As I was drinking my morning coffee, reading a devotional sent in my email, and pondering and praying about my life and current circumstances, a random thought popped into my mind from nowhere about pairs. Sounds strange, I know. Felt strange, too, so I decided to pursue this thought biblically. I did an initial google search for “words paired in the bible” and then selected the first reliable website which defined “paired” from the Greek and then the Hebrew.
The first word in the Greek suzeugnumi — to yoke together, properly, jointly-yoked; yoked (paired) together, when God joins people together for purpose. Obviously, this type of pairing is good – for God’s purpose. The ultimate example of suzeugnumi, a good pairing, is found in Matthew 11:28-30, where Jesus tells us to be yoked with Him. A proper pairing. (Please keep this in mind as you continue reading)
The second Greek word is hoste — connecting cause to necessary effect which emphasizes the result (the combined, end-accomplishment). The result involved then is the combination of both elements in the correlation, underscoring the inevitable effect of the paired elements. When things are paired, there is a correlation and an inevitable effect. (Please keep this in mind as you continue reading)
The Hebrew word tsemed is very similar with these descriptions: couple, pair, pairs, team, together, two, yoke.
I kept going with a search for things specifically paired in the bible but I must be perfectly clear here. This is not about being paired in a biblical definition of marriage. The bible has distinct and separate directives about this type of pairing.
Obviously, though, other than marriage the most apparent example of pairs in the Bible is found in Genesis 7:15 (NIV) Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. God directed this, so this pairing is of a good kind. Belong to the same class. Proper.
We see word pairings like salt and light, signs and wonders and grace and mercy. When we talk of Solomon, we think of wisdom or we see Jordan in connection to the promised land, but most of the pairs in the bible relate to the relationships between people. Some obvious people pairs are David and Jonathan, Naomi and Ruth, Paul and Barnabas. Although there were twelve disciples, Jesus would send them out in pairs.
But then there are other pairs. Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Samson and Delilah, and we can see the inevitable effects of these pairs.
Now, remember the definitions I told you to keep in mind? It seems clear to me that, biblically, what we are paired with, should be good. Joined together and the inevitable effect would be good in God’s eyes.
Now to the practical application. Think of some things or people you are paired up with, connected to or attached to right now and ask yourself what is the correlation and inevitable effect of each pairing.
Is it God directed? Is it doing good in your life? Is it glorifying to God? Does it help your relationship with others? Does it give you good witness to the Lord? Is it pleasing to God?
If you answered no, do you realize you are coupled, yoked, or paired with something that is contrary to God? It’s like trying to pair opposites – light and darkness, truth and lies, and right and wrong. You’ll have to make a choice because they cannot exist together. Which will you choose?
1 Kings 18:21 (ERV) Elijah came to all the people and said, “You must decide what you are going to do. How long will you keep jumping from one side to the other? If the Lord is the true God, follow him. But if Baal is the true God, then follow him!”