Thoughts to Ponder

Adultery

It is a fact that the human mind can't comprehend God in His fullness, however, I think sometimes we make it too hard to understand Him, or don't even really try. What I mean by that is that I think we get so taken by the fact that He is God and His thoughts are so far above us and His ways are so far above us that we give up and don't realize that at least in some areas He has given us pretty clear pictures of His thoughts and His ways.

God often uses word pictures so that we can understand Him. We have emotions, such as joy, sadness, jealousy, and anger among others. Well God gave us those emotions and He often uses them to explain His ways and likes and dislikes, because we can understand them, and thereby in at least some small way understand Him.

In the Old Testament God calls Himself the husband of Israel:

Isaiah 54:5
    For your Maker is your husband--
        the Lord Almighty is his name--
    the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
        he is called the God of all the earth.  [NIV]

In the New Testament the Church is called the Bride of Christ. These are meant to convey to us how God looks at our relationship with Him. He is our Lord and our God, our Master and our Savior, and yet He tells us that He wants a marriage relationship with us.

I want to look at this marriage relationship because it will tell us a lot about who God is and what He expects of us. In looking at this I think we also see why Satan hates human marriage so much and has tried and continues to try to pervert it and destroy it. God instituted marriage:

Genesis 2:24
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.  [NIV]

Because marriage has been weakened even in the Christian community to the point where it is disposable to many people, let me show you what traditional Jewish thought was on marriage:

In traditional Jewish literature marriage is actually called kiddushin, which translates as "sanctification" or "dedication." "Sanctification," indicates that what is happening is not just a social arrangement or contractual agreement, but a spiritual bonding and the fulfillment of a mitzvah, a Divine precept. "Dedication," indicates that the couple now have an exclusive relationship, that involves total dedication of the bride and groom to each other, to the extent of them becoming, as the Kabbalists state, "one soul in two bodies." (Quoted from http://ohr.edu/1087)

The Jews managed to get many things wrong, but this is one point where I think they are dead on the point. If we viewed marriage this way, there would be much less strife and divorce in the Christian community. Churches have gone so far as  to tell people that God wants them to be happy and if their marriage isn't making them happy then God would understand their desire to divorce and remarry. This isn't biblical:

Matthew 5:31-32
    "It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' [32] But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.  [NIV]

Matthew 19:9
    I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."  [NIV]

Notice the only reason Jesus gives for divorce is adultery; marital unfaithfulness. But this brings up a point, there is a reason that God will accept divorce, and that is adultery. Anyone who has been married understands adultery, and even those who have not yet been married can understand that it is the ultimate betrayal.

Now go back and remember that God speaks of our salvation, our relationship with Him as a marriage. With that in mind, let's look at a few passages:

Jeremiah 3:6
    During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, "Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there.  [NIV]

Jeremiah 3:20
    But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,
        so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel,"

declares the Lord.
  [NIV]

Hosea 1:1-2
    The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the reign of Jeroboam son of Jehoash king of Israel:
    [2] When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord."  [NIV]

Hosea 4:13
    They sacrifice on the mountaintops
        and burn offerings on the hills,
    under oak, poplar and terebinth,
        where the shade is pleasant.
    Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution
        and your daughters-in-law to adultery.
  [NIV]

God speaks of Israel's adultery. Can't we understand the feelings of betray that He is trying to convey when He speaks of the things Israel has done? God is long suffering and loving, but remember He gave us one reason for divorce and that is adultery. If you think that God will ignore our adultery and continued betrayal, think again:

Ezekiel 16:30-43
    " 'How weak-willed you are, declares the Sovereign Lord, when you do all these things, acting like a brazen prostitute! [31] When you built your mounds at the head of every street and made your lofty shrines in every public square, you were unlike a prostitute, because you scorned payment.
    [32] " 'You adulterous wife! You prefer strangers to your own husband! [33] Every prostitute receives a fee, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors. [34] So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no one runs after you for your favors. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you.
    [35] " 'Therefore, you prostitute, hear the word of the Lord! [36] This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you poured out your wealth and exposed your nakedness in your promiscuity with your lovers, and because of all your detestable idols, and because you gave them your children's blood, [37] therefore I am going to gather all your lovers, with whom you found pleasure, those you loved as well as those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will strip you in front of them, and they will see all your nakedness. [38] I will sentence you to the punishment of women who commit adultery and who shed blood; I will bring upon you the blood vengeance of my wrath and jealous anger. [39] Then I will hand you over to your lovers, and they will tear down your mounds and destroy your lofty shrines. They will strip you of your clothes and take your fine jewelry and leave you naked and bare. [40] They will bring a mob against you, who will stone you and hack you to pieces with their swords. [41] They will burn down your houses and inflict punishment on you in the sight of many women. I will put a stop to your prostitution, and you will no longer pay your lovers. [42] Then my wrath against you will subside and my jealous anger will turn away from you; I will be calm and no longer angry.
    [43] " 'Because you did not remember the days of your youth but enraged me with all these things, I will surely bring down on your head what you have done, declares the Sovereign Lord. Did you not add lewdness to all your other detestable practices?  [NIV]

Jeremiah 3:8-9
    I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. [9] Because Israel's immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood.  [NIV]

Jeremiah 5:7
    "Why should I forgive you?
        Your children have forsaken me
        and sworn by gods that are not gods.
    I supplied all their needs,
        yet they committed adultery
        and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.  [NIV]

Anyone who has read any of my writings knows what I think of the false doctrine of once saved always saved, I make it as clear as I can as often as I can, because I believe it is leading people to hell. If our relationship with God is a marriage and God allows divorce for adultery, how can we think we can continue to commit spiritual adultery and keep our marriage intact? We are fooling ourselves.

When trying to explain my relationship with God, I often use my marriage as an example. I love my wife, but I am in no way the perfect husband. I often do things that irritate my wife, or even hurt her in some way. But she knows that I love her and she knows that the things I do that bother her are done out of ignorance and stupidity, not out of spite or because of a lack of love.

When I realize I have done something that hurt or upset my wife, I feel remorse, because I love her and don't want to cause her pain. If I ever quit loving her I will no longer care how she feels or whether I have hurt her or not. This is also true of my relationship with God. I don't purposely do things that I know will upset or go against God's will, but that doesn't mean I never do such things. But when I realize that I have done something like this (from the conviction of the Holy Spirit) I feel remorse and I regret having done this thing. But if I ever quit loving God, I will no longer care if I do these things that we call sins.

Proverbs 10:12
    Hatred stirs up dissension,
        but love covers over all wrongs.
  [NIV]

1 Peter 4:8
    Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  [NIV]

Love covers a lot of the wrongs that I commit against my wife, because she knows I love her. She is willing to forgive me because she loves me and knows that I love her. God also knows my heart and is willing to forgive my sins, but I cannot commit adultery with either my human wife or my Spiritual husband and expect to continue in my marriage. I must guard my heart because another lover wants it, but that lover doesn't truly love me, he just hates God and therefore wants to commit adultery with me.

I hope these word pictures help you understand our relationship with God and how He feels when we sin, and how He reacts when we feel remorse or refuse to feel remorse for our sins.

E-Mail Ralph

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Feburary 2011