with zones of misery. Actions from such motive are manifest transgression and most fearful risk. SELF is gratified under pretense of winning souls. Presumption madly presumes, and arrogates the property of God. Can man convert? No! He alone who said, "Let there be light, and there was light," can give the light of Christ. To marry, hopeful of conferring grace, is to plunge into wild billows, dreaming that some life-boat may venturously rescue--or some plank may providentially afford escape.

Sometimes hearts are led on by misinterpretations of God's providence. The opportunities of communion--the combination of facilities--the disappearance of all hindrance--the mutual wish, are fondly received as tokens of divine approval. The thought is cherished, 'Surely this union must be of heaven, or the path would not thus open.' Blinded passion finds a providence in Satan's traps. No outward barrier appears--and their the sloping descent seems smoothed by a heavenly hand. Other beguilements soon spread their lures. Checking conscience speaks no more. Then alliance joins the godly and the godless. The gracious and the graceless pass under an unequal yoke.

Alas! what fearful folly--no, what undoubted sin! How visionary the hope of any sunbeam from such a cloud! What incongruity! How can two walk together, whose motives, principles, desires, objects, aims, pursuits are separate, as pole from pole? One seeks God, as the chief good. The other follows this world as the guide. One brings each matter to a throne of grace. The other only cares to know the policy of man. One glories in the cross. The other counts it as a weak dream. One prizes the blood, as all salvation. The other scorns it, as enthusiastic folly. One grieves, that earth, with its vast multitudes, is waging war against its rightful King--and longs to send the saving truth on eagle's wings abroad. To the other, Christ's glory is an empty sound--a thought without reality--a shadow without form. To find amusement in the vanities of time--to sip admiration from the cup of flattery--to flutter with the giddy moths around the blaze of merriment, is the whole life. It would be easy, but more sad, to trace these paths of separation. Suffice to say, while grace is grace, it must tend heavenward--while the heart is graceless, it must shun God. Thus the sons of God and children of men essentially diverge.

What then are the baneful fruits? Can there be harmony with no connecting cord? Can there be happiness with such dislikes? Can there be peace without agreement? "What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?" 2 Cor. 6:14. The house is divided. The family is at variance. The graceless may not gain. The gracious surely loses. For the spirit must be depressed. Zeal must be disheartened. Activities must be impeded. And mourning must sadly sit, where joy and gladness should sing cheerfully.

Ungodly alliance in the old world thus stands as a warning Beacon. Let the regenerate mark, and be wise. If they take partners from the charnel-house of Satan's empire, they gain no blessing, but a curse--no happiness, but woe--no solace, but discomfort--no help, but hindrance--no delight, but grief--no credit, but a shame. Woe waits on unions, which are not the fruit of earnest prayer--contracted for God's glory--cemented in His love--and wholly "in the Lord."

But marriage is a typical rite. It has a mystic meaning. It points to heavenly union. It shows the soul's alliance to the Lord. It brings Jesus before us in all His faithful love. He is the Bridegroom of the Church. The Church is His affianced bride. In such espousal, all is right. Error here can find no place. Misery hence cannot arise. Disappointment cannot ensue. The bonds and fruit are altogether holy. The communion is one stream of sanctified delight.

Reader! has your soul formed this glorious contract? Are you cemented into Christ? Is your heart wholly given to Him? Is it one with Him in devoted love? Do His vows bind you? Is your life the happy service of a faithful spouse?

If hitherto you have lingered afar off, let this hour witness your glad espousals! Hesitate no more. Draw near. He never turns in coldness from the coming soul. Only behold Him, and your love must kindle. Mark well His beauty. Compared to Him, the sun is dark--the heavens are a cheerless blank--and nature's loveliest garb but as vile sackcloth. To see Him is to love. Behold His grace--His tenderness--His noble efforts to secure His bride. He leaves His heavens. He condescends to lowliest state. He spares not His very life. He sheds His blood to cleanse her. He hangs on the accursed tree to ransom her. He undergoes her every penalty. He bears her legal curse. He pays her every debt. He expiates her every sin. He endows her with all He is--with all He has. His righteousness is her robe. His heavens are her home. His throne is her seat. His glory is her portion. His eternity is her everlasting day. In this union there is no varying fickleness--no cooling affections--no partings. "I change not, therefore you are not consumed." Mal. 3:6 "I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you." Jer. 31:3. "I will never leave you nor forsake you." No treachery in her provokes divorce. He loved her in her filth and misery. He loves through all her faithlessness. He will love her through eternity's eternal course.

Reader! beware of Ungodly Alliance. But seek above all things this glorious espousal. Rest not, until you can truly say, "I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine."

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