Exodus 20 v 14 You shall not commit adultery
God’s purpose in giving us these instructions lies far deeper than merely forbidding sex outside of marriage. Indeed God has built the desire for and the ability to engage in sex into our DNA. It is part of what makes us human. But surely all readers will know that sexual activity has moved from marriage to centre stage in all human society. Everybody is doing it – from young children through to old people who are devout and corrupt.
But here we read not the words “do not have sex” but rather “do not commit adultery”. This word “adultery” stands as the umbrella word for all forms of sex outside of the parameters that God sets. Married people having sex outside of marriage are called adulterers. People who are not married yet engage in sex are called “fornicators”. There is a difference between the two (Rev 21 v 8)
Furthermore the understanding of marriage and sex in the bible is always heterosexual. It is one man and one women for life. Although there are references to polygamy in Scripture, it is not the norm and where they are recorded, there is not one instance of the family being happy or untroubled. In the New Testament we find no instances of polygamy, but we know the society Jesus lived in was very immoral, hence our Lord’s warnings against divorce and remarriage. Men discarded their wives to take another wife for various trivial reasons. It was merely another form of “polygamy” which was denounced by our Lord.
But back to the question – what was God’s deep purpose in giving us this law?
We will look at that question in the next few days. In the meantime check your own heart. What is the moral temperature like? Has the immorality of the surrounding culture got to you?
Resist it now.
Mediation: Ask God to give you an awareness of where your heart and mind is drifting. Are you firmly resisting temptation? Are you struggling? Call upon God for strength to stand firm today.