Tuesday, July 11, 2006

No Wonder the Kings were so Lousy.

I have always wondered why great men like Solomon could have such lousy children. It is fairly common in the books of 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles to read of a great King after God's own heart, only to have a son that is a worthless reprobate. This always bugged me, and it especially bugs me now that I have an heir to my empire. (Two baseball hats and a car payment is about all I'll be able to leave him at this point, but still, I've worked for years to earn the right to that kind of debt.)

Today, as I was reading through 2 Chronicles, I think I stumbled upon the answer to this puzzle, at least in part. In fact, I can't believe I didn't think of it before, and I am certain that others have pointed out this glaringly obvious thing, but I missed it. This was the verse that struck me, and it wasn't even talking about a very good King. Here's the verse:

Abijah grew mighty, married fourteen wives, and begot twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. (2 Chronicles 13:21)

I was stunned. I've probably read through 2 Chronicles a half dozen times, and I've known since my youth that Solomon had hundreds of wives and concubines, but today I was floored. It wasn't the fourteen wives that stunned me today; it was the 38 children.

The reason this stunned me is because I spent the better part of the morning chasing my only son around the house with a wooden spoon to whack his derriere with. He told me no; he ran from me; he hid from me; he touched every forbidden object in the house, and what he touched, he tried to eat. He threw himself into a fit because I wouldn't let him drink Windex. His mom, my wife, was ready to give him to the garbage man. And I've got one son. One. And I can't get him to do a single thing without brute force.

Now, multiply this scenario times fourteen wives and twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. I'll do the math for you 22 sons + 16 daughters = a dad who will never come home. Ever. I guarantee you that this man abdicated the responsibility for his own kids to somebody else. You cannot run a country, fight Philistines, keep fourteen women happy, and raise 38 godly children. Sorry, not possible. I have one son, one wife, and a small church and I still feel guilty that someone else taught my son that frog's say "Ribbit."

So, that's my amazing pastoral insight for today. Having only one wife is good for a multitude of reasons. One is that at some point, say at around 12, your one wife will kill you, probably, if you go for one more. Even if you do have 38 with one women, you've still cut out 13 wives from the equation, and that means more time and less women to escape to when you're being a lousy father to her 3 kids. Now, I completely understand why it was a miracle if a King's son didn't turn out to be a reprobate.

Coincidently, this also explains why castles were so big, and why they had all those secret passages. It wasn't to escape from enemies; it was to flee wives and children.


Jim said...

ha ha, that was too funny. Your have some serious discernment. :)

pilgrim said...

Humour and truth are a potent combination.

I agree with the point--they may have been able to focus on their heir--but God also had a knack for changing that around on them.

Still I know large families where all the kids get attention and training, etc.
I don't know how they do it--but they do.

Still none are clsoe to Abijah's family.

Ann said...

I stumbled on your blog. Love your post! It's true Dave and Solomon were pretty absent dads, not to mention Eli.

Even So... said...

Yeah, bur while Eli got "tagged" for his son's sins, we often forget that Samuel had bad kids too (1 Samuel 8:3).