Was it worth it for Reuben? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Jacob is about to die and has called in his sons to bless them all. We’re only going to focus on one son and that’s Reuben. Reuben was the firstborn and one would think that he would then be in the place of honor. Generally, he would, but this time, he isn’t. It’s not because Jacob has a revelation that God specifically told him to choose another. Only one reason is given.
He defiled his father’s bed.
Remember back when Reuben slept with Jacob’s concubine? Jacob didn’t do anything then, but he had heard about it. Now is the time. Jacob should be giving Reuben a great blessing and telling him what a success he will be and how he will lead his family.
Reuben has no one to blame but himself.
We live in an odd culture. In our culture, sex is treated like it’s everything. The goal of every romance? Sex. The only purpose of dating and marriage? Sex. We see it on advertising everywhere. What used to be done behind closed doors in movies is now done in the open.
At the same time, out society likes to treat sex in a way like it’s no big deal. Everyone does it. Want to have sex outside of marriage? No biggie. Marriage isn’t that important after all. Want to just live together? Go ahead. Who needs to make a promise.
Yet there is still this problem that we see that so many people when they find out the person they say they love is having sex or interested sexually in someone else and pursuing it, they think there is a betrayal going on. It stings them. We know that there is something different about this activity from all other activities.
It’s weird that the Christian community is said to be prudes in this area, and I won’t deny that many are, but in reality, we are the ones who have the highest view of sexuality. We put it in a marriage covenant because a marriage covenant is the place of a promise. You have promised total loyalty and exclusivity to someone and you are to be with them for life. (We will look at divorce more and more as we go on.)
It’s not because sex is dirty, though that impression has been given before. It’s because it’s something sacred and the more valuable something is, the more you protect it and keep it safe. The sexual revolution really hasn’t done us any favors. We now live in a culture with rampant STDs and broken families.
I sometimes surprise people by saying our culture doesn’t think a lot about sex. It’s entirely true. They do it, dream about it, talk about it, fantasize about it, etc. There’s very little real thinking about it.
Christians should know better. This is nothing to treat casually. This is God’s gift to us and if we misuse it, we will suffer the consequences. Reuben suffered some. We can do the same if we mess up.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)