Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.
But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.” —Proverbs 6:32
Have you seen those billboards across America which are black with white lettering—with “messages” from God? Have you seen, “We Need to Talk . . . . God”? Or “Loved the Wedding, Invite Me To The Marriage . . . . God”? Or “Need Directions? . . . . God”? The sponsor of these billboards is apparently an anonymous client, but whomever it is has put truth on display which we can all clearly understand.
Or do we understand? Maybe we think that those messages are for “everybody else”—certainly not for us. When it comes to temptations we might say, “That’ll never happen to me!” Or maybe we say, “I’m so far gone in sin that even God can’t help me!”
Neither of these statements is true, for we are all vulnerable to temptation . . . no one is immune or exempt. And no sin is beyond the mercy and grace of our loving Father who said: “where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” (Romans 5:20) We see these two truths together in 1 Corinthians 10:12 & 13: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
Adultery is a common temptation during deployment—going back thousands of years. If you don’t believe that, just look in the Bible (2 Samuel 11) for the account of David and Bathsheba—a very famous deployment infidelity, with grave consequences. Was there a way of escape? Certainly, and that is God’s promise.
But sometimes we forget that God has something to say about adultery. Kinda’ like that billboard sign that reads, “What Part of ‘Thou Shalt Not’ Didn’t You Understand? . . . .God.” That’s like saying, “No. . . .Because I Said So. . . . God.”
I like the way Bob and Cheryl Moeller put Scripture together in their on-line “Marriage Minutes” (bobandcherylmoeller.com) called “Eternity is Long, Don’t Have An Affair” (counter to “Life is Short, Have an Affair”). They call this the “Top 10 Reasons to Not Have An Affair”:
1. “Honor your marriage and its vows, and be pure; for God will surely punish all those who are immoral or commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4
2. “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” Romans 12:1
3. “Let there be no sexual sin, impurity or greed among you. Let no one be able to accuse you of any such things.” Ephesians 5:3
4. “But if you give yourself to the Lord, you and Christ are joined together as one person. That is why I say to run from sexual sin. No other sin affects the body as this one does. When you sin this sin it is against your own body. Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that He lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you. For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God because He owns it.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
5. “Now change your mind and attitude to God and turn to Him so He can cleanse away your sins and send you wonderful times of refreshment from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19
6. “We try to live in such a way that no one will ever be offended or kept back from finding the Lord by the way we act, so that no one can find fault with us and blame it on the Lord.” II Corinthians 6:3
7. “For, you have been given freedom: not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other.” Galatians 5:13
8. “Nothing in all the world can be hidden from God. Everything is clear and lies open before Him, and to Him we must explain the way we have lived.” Hebrews 4:13
9. “Remember, too, that knowing what is right to do and then not doing it is sin.” James 4:17
10. “You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14
If sexual temptation is something you struggle with, remember these scriptural truths and the promise that God will always provide His children with a way of escape from the “opportunity.” Look for something else to do, somewhere else to go, someone else to spend time with, something else to look at, something else to listen to, something else to think about (Philippians 4:8). Pray for eyes to see that “other way.” There will always be a choice.
If we choose poorly, there are painful consequences—even for future generations. We know that. But we also know that God is faithful to His promise in Psalm 103:11-12: “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Jesus paid the price for our sin, on the cross:
“When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s Cross.” Colossians 2:13,14 from The Message.
Questions to Share:
1. Which of the ten Scriptures above were new or enlightening to you, if any?
2. Are you surprised that God has so much to say about adultery? What is it about the vows of marriage which make infidelity a betrayal of trust and an offense to God?