Thursday, 24 February 2022
In Hebrew, Commandments 6, 7, 8 and 9 are all in Exodus 20 verse 12, while in the Christian Bible (and even some Jewish Bibles translated into English) they are each in their own verse (from verses 13 through 16). It's not a really big deal, just a point of information in the hope of avoiding confusion. Today we will highlight the 7th Commandment.
The Seventh Commandment - Do not commit adultery.
Lo Tin'af Exodus 20:14 "Do not commit adultery."
We are in the middle of some very brief commandments. The Scriptures state them clearly and plainly without additional comment. But I feel compelled to comment. Each of the Commandments are interdependent (they depend or touch on each other), and the prohibition against adultery is no exception.
First, and significantly, adultery is a sin against God. God is the God of covenant. Adultery devalues covenant and thus it devalues God. Therefore; adultery is a sin against both God and man. It brings to mind God's expectation that He will receive our first fruits.
So too, our marriage partner also has the expectation that we will bring our first fruits, our best selves, into our covenant relationship. This is our most intimate and intense self, both physically - intimacy with our bodies - and emotionally in the sharing of our heartfelt thoughts. Anything else is adultery. A workplace alliance, though not physically intimate, is a form of adultery if it becomes emotionally close.
There are some who believe that two unmarried adults cannot commit adultery with each other. "After all," they think, "Against whom are we committing adultery?" But they are stealing! First, they are stealing God's blessing from themselves. It is God's intention to reward covenant keeping. The theft is also against any future spouse (even if that future spouse is the current partner).
Let me digress for a minute. There are those who put a premium on the 10 Commandments. You might think I'm one of them, since I'm writing this series on the 10 Commandments, and you would be right. However; many of those same people who put a premium on the 10 Commandments devalue the other commandments. That's where we differ. One should value the whole word of God.
Paul wrote to Timothy ... 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness. So while we're focused on the 7th Commandment, let's not forget this ... 1 Corinthians 6:9 Or don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don't be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, those who practice homosexuality, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers - none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And there are many more such Scriptural references.
Rather than end by admonishing you to avoid evil, let me admonish you to embrace goodness and godliness. For that you get Galatians 5. After a "shopping list" of the "deeds of the flesh" to be avoided, we get this ... Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control - aainst such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Messiah have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Ruach, let us also walk by the Ruach.
We only have to turn the page to the next chapter to get the last word for today ... Galatians 6:8-9 For the one who sows in the flesh will reap corruption from the flesh. But the one who sows in the Ruach will reap from the Ruach eternal life. So let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we don't give up.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,