Summary: Protect your marriage by practicing purity.
Note: Our topic this weekend deals with sexual purity as we study the 7th commandment which forbids adultery. I will be careful with my words, but I want parents to be aware this message may lead to some good conversations with your children…if they…and you are ready for it. If you sense your child is not old enough for this discussion, you may want to slip out with them now. We do have children’s ministry available both hours on Sunday.
I want to begin by asking you to imagine I’m an older man (not hard to do) giving some counsel to my sons and daughters. My name is Solomon. The content I’m going to share comes right out of the Book of Proverbs, chapters 4 through 9. I recommend you read this section of Scripture for yourself.
Listen, my children to what I’m about to say. Pay attention and don’t forsake my teaching because what God commands leads to life
Whatever you do, seek wisdom, and then guard it when you get it. Don’t turn away from what you know to be true, like so many do in their teens and twenties. Two paths lie in front of you. One is the path of wisdom, and the other is the path of the wicked. Be attentive and avoid wrong choices. The only way to do that is to “keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Keep your heart tender before God and choose faithfulness, not folly. Keep an eye on your soul because it’s a slow fade. No one crumbles in a day.
Your purity will be tempted because the allure of illicit sex is everywhere. What may seem to be sweeter than honey will turn out to be more bitter than taking a bite out of rotten wood with worms in it. Set up some boundaries or you will end up giving your heart away…and then your body will want to go all the way. Wait for marriage or you will become ensnared and held fast by the cords of your sin. And if you get married, hold fast to your spouse.
My son, do no lust in your heart after a young woman. My daughter, don’t get swept off your feet by empty promises meant to seduce you. Here’s a vivid word picture to remember: “Can you scoop up fire onto your lap and not be burned? Can you walk on hot coals without scorching your feet? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished.” (Proverbs 6:27-29)
Let me tell you what I saw one time when I looked outside. I noticed a young man headed to where he should not have been going. In the dark of the night a woman dressed provocatively came out to meet him. She grabbed him and gave him a kiss and told him to come to her house for a hook up. She had a full refrigerator and an empty bed, promising the man her husband was gone on a long business trip. Do you know what he did?
Listen to Proverbs 7:22-27: “All at once he follows her, as an ox going to the slaughter, or as a stag caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare, he does not know it will cost him his life…listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her ways…her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.”
Children, you may think you can get away with it, that somehow “And to him who lacks sense, she says, ‘Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is pleasant.” but this path leads only to danger and even death: “But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.” (Proverbs 9:16-18)
Guard your heart, my children, because it’s a slow fade when you give yourself away.
We come today to commandment #7, stated in simple yet strong words in Exodus 20:14: “You shall not commit adultery.” This literally reads, “no adulterating.”
• This command is directed to every individual. The tense is second person singular, meaning each one of us individually need to take it to heart.
• It’s stated in the strong negative (like seven of the other commands). Adultery is an unconditional prohibition for everyone.
In 1631, the King James Version was reprinted by a London publisher. This expertly crafted edition was printed on fine paper stock imported from Sweden with high contrast ink from India and bound with exceptional Italian leather. However, this beautiful Bible had an egregious printing error. It was discovered the simple word “not” was omitted in Exodus 20:14, making it read, “Thou shalt commit adultery.” The publishers were fined the equivalent of a lifetime’s wages and stripped of their printing license. Nearly the entire print run was seized and destroyed. This became known as the “Wicked Bible” and only 14 copies are known to exist today.