God’s commandments in His Holy Word are not given for His own personal gratification, but for the benefit of the doer. Inherent within each commandment is a blessing or a curse: a blessing if you obey and a curse if you don’t. All of God’s statutes, judgments, and commandments are perfect wisdom. Rejecting them yields the evil fruits of simply doing it wrong. Whether it’s His commandments against alcoholic beverages, adultery, rape, murder, or homosexuality, His positions are perfectly framed in order that the obedient may have life and have it more abundantly. Jesus said in Mark 2:27:
And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
God’s commandments are made for our benefit and our creator knows exactly what we need.
The following e-mail came from J. B.:
Explain to me how God would say that incest is a crime, yet when the "Great Flood" happened, the only men on the boat were Noah and his family? In order to repopulate the earth, Noah and his family would have to perform this act which you state to be so wrong. Stop contradicting yourself.
J. B. is referring to the feature "Incest" on this website. As you would expect, it deals with the commandments in the scriptures addressing inter-family sexual relationships. The issue of incest is much more pervasive than most suspect. Research indicates that 16% of American women alone have been sexually abused by a relative before they reach the age of 18. Four and a half percent of women have been sexually abused by their own fathers. The fruit of this disobedience is devastating. The number of incestuous encounters grows dramatically when you add young boys and incestuous acts between adults. God’s commandments against these acts are very clear, and the devastating results from disobeying God’s Word in this matter are equally clear. For more information on this subject, click on to "Incest." J. B. accused us of contradiction in regard to the matter of incest (Actually, he made the accusation against the Word of God which we quoted.). We have received numerous e-mail messages raising the same type of question. These questions usually begin with Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve who married his sister. We address this subject on our site, but it’s obvious that the challengers have lacked the patience to search it out.
Understanding how incest causes mayhem in society, and thus the Creator’s commandment against it, is central to this discussion. The following excerpt is from the GodSaidManSaid feature article, "Incest:"
One of the primary problems of marrying close family members is the increased likelihood of inheriting what are known as lethal recessive genes. The following excerpt is from an August 2003 article by Richard Conniff in Discover magazine:
The great hazard on inbreeding is that it can result in the unmasking of deleterious recessives, to use the clinical language of geneticists. Each of us carries an unknown number of genes—an individual typically has between five and seven—capable of killing our children or grandchildren. These so-called lethal recessives are associated with diseases like cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell anemia.
Most lethal genes never get expressed unless we inherit the recessive form of the gene from both our mother and father. But when both parents come from the same gene pool, their children are more likely to inherit two recessives.
Again, the feature article points out that if the original parents handed down a healthy genome, such as the perfect combination of Adam and Eve, their descendants could intermarry for generations safely. [End of quotes]
Dr. Henry Morris and Dr. Martin Clark weigh in on the subject of incest in their book, The Bible Has The Answer:
Now, at least one son and one daughter of Adam and Eve had to marry each other in the first generation after the beginning in order for the race to get started at all. There is no other possibility if all men are descended from Adam and Eve as the Bible teaches.
In later generations, brother-sister marriages would come to be recognized as genetically dangerous and would be prohibited as "incest." Not only the Bible but also most other legal codes refuse to sanction marriages of close relatives. The scientific reason for this restriction is that children of such marriages are more likely to be deformed or sickly or moronic than those of other marriages. The genetic basis for this probability is that inherited mutant genes, producing such unwholesome characteristics, are more likely to find expression in the children if they are carried by both parents.
However, there were no mutant genes in the genetic systems of Adam and Eve, as these had come directly from the creative hand of God Himself. Thus no genetic harm could have resulted had Cain or some other son of Adam married his sister. In fact, it would undoubtedly have taken many generations before enough genetic mutations (which are random, and therefore harmful, changes in the highly ordered structure of the germ cell, brought about by penetration of the cell by shortwave-length radiation or some other destructive agent) could have accumulated in the human race to make such marriages of close relatives genetically harmful.
The Bible is thus always consistent, not only with its own statements, but also with all known facts of science. [End of quote]
God’s directives and commandments regarding man changed enormously as a result of the fall of Eve and Adam. As the law of sin and death entered, Adam and Eve became mortal. Adam lost his job and he and his wife were booted out of paradise. The world’s residents who were once 100% vegetarian, in many cases became meat-eaters, leaving a bloody trail of "kill or be killed.” Romans 8:22:
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
The situation of Cain marrying his sister and the laws of God given later concerning incest are certainly not a contradiction. Sin and death entered and things changed, therefore God put commandments in place to protect the obedient. One of them was the commandment concerning incest.
J. B. raised the account of Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their sons’ three wives, as his example of contradiction. There are three points that J. B. overlooked:
1. Genesis 6:9: "These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." Noah was perfect in his genetic generations through Seth to Adam.
2. The commandment was not yet given concerning incest.
3. Regardless of the timing of the commandment, Noah and his family would not have found it necessary to commit incest to reproduce. Cousins would have simply married. This is not prohibited in the Bible.
Things changed when Jesus Christ came to the earth and fulfilled Old Testament law which was a shadow of the Christ to come. Jesus ministered grace to mankind. Things will change at Armageddon and the thousand-year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ upon this earth. Things will change again as the faithful enter eternal life, inhabiting God’s new heaven and earth. Revelation 21:1-5:
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Change, J. B., is not contradiction.
Authorized King James Version
Morris, H., M. Clark, The Bible Has The Answer, Master Books, fourteenth printing