What is Adultery?
Well, in today’s society; people don’t use the word “adultery”, but use “cheating”. But God doesn’t see it that way, He sees “cheating” on your husband/wife as a violation of His covenant with humanity and a violation of the purpose of marriage. So, how does God describe adultery and how is it a sin against our bodies and God? In Matthew 5:28, Jesus describes what adultery is.
“But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
“Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her…” Jesus said. Although not directly said by Jesus, He was referring to the lust of the eyes; one of the three worldly “desires” that affect humanity. Lust is a powerful and deadly weapon employed by Satan and his demons in order to entice and destroy God’s people. But what people don’t realize, is that the lust of the eyes is a form of adultery. This form of adultery is one that I am often tempted with and for me; I feel that while this is an internal battle; it is also a test in order to help strengthen my relationship with God by reading His Word.
Throughout the Bible, we are constantly shown either nation (Israel and Sodom and Gomorrah) and people (David and Bathsheba or men lusting after women while married) giving into their adulterous desires even when in Exodus 20:14 it says:
“Thou shall not commit adultery.”
For example: let’s take the nation of Israel. Israel was God’s Chosen people and was called to be a great nation, but Israel had a problem with following God’s prophets and the Ten Commandments; often times succumbing to the idol worshipping and adulterous tendencies of their neighboring nations and would be harshly reprimanded by God or by the chosen prophet. During the time of Moses, the penalty for adultery was to be put to death by stoning.
Leviticus 20:10 says, “10. The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall be put to death”.
The reason for this harsh punishment was because both parties intentionally committed the affair and God wanted marriage to be a sacred union between a man and woman; unhindered by fleshly desires. Because of Israel’s adulterous tendencies, the prophet Jeremiah said this in two separate chapters:
“Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel has committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce….”
“I have seen your adulteries and your lustful neighings. The lewdness of your harlotry, Your abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! Will you not be made clean?”
A great example of adultery in the Old Testament is the story of King David and Bathsheba. Now, King David was said to be a man after God’s own heart, but like any human; succumbed to the lust of the eyes. 2 Samuel 11:2; 11:4 brings us to a familiar passage of scripture focusing on David’s desire for Bathsheba.
2 Samuel 11:2; 4
“2. Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was beautiful to behold. 4. The David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleaned from her impurity; and she returned to her home.”
Despite David being a great king of Israel, like many before him; he fell to the traps and devices of the flesh. WordPress blogger SpaniardVIII wrote a blog post entitled, “Lust: A downward spiral” that talks about this topic. Throughout the blog, he gives references from the Bible and talks about how God; not only gives us spiritual strength in order to resist temptation, but also will help us overcome sexual temptation.
SpaniardVIII stated, “The Lord gives us strength to overcome sin or sexual temptation through His Word. The Word of God must be read everyday and applied to one’s life in order to be effective.”
SpaniardVIII also did another blog post called, “How To Shield Yourself From Satan’s Arrows of Sexual Enticement” which not only talks about the enemy’s weapon of adultery but also how we; as people and Christians should learn to shield ourselves from this influence. In the blog post, he says, “The enemy’s formidable weapon against men are enchanting women to entice you into adultery.”
This is the problem in today’s day and age; men are so caught up in what society says a “man” is and what a man “should do” that they don’t even realize that when we lack Christ in our lives; we men fall into adultery or are prone to lusting after someone or something we can’t have. I recently watched a YouTube video entitled, “You Shall Not Commit Adultery” where Grace Covenant Church Pastor Greg McDaniel talks on this subject. . He first starts off with the three main reason for sex in marriage including Procreational, Recreational, and Covenantal.
This last main point: Covenantal is where I will pick up. Greg McDaniel goes on to say, “… it literally shows the binding of two… the bonding together of two separate coming together as one…” and that statement right there shows how adultery hinders this process.
A covenant is a binding “contract” or agreement between two separate people or parties; so, if a covenant is a binding agreement than adultery is a breaking of a covenant between two married people who were once “one flesh”. Greg McDaniel continues and quotes Matthew 5:28, but goes on to say how adultery; like murder is an act of the heart. He says, “… it’s about the heart and your heart is what separates you from God… The heart is the root… the problem” and in my opinion; that is absolutely true.
Our hearts and minds are supposed to be like Christ, but because of sin; our hearts have become tainted and uprooted from God, but thanks to Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross we can now turn our hearts back to God. Here is a little formula I came up with in order to demonstrate how if our hearts are impure then it could lead us into adultery.
Unclean heart + Sinful flesh = Adultery.
SpaniardVIII has several statements in his two blog posts that we should all use; whether Christian or not because adultery doesn’t discriminate due to race and will destroy marriages and families.
Lust: A downward spiral
- “As believers in Jesus Christ, we must put to death sin that easily ensnares us.”
- “One way to put to death sexual sin is to starve the flesh by filling your mind and heart with God’s Word and meditating on it so your inner man is strengthened instead of your outer man.”
- “God will always give you an open door so you may run out of your temptation and into His loving and protecting arms.”
- “Not only must one flee from sin mentally but also physically which is against the body….”
- “Always fill your mind with things that are pleasing to the Lord and desire to accomplish His will which is revealed in the Bible.”
- “Make a habit that when impure thoughts enter your mind, immediately thwart it by thinking about something else that’s not sinful.”
- “Another way you can run or flee from any type of sin is to make a decision not to gaze for any period of time on any temptation that’s calling you.”
How To Shield Yourself From Satan’s Arrows of Sexual Enticement
- “We men must keep our eyes pure because that is the entry way into our souls. This is Satan’s primary attack for entrance.”
- “Don’t watch anything that has women wearing almost nothing as to entice your minds.”
- “Don’t look at porn magazines which is a landmine, throw it away immediately.”
- “Walking by the Spirit do we block the devil’s sexual arrows that he tries to kill our faith with.”
- “Everyday we must communicate with the Lord through prayer.”
- “Everyday we must learn God’s way of righteousness by reading His Word.”
- “Everyday we must do and act according to His Word so that we may change more into the image of Jesus Christ.”
In the end, though, adultery is a heart problem and starts because of our desire for more than what we already own. Satan will use adultery to break marriages apart, split families, and keep us from finding God, but we shouldn’t let him. Despite people today seeing adultery as “cheating”, what many people don’t realize is that adultery is just as bad as murder in God’s eyes and should learn to curve their lustful desires for others.
So, what do you think? Is adultery just a thing of the past or is it still pertinent in today’s society. And if so, why do you think God said not to commit adultery, yet we men still look at women with lust in our eyes or women lusting after something they can’t have. What will you do? Will you continue to commit adultery or will you read and study God’s Word and keep your mind focused on Him. What situations or circumstances in your life have caused you to slip into adultery? Please comment below and join the discussion.
SpaniardVIII. “Lust: A downward spiral” spiritualminefield.wordpress.com, 13 Apr. 2016, https://spiritualminefield.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/lust-a-cancer-of-the-soul/ . Accessed 28 July 2017.
- “How To Shield Yourself From Satan’s Arrows of Sexual Enticement” spiritualminefield.wordpress.com, https://spiritualminefield.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/how-to-shield-yourself-from-satans-arrows-of-sexual-enticement/ . Accessed 28 July 2017.
“You Shall Not Commit Adultery”, YouTube, uploaded by Grace Covenant, 1 year ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol5MVmfzh5A . Accessed 29 July 2017.
Author Unknown. “David sent messengers to get Bathsheba. When she arrived he seduced her and slept with her. Bathsheba then returned home. – Slide 3” http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/david-bathsheba/ . Accessed 28 July 2017.
Author Unknown. “One evening David walked around on the roof of the palace and saw a very beautiful woman washing. David sent someone to find out who she was. He was told she was Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite who was away fighting in David’s army. – Slide 2” http://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/david-bathsheba/ . Accessed 31 July 2017.
Storms, Sam. “Adultery is an obvious violation of the rights of another. You are stealing what doesn’t belong to you” http://www.azquotes.com/quote/836064 . Accessed 28 July 2017.
Swindoll, Chuck. “Adultery occurs in the head long before it occurs in the bed” http://www.picturequotes.com/adultery-quote-1-picture-quote-662490 . Accessed 27 July 2017.
Wellman, Jack. “What Is The 7th (Seventh) Commandment In The Bible?” http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-is-the-7th-seventh-commandment-in-the-bible/#ixzz4oPi7Z7Wj . Accessed 27 July 2017.