When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business…
Joy has its special seasons. The year has but one spring. Human life has but one nuptial feast. The freshness and charm of a first marriage can never be repeated. Around this special joy God has thrown a wall of defense.
I. NUPTIAL JOY IS A CARE OF GOD. In every act of Jesus Christ's earthly life, he could have said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Thus, when he became a guest at the marriage feast at Cana, he appeared and spake and acted as his Father's Representative. His miraculous deed was the expression of his Father's pleasure. On every honorable marriage the sunshine of Jehovah rests. In all the beginnings of human life God's fatherly interest centers. That human life may be full of joy is his main concern.
II. NUPTIAL JOY IS SUPERIOR EVEN TO CARES OF THE STATE. The marriage union is the spring-time of a man's life; let no rough wind of war blast it! To spoil the nuptial joy is to spoil a man's life. Other things can wait; this fleeting season of a man's history cannot be recalled. Others can fight the battles of his country better than can he; for at such a time his heart will be elsewhere than the battle-field. To send such as he is to invite defeat. It is not simply a permissive law; it is obligatory: he shall not go. To be pressed into military service on his marriage day might sour his temper, exasperate his feelings, dissipate his young love, ruin his earthly home, and blast his domestic prospects. Pious homes are the nursery grounds for God's kingdom.
III. NUPTIAL JOY HAS ITS LIMITATIONS. Such exemption prevailed for a year: then it ceased. The fresh and fragrant spring must give way to fruit-bearing autumn. Joy is a preparation for arduous service. It is worse than useless, if it begets only indolence. It is the parent of new exertion. It recreates the mind. It braces and vitalizes all the active energies. As sleep prepares for labor, so pleasure equips us for higher attainments. We need the spirit of wisdom to use our joys to advantage. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.