Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins ...
( Isaiah 58:1 )

Thou Shalt Not Commit  Adultery !

The Law of Yahweh ...
Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery !

1. Introduction

Suppose someone were to ask you this question: "What in your opinion is the worst thing that could happen to your marriage?" I'm sure that most married couples would say: For my partner to be unfaithful to me - to commit adultery. Yes, unfaithfulness has become today's number one cause for the break-up of marriage. Visit any country, read any newspaper, look at or listen to any programme, and the news is the same - adultery, fornication and an extreme lowering of moral standards is evident in the lives of millions. It has reached an all-time high and the results are all too evident: broken homes, abandoned children, battered wives, venereal disease and death by suicide. The evidence is everywhere, and, even found in the true Christian Church. It is at a time like this that YAHWEH'S COMMANDMENTS take on special importance. In a world of conflicting moral opinions and standards, THEY ALONE POINT THE WAY !

The 6th commandment says:
Exodus 20:14 "Thou SHALT NOT commit adultery."

Commands and commentaries hanging on this commandment are as follows:
Leviticus 18:20 "Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her."
Proverbs 6:32 "But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul."

2. Physical / Spiritual Adultery

Strange as it may seem the physical act of adultery is merely a reflection of a moral departure from God - of being unfaithful to Him. Idolatry is spiritual adultery. Spiritual adultery is being unfaithful to the Most High, the husband of the church. Spiritual adultery is mixing truth with error. Here is a picture of spiritual and physical adultery going hand in hand:
Jeremiah 3:6-9 "... Hast thou seen that back-sliding Israel hath done? She is gone up upon every mountain and under every green tree, and hath played the harlot ... And it came to pass that through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and stocks."
Jeremiah 5:7-9 "How shall I pardon thee for this? Thy children have forsaken me and sworn by them that are no gods ... They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife."
Hosea 4:12-14 "... For the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God."

3. Love of the World is Adultery

Strange as this may sound, the inordinate love of the world ( the religious customs and moral behaviour of sinners ) is classified in the Bible as adultery.
James 4:1-4 "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."

4. The Penalty for Adultery

One can usually judge the seriousness of a sin by the punishment meted out to the offender. When adultery is examined we find that it is as serious a sin as murder - for the penalty is death!
Leviticus 20:10 "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death."

We may not be in a position to physically administer so severe a sentence in our present society; but Yahweh is not mocked by man's rebellion; and His law is not violated with impunity. Yahweh has set His mind against blatant sinners and according to His word He will personally punish them.
Malachi 3:5 "I will come near to you in judgement; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers."
Hebrews 13:4 "Marriage is honourable to all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."
Psalm 106:14-15 "They lusted exceedingly in the wilderness ... He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul."

Those who persistently violate Yahweh's laws begin to die within. This internal death, called here 'leanness of soul' is certain. Only divine pardon, cleansing and restoration can escape it. There is no other remedy no matter what people may say. Consider the example of King David ( 2 Samuel 11 ). His act of adultery resulted in enormous tragedy.

5. Prophecies about Adulterers

Regardless of popular opinion the Bible makes it clear that adulterers will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,"
Revelation 2:20-23 "Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into the great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches will know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works."

6. The Answer to Adultery

The only answer to adultery ( unfaithfulness ) is faithfulness in a lawful marriage. Back-sliding believers, who perhaps have committed physical adultery, should repent and return to their legal partners. Married couples must make every effort to stay true to each other. For make no mistake about it, adulterers spell death to their marriage, to their long-term happiness and also to their future life.

Divorce and remarriage are not the answer to adultery. Indeed the marriage of divorced persons is strictly forbidden in the Scriptures. ( Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:9 )

Return to Yahweh

Spiritual adulterers must also give up their pagan ways and return to Yahweh, their God.
Jeremiah 3:12 "Return thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause my anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful."
Hosea 14:4-9 "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from them ... Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent and he shall know them? For the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein."

7. High Moral Standards

Often we read of standards in Scripture which appear to be so high that most people dismiss them as impossible. They don't want to know and write the Scriptures off as outdated instruction. But these people are wrong. With Yahweh's Spirit the highest standards can be reached. Here is one such standard.
Matthew 5:28 "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her in his heart."

This text is generally levelled at the men folk, to which it obviously applies. But, adultery is not a solo act. Women are equally to blame for behaving or dressing provocatively. When they do so, they are equally guilty of adultery as the males who lust after them. Yahweh wants His people to be faithful to Him and to each other. This is the pathway to life. Adultery is the road to death. Consider the good example of Joseph ( Genesis 39:7-20 ). Take the time to read it.

In The Son's Name For The Father's Glory

Elder:   Max W. Mader