Summary: This sermon examines Numbers 5 and the application that can be gleaned from the test of an unfaithful spouse.
The Jealousy of a Lover vs. 11-15
The situation here involves how does a husband deal with the issue when he thinks his wife has cheated on him?
Now this passage only gives instructions for the man, not the woman.
If you will notice it also grants the man the ability to have the issue of adultery addressed without even proof.
He just needs to think or feel like she may have been unfaithful.
Now there is an important life lesson here.
Many marriages end not because of infidelity, but instead because one of them think the other is cheating.
Those feelings of mistrust and being violated will consume you, and they will cause you to doubt anything your spouse tells you. You will always be suspecting them of doing something.
So the principal here is if you feel like your spouse has been unfaithful you need to deal with it, don’t wait until you catch them in the act, or ignore it and allow it to consume you with anger.
Now the husband is to do two things when he suspects this.
The first is he has to take his wife to the priest.
Today when we have an issue in our marriage the first place we also need to go is to God.
Today we don’t have need for a priest as mediator, so we can go directly to God with your concerns and allow God to deal with our hearts and our spouses hearts.
The second thing that needed done was the husband was to offer up and offering.
The offering was a tenth of an ephah of flour with no olive oil or incense on it.
Now it didn't have incense which symbolizes perfect obedience, it didn't have olive oil symbolizing the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
It was rough barely flour, that symbolizes truth.
It was barely that Christ used to feed the 5,000, Jesus fed them the truth of the Word.
Man shall not live by bread alone by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.
So the offering symbolized the need for truth to be revealed.
The Judicature of the Law vs. 15-17
Now the offering seeking truth is critical to understanding what happens next.
Both parts are connected.
This is the only time in the Bible that Holy Water is mentioned.
The priest mixed holy water and the dust from the tabernacle.
This is the spiritual and flesh.
The Holy Water pictures the Holy Spirit and the dust pictures the substance from which man was created.
The floor of the tabernacle was a dirt floor. It picture how we are saved and cleansed but our feet become dirty traveling through this world and the need for constant repentance.
That is why Jesus told Peter that He had to wash his feet (John 13).
Therefore this drink was the spirit of God coming into the body to wash away that which was dirty from the world.
The Justice of the Lord vs. 18-22
Here the priest has the woman stand before the Lord with the offerings.
This is a mental reminder that your sins will find you out.
God knows everything we do.
You can have an extra cell phone to make calls on no one knows about, you can hide money to use that no one knows about, you can fool your spouse, your children, and you can even fool your pastor.
But everything you do God knows about!
This also is giving her time to confess if she did do something.
God is not wanting to catch us in wrong so He can punish us. God confronts us over our sin so we can repent and be forgiven of it.
That has to be our goal also.
Your goal is not to catch your spouse doing something wrong so you will have grounds in court for a divorce, its not so we can be justified to repay evil with evil, but our goals must be reconciliation based on the Word of God.
The Judgement of the Lord vs. 23-28
Now comes the results of all this.
There are primarily two ways this can end.
The first is described if she is guilty.
Her belly will swell and her thighs will rot (vs 22).
The NIV states abdomen swells and womb miscarries.
At first glance this is a horrible ending.
If the adultery resulted in a pregnancy it appears that baby will not be born.
The second outcome is if she is innocent.
Nothing happens and she is cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.
Now another interesting thing is that the whole law was to be applied to her (vs. 30).
You see because on the surface this deals with an unfaithful wife these passages have much deeper meaning.