In Genesis 1, the very first command that God gave to mankind was, “Be fruitful and multiply.” That command was reiterated several times in scripture and as far as I know it was never retracted. I find it interesting that much of humanity’s sins are directly related to thwarting that commandment. In the extra-biblical Book of Jasher, which is spoken of in our own scriptures, it explains much about God’s reasons for destroying the world with the flood.
For in those days the sons of men began to sin against God, and to break the commandments which God had given to Adam, to be fruitful and multiply in the earth. And some of the sons of men caused their wives to drink a draught that would make them unable to have children, in order that they might keep their figures, so they wouldn’t loose their beautiful appearance. And when the sons of men caused some of their wives to drink, Zillah drank with them. And the child-bearing women appeared repulsive in the sight of their husbands, (who were treated) as widows, while their husbands lived, and they only stayed with those who were unable to have children. Jasher 1:19-22.
This passage tells us of the very first form of birth control, which was a drink the males gave their women that made the women infertile, a direct disobedience to the command of God. We also see from this passage that the men would only stay with women who remained infertile, so they would stay thin and beautiful in their eyes. They saw women as only beautiful if they were thin, only considering a woman’s outward appearance. This sounds eerily like today with our emphasis on being thin and sexy in the media.
In a second passage it gives even more detail as to reasons God decided to cleanse the earth of its corruption. In this passage women were taken by force by whoever wanted them amongst the many other sins listed here. No wonder God chose to destroy the earth.
4:16-20. And all the sons of men departed from the ways of the Lord in those days as they
multiplied upon the face of the earth with sons and daughters, and they taught one another their evil practices and they continued sinning against the Lord. And every one made themselves a god, and they robbed and plundered their neighbors as well as their relatives, and they corrupted the earth, and the earth was filled with violence. And their judges and rulers went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order to make the Lord angry; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon earth, all men and all animals. And the Lord said, I will blot out man that I created from the face of the earth, yea from man to the birds of the air, together with cattle and beasts that are in the field for I repent that I made them. And everyone who walked in the ways of the Lord, died in those days, before the Lord brought the evil upon man which he had declared, for this was from the Lord, that they should not see the evil which the Lord spoke of concerning the sons of men.
God also destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for its sexual sins. Our own scriptures tell us of the blatant homosexual sin that corrupted its people, but the Book of Jasher goes into a bit more detail as to why those cities were destroyed.
And all the people of Sodom and Gomorrah went there four times in the year, with all their wives and children who belonged to them, and they celebrated there with tambourines and dancing. And in the time of celebration they would all get up and take their neighbor’s wives, and some, the virgin daughters of their neighbors, and they enjoyed them (sexually), and each man saw his wife and daughter in the hands of his neighbor and didn’t say a word. Jasher 17:13-14.
Not only was homosexuality a problem in Sodom and Gomorrah, but sexual promiscuity and fornication was also a problem. But as you can see, it was primarily a sin problem of the fathers and husbands who allowed the violations of their wives and young daughters. They encouraged the promiscuity of their wives and daughters, which in turn spread STDs which often makes women infertile as a result.
I find these sins as problematic today as it was back then. Men share their wives with other men, even pushing their wives to commit adultery. Childhood sexual abuse and rape is rampantly committed against young girls. And most men just stand by and let it happen, even if they don’t actually participate in these sins. With the addiction to pornography that many men have today, they think this is normal and don’t have a problem with it. But God certainly has a problem with it, and if it continues, God will send fire and brimstone down on those who do these things in the final judgment.
In today’s culture we have promiscuity, birth control, abortion, homosexuality, etc, which all contribute to the breakdown of the family. And these sins all directly affect our ability to, “Be fruitful and multiply.” These sins of selfishness are all in direct disobedience to God’s first commandment to humanity. I find it interesting that Jesus told us that the end times would be like the days of Noah. If God destroyed that generation for these kinds of sins, then we better be prepared to face an equally devastating judgment if we don’t repent of our sins!
Jasher Chapter 5:7 tells us that we can change the declared judgments, if we repent, but I fear it’s too late! Nevertheless, I repeat it here, “Speak and tell the sons of men, The Lord says, return from your evil ways and forsake your works, and the Lord will repent of the evil that was pronounced on you, so that it won’t happen.
I see people today living in huge houses with a bunch of empty bedrooms. It’s not that we can’t afford to have more children, we just choose to spend our money on big empty houses, nicer cars, and more stuff rather than children. And don’t tell me we couldn’t feed the world if we directed our produce to feeding people rather than making alcoholic beverages. As God’s word says, “The love of money is the root of all evil” and people make more money from the sale of alcohol than they would from the sale of foodstuffs.
From the beginning of mankind to today, we as a people have deliberately sought to disobey that very first commandment of God. All the sins of humanity have been directed toward thwarting God’s purpose to “fill the earth” with godly people. We have empty land over much of the earth that could be populated without destruction of that land. Obedience to God does not require destruction of the earth. It requires a careful stewardship of land and worldly resources, which have largely been used for selfish purposes. I live on less than an acre of land and have a garden, two peach trees, several apple trees, several blueberry bushes, two fig trees and a pecan tree. If every home would incorporate a kitchen garden and a few fruit trees, we could sustain ourselves and others and let these giant corporate farms feed the rest of the world.
God’s people have a responsibility to produce children of faith who will keep God’s command to “fill the earth.” And if a godly family finds they are infertile for unknown reasons or for an earlier sinful lifestyle, then they should adopt orphans to train up in God’s Word, rather than selfishly hoarding resources. So I admonish you all out there, “Go, be fruitful and multiply!” Mom of eight and grandmother of nine (so far!)
- Raising God’s Army: The Quiverfull movement’s militant, and increasingly mainstream, approach to childbearing. | Babble (babble.com)
- Judgment (searchingscriptures.wordpress.com)