The Devastation of Adultery (2)

adulteryface.jpgAdultery is dangerous because it destroys lives. It is an aggressively selfish act that cares nothing for anyone else. Prince Charles said, “Do you seriously expect me to be the first Prince of Wales in history not to have a mistress?” /1
Pleasure is adultery’s goal, certainly not commitment and responsibility. Someone has said that “No adultery is bloodless.” /2 It always brings terrible scars. But, adulterers think the reward negates the risk.
Scripture uses adultery to refer to the physical, sexual act and also to spiritual adultery. Interestingly, the Old Testament has many instances of adultery being used in a sexual context to refer to spiritual adultery. Thus, adultery as a sexual term is reinforced.
In Jeremiah, we read of Israel being unfaithful to God. They went up on “every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot” (Jeremiah 3:6, NKJV). By bowing to idols they had, “committed adultery with stones and trees” (Jeremiah 3:9). Their adultery is portrayed as “assembl[ing] themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. They were like well-fed lusty stallions; [e]veryone neighed after his neighbor’s wife” (Jeremiah 5:7-8).
Here in these passages, God is portraying himself as a betrayed spouse (Jeremiah 3:1-2). He says that Israel and Judah had “dealt very treacherously” with Him (Jeremiah 5:11). He asks, “And shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?” (Jeremiah 5:9).
The question begs to be asked, “If the sexual nature of adultery must be removed from the figurative nature of spiritual adultery then why the persistent use of the image of harlotry?” Keil and Delitzsch call their actions “spiritual whoredom.”
God’s rage is poured out over his people’s participation in the idolatry of the Canaanite nation. The King James Version says in Ezekiel 16:25 says, “thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and has made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied your whoredoms.” Then the prophet ties harlotry to adultery in a most expressive manner in 16:31-34.
Hosea, who at God’s behest, married a harlot, wrote of God’s unfaithful people. “Let her put away her harlotries from her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts” (2:2).
God is using a concept we understand to portray the pain he feels when his disciples are unfaithful to him. His heart is broken, just as we are when our spouse opens their body to another.
One man describes his infidelity as a plane crash. Reading his words, we can imagine them about a destroyed marriage or a ravaged Christian life. Both bring devastation. He writes, “The carcass of the plane lay strewn across the ground, gnarled sections spread around like a jigsaw puzzle. This scene played through my mind as I thought about the destruction that I had perpetrated upon my own family by my unfaithfulness. I tried to imagine the daunting task of putting the pieces of my marriage back together in the wake of the affair. Like the shattered plane, some pieces have been put back into place. However, sin comes with a price, and our marriage is forever changed.” /3
Possibly, like Humpty Dumpty, the pieces cannot be put together again. The wreckage is too mangled. Yet, forgiveness is a powerful thing, if the innocent chooses to use it (Matthew 19:9).
Next, we shall examine what we can do to prevent spiritual and physical adultery.
2/ Ibid.

One thought on “The Devastation of Adultery (2)

  1. As a school principal I can tell you that many, many children suffer due to the sins of the parents. Thanks for your post. May God’s grace be poured out to the children as well as adults.

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