The sermon in Jacob 2 seems to be split into two portions. The first is about people who have focused on going after wealth and the second is about people committing whoredoms in having many wives and concubines. Of the two parts, I have heard much more sermonizing in my life about the latter than the former, so much so that I didn’t realize the connection between the two.
Basically, the part about the wives and concubines is after the style of David and Solomon. This matter is not that of committing infidelities on the side: this is about using women as elements of one’s status – objectification of women, as it were.
Even in teachings about the law of chastity, I see a slighting of Jacob’s message here: he’s specifically talking to rich men who are destroying their familial relationships through their greed, expressed via sexual avenues in this case. He spoke about rich men destroying social relationships through social stratification in his earlier part of the message. In essence, this is not a teaching that applies to one and all, equally. Yes, there is a law of chastity that God expects us all to keep, but this lack of chastity among the rulers of the people is especially dangerous, as this is what leads to the destruction of the people.
This message is clearly addressing “the abominations of the husbands”. It’s the husbands who have “broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you.”
Jacob condemns not just sexual sins, but sexual sins as an extension of an abuse of power born out of an unjust power structure based on wealth. When a society has a law for the rich and a law for the poor alongside a law for the men and a law for the women, it is not a godly nation. It is ripening for its destruction.