By Eric Taylor
Pastor, Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Cedar Hill
Focal Passage: Exodus 20:14; II Samuel 11:1-5
There is no denying that we live in a world where there is much confusion, misunderstanding, and misinformation about gender and marriage. Many people no longer believe in or value traditional, biblical, monogamous marriage. Sadly, this is true even among some in the church, as with every new generation in the body of Christ there seems less interest in what the Bible says about the marriage covenant and sexual purity.
However, the Bible is not confusing nor misleading concerning the prohibition of adultery and the sacredness of marriage.
The Bible is clear that marriage is a covenant relationship between one man and one woman for a lifetime (Genesis 1:27; 2:24 & Matthew 19:5). As the KJV says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” That is it! Moses does not give the Israelites any commentary on the subject. He unequivocally states that there is no room for adultery in a civilized society. Therefore, the church should take its cue from the Bible not the world.
In the seventh commandment, God is making it abundantly clear what He thinks about the sacredness of marriage. He gives no exception to this command, and no escape clause. Simply put, adultery is forbidden because the “marriage bed is honorable among all” things, and the “bed undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4). And any alteration to God’s design for marriage is considered sinful.
So, to illustrate the importance of marital fidelity, sexual purity, and the sacredness of the marriage covenant, our lesson turns to the well-known story of David and Bathsheba. Matter of fact, it is in this story that we see the problems that come when one ventures down the road of breaking this important commandment.
First, notice where the problems begin for David. His adulterous affair begins because he is not doing what he should be doing. The Bible says that when “kings march out to war . . . David remained in Jerusalem.” In other words, if King David were leading his troops in war, instead laying on his bed, or strolling “around on the roof of his palace” (II Samuel 11:2) he would have never seen Bathsheba “bathing.”
You see, when we are distracted, not doing the things we should be doing, we can be led down a dangerous path by the devil. There are many temptations that lure us away when our minds are distracted, and our hearts are filled with worldly pleasures.
Second, adultery begins in the heart. David’s problem started with a look that led to lust, and then his lust gave birth to sin (James 1:13-15) in his heart as he sought to sleep with a married woman (II Samuel 11:4). Jesus made it clear that when a man looked at another woman with a lustful look, he was guilty of having committed “adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). You see, a lustful look is adultery in the embryonic state.
Third, adultery comes with consequences. David’s ability to cover up his sin would be next to impossible now that Bathsheba was pregnant with his child. Try as one might, adultery of any kind is not a secret sin. It is a reproach to those involved, and in the end, bites with the poison of a viper. Be on guard! B&R