Ten Day 10 A Love That Honors: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What is adultery?

Why is adultery wrong? Is it really worse than any other sin?

3) Isn’t this an Old Testament law?  Does it really still apply?

Exodus 20:1-17

Then God spoke all these words: 2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. 3 Do not have other gods besides me. 4 Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. 5 Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ iniquity, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, 6 but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commands. 7 Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses his name. 8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: 9 You are to labor six days and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female servant, your livestock, or the resident alien who is within your city gates. 11 For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy. 12 Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 13 Do not murder. 14 Do not commit adultery. 15 Do not steal. 16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor. 17 Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Original Intent

1) What is adultery?
At first blush, this seems like a no-brainer question. The answer being sexual relations outside the confines of marriage (just to clarify – marriage between a man and woman). In fact if you were to look up the definition in a dictionary, that is pretty much the answer you get. Additionally, in Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus says that if you even look at someone with lust in your heart, you’ve already committed adultery. Oftentimes, to get a better understanding, we need to look at the original languages (Hebrew & Greek) to check meaning and gain perspective. The Hebrew word used in this verse is naaph and the Greek is moichao or moicheuo. The sexual meaning is basically the same, but the Hebrew definition adds “idolatrous worship”.  The Greek words used are the same ones used in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea when the writers are detailing Israel’s unfaithfulness to God.  This starts to paint a picture of a deeper meaning of adultery. Indicating it is more than a physical act, but also a matter of the heart. Throughout the Bible, marriage is used as an analogy of the relationship between Jesus and His church. (2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation 19:7). Therefore, we understand adultery as any form of unfaithfulness or infidelity, whether between husbands and wives or between us and Christ. The nation of Israel had a big problem with idolatrous worship. It doesn’t take much reading in the Old Testament to see them being warned and/or convicted about their wayward hearts and worship of foreign gods (Jeremiah 3:6-10, Jeremiah 5:7, Hosea).

2) Why is adultery wrong? Is it really worse than any other sin?
Yes, adultery is wrong. The commandment of “Do not commit adultery” is direct and clear. And while it is true that sin is sin, the sin of adultery affects many aspects of our lives and the lives of those we love or betray. Remember, we just learned that adultery is a heart issue just as much as it is a physical act. Let’s go back to the very beginning to Adam and Eve and see if we can gain some perspective. We read in Genesis 2:18, “God said it is not good for man to be alone.” Then Eve was created from Adam’s rib. A few verses later in Genesis 22:24 we read, “this is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes one flesh with his wife”. Woman was created for, and given to, man. It’s clear from the very beginning of time that the idea of one man and one woman being together was from God. There are many verses throughout the Bible that discuss the sin of abandoning this sacred union. Proverbs 6:32, Jeremiah 3:8, 5:7, 7:9, and Hebrews 13:4 are a few of them. In fact the entire book of Hosea is an allegory about Israel’s adulterous ways.  Clearly, God views this is a serious sin. Adultery makes a mess out of so much.  Take a look at King David’s life. David was called a “man after God’s own heart”, yet we read in 2 Samuel 11 how quickly David fell into this sin and made a mess of not only his life, but that of Bathsheba’s as well, even to the point of having her husband killed. As a result, David’s infant son also died. Sin always hurts people, and always opens the door for death! There are so many stories of idolatrous worship in the Bible, it’s not hard to find many examples. Despite the horrible, ugliness of adultery, and all other sin, it is important to remember that Jesus’ sacrifice paid for this sin, just like all the others. It can be forgiven, and Christ will bring redemption if we surrender, repent, and come to Him with humble hearts!

3) Isn’t this an Old Testament law?  Does it really still apply?
Since this commandment is in the Old Testament, the answer seems pretty obvious it is applicable at that time to the fledgling nation of Israel. We need to remember the law, which includes the ten commandments and the first few books of what we know of the Old Testament, was the whole of God’s Word that Israel could turn to during biblical times. God designed this law to point out Israel’s own sinfulness in staying true to Him, and set up a standard for how they were to remain faithful in their relationships with each other and the Lord. God had always proven Himself faithful to them. Never would the Lord commit adultery against Israel, though they left Him for lesser loves too many times to count. In God, we see the perfect husband who faithfully loves His Bride.

Everyday Application

1) What is adultery?
Affair, cheating, unfaithful, indiscretion, work wife, etc., call it what you will, these are all sinful. All fall into the category of adultery. This commandment is so much more than the act of having sexual relationships outside of marriage. Like so many of the laws God set for us in the beginning, we have watered it down, changed the words, making it feel like it’s really not that bad, but we are sinning against our God! Anytime our hearts go astray and we give our affections to someone or something before Him, that is sin! While the definition of adultery has not changed, our society certainly has. So let’s take this a little further. As discussed in the original intent section, adultery begins in the heart. When our hearts are thrown into the equation, the waters become murky. When does a relationship, regardless of who it is with (man or woman), pass from friendship into adultery? We throw around terms like work-wife, often in a joking fashion, but the truth is these terms should be warning signs for us that our hearts and emotions may be getting mixed up in sin. How many times have you heard stories of a friendship turning into a full-fledged affair? Often, that friendship is the first step towards sex or unbiblical emotional entanglement. Bottom line, if you are married, your husband or wife must always be the one closest to you. Any time you allow someone else to take the place of your spouse, it is adultery. This doesn’t mean we can’t have good friends that we confide in, have deep discussions with, or vent to when our husband makes us angry. But for those of us who are married or seriously dating, we must remain cautious and vigilant in protecting and praying for our relationship with our spouses. The same is true for our personal relationship with Jesus and our wayward hearts.  Anytime someone or something takes His rightful place at the top, we are likely committing adultery with the Savior of our souls!

2) Why is adultery wrong? Is it really worse than any other sin?
Adultery in any and all forms is just as wrong today as it has always been, and always will be. Yes, sin is sin, and in God’s eyes the smallest offense is just as great as the largest because all it takes is one single sin to separate us from a perfect relationship with God. Regardless of the offense, only one sin makes us a lawbreaker. (James 2:10-11) While adultery doesn’t take us “farther” from God than a white lie, because they both are equally offensive to our perfectly holy God, the ravage brokenness resulting from adultery create wreckage that is far reaching and wide-spread in our human relationships as well as with God. To protect against the damage of adultery, Proverbs 4:23 teaches, “Guard your heart above all else for it is the source of life.” Adultery, like all sin, begins in the heart. This means we need to be consistent and persistent about checking our hearts every day to ensure God is still the One on the throne. Where are we prone to love someone or something more than the Lord God? Pray over these areas, be aware of them, be on guard against the enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy our relationship with God and one another. (John 10:10) Deuteronomy 4:24 reminds how deeply the Lord loves us and how rightly He alone is worthy of all our worship,  “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”

3) Isn’t this an old testament law?  Does it really still apply?
The sad truth is that the watering down of sexual sin and idolatrous worship has had a tremendous effect on our lives. Adultery is equally as sinful today as it was when the commandments were first given. We are just as much in need of this commandment, if not more so, today than ever before. In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus said, “Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished.” Jesus didn’t come to do away with the law, but to pay the penalty we deserved for breaking His holy law.  Our hearts are led astray quickly and easily by people and things apart from God. He must remain number one ALL the time! Families are being torn apart, lives are being shattered, and our children are not being taught the value of purity because of our lust to play with adultery.  Mark 12:23 tells us exactly how to live with wholehearted, faithful love to God day in and day out, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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