Thursday, January 21, 2010

“You shall not commit adultery.” (Ex. 20:14)

                The first four commandments are all about our relationship with God.  And it is interesting that human relationships lie in parallel with godly relationships.  In the first command we learn about the nature and holiness of God and the sixth command parallels that by speaking of the sanctity of human life – because humanity is created in God’s image.  The second command is about the purity of our relationship to God – there are to be no false images we substitute for Him.  And the parallel is the sanctity of the relationship with our spouses.  We can’t let fantasies, whims, or sins substitute our covenant with our spouses with something that is not real.

                To understand the command on adultery, we must first understand the power and permanence of the concept of covenant.  Covenant is what God has with us.  It is an unbreakable commitment to us that God will never violate.  Covenant is a bond that flows between the Creator and all His creation.  We covenant with one another all the time.  A stop sign is a covenant between us and those who walk and drive.  The sign does not have a cop (usually) parked beside it, waiting for someone to violate it.  It is just a sign that tells the one approaching, “You have a covenant with those who have the right-of-way to stop.”  And to those who have the right-of-way, it says, “Your covenant partner will stop, so that you can continue on with caution.”  And as long as we stay in our covenants, culture moves along pretty well. But when covenants are taken lightly, problems erupt.

 There is a covenant that is of the highest order of human relationships.  That covenant is sealed with matrimony, which God takes very seriously.  It is the one He uses to describe the relationship between Him and His people.  It is a covenant that He takes so seriously, that if it is violated from one human to another, He says that violation renders the covenant null and void.  Adultery is the only God given excuse for divorce.  Sanctity of human life is based upon the power of the image of God and sanctity of marriage is based upon the power of the relationship between God and His people.  If human life is taken by murder, then God says that the life that murdered must be punished by death.  If adultery shatters the marriage covenant, then God said it violated a covenant so sacred, that marriage itself can die.

                When two people engage in intercourse, it links them permanently together.  That linkage is so real and so powerful that God created marriage to protect the results.  The two become one flesh.  Paul said, “All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.”  A man and woman are “one” from the moment of intercourse.  And any other union fractures the unity of one.  It is broken to pieces and can only be put back together by God Himself.  Just notice the sexual union as it was meant to be.  It is all about lasting joy, companionship, deep love, comfort, procreation, unification, and profound moving of spirit and soul.  But the same act outside of a deep and abiding commitment creates jealously, hurt, disease, unwanted pregnancy, fear, hatred, and a shattered relationship with God.  Lasting joy is shattered by momentary pleasure.  No matter how much Hollywood wants to make sex recreational, it is not and will never be.  It was created by God for God’s purposes and when not used within those purposes will never be anything but grief and heartache.

                Remember the song, “Help Me Make it through the Night.”  The sentiments may sound great in the midst of a lustful evening, but by morning the pain will have only increased.  Contrast that to the godly union between a man and woman.  The next morning things have grown a little better and the day shines a little brighter.  Covenant is meant for building the Kingdom of God and when covenant is kept the Kingdom grows and flourishes, but when it is violated, the Kingdom is diminished.  It will never be otherwise, no matter how much we try to bend this rule of God.

Kingdom Road Ministries
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Victor, ID 83455

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