"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
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
"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
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."