- Lesson 8 in the BaptistWay Press Connect 360 unit “Pillars” focuses on Exodus 20:14.
The seventh commandment, “Do not commit adultery,” is politically incorrect for our day. Our culture teaches: Morality is personal. What may be wrong for one person is perfectly acceptable to another. The highest good is tolerance. Let each person be and act in any manner that works for him or her. We call this “progress,” evolving into more open-minded lifestyles. We believe we are free from the oppression of a legalistic religious worldview.
But even with all the hopes and promises of freedom, this revolution is strewn by the victims who fall prey to its promises. Our immoral nation overflows with anger and brutality, along with broken homes, shattered reputations and destroyed lives.
The root of sexual immorality is the fallacy that sex without commitment brings fulfillment. History records individuals, families, communities and even nations that were destroyed because of unbridled lust.
The seventh commandment is a simple statement. In the Hebrew text, there are only two words: “no adultery.” That’s all it says. In a strict sense, the Hebrew word for adultery refers to the sexual immorality of a married person with someone who is not his or her spouse. This understanding is broadened throughout the Old and New Testaments to describe any sexual activity unacceptable to God.
God knows best
In a world where immorality was rampant, Israel was to be a light to the nations. It was to present an alternative to other cultures. Sadly, the ink was barely dry on the nation’s covenant with God when Israel began to act like the other countries. There was little difference between God’s people and the citizens of the world.
Temptation often comes subtly like a lion looking, hiding, waiting for the time to attack its prey. King David didn’t gaze at Bathsheba and say to himself, “I think I will pursue my desires even if it means death and destruction.” We imagine: What is wrong with two consenting adults (even though we do not know if Bathsheba was consenting) enjoying one another? Why shouldn’t a couple live together for a while to find out if they are compatible? God wouldn’t have given me these desires without the permission to pursue them, would he?
God did not give this commandment because he didn’t want people to engage in sexual pleasure. The all-knowing God gave it so that husbands and wives could share this special intimacy exclusively in an environment of love and trust to a man and woman who had committed themselves to one another for life.
Compiled by Stan Granberry, marketing coordinator for BaptistWay Press.
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