Tag Archives: Adultery

In Union

I haven’t written a post for the last few days, because I’ve been in a lot of pain, and I’m operating on very little sleep. Still, in the midst of my pain, the Lord ministers to me and speaks to me through His word.

Sunday, after church, I felt the Lord leading me to begin a study of spiritual warfare. Over the years, I’ve done many studies on spiritual war, but the Lord never ceases to amaze me, as He takes a scripture passage or verse that I’ve read and studied, and come to understand, and opens it up in a whole new dimension. His word hasn’t changed, nor has its meaning changed. For that matter, God hasn’t changed either. It seems that the only one who has changed is me. Continue reading In Union

Words of Jesus – D-I-V-O-R-C-E

“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a letter of divorce.’ But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:31-32 NLT)

I’ve had to think and pray about what to write regarding these Words of Jesus… Divorce is such a big topic and such a painful one, and I want to be sure that my words line up with His Word, and that I speak the truth in love. The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me and He has sent me to preach the good news to the poor and to heal the brokenhearted… So, I want the words that I speak to bring healing to broken hearts according to His will.

It’s been several days, and I’ve written and deleted, written and deleted about this topic – oh, did I say that I’ve written and deleted? I really couldn’t find the words, and for anyone who knows me, if I have to search for words, it’s because I’m not clearly hearing what the Lord is saying to me.

Then I sat down here a few minutes ago, thinking about the Scripture verse above, and the Lord placed a song on my heart, and suddenly, I knew that He was speaking to me about divorce, and that I needed to get ready to write. This is an old song that my mother used to sing at the top of her lungs when I was a little girl, and every time I heard her sing it, her voice sounded like she was crying. I never really thought about it or even understood it until now…

“For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat,” says the LORD Almighty. “So guard yourself; always remain loyal to your wife.” (Malachi 2:16 NLT) I want you to understand, the words that I am speaking are not words of condemnation to anyone who has been divorced. The fact is that my mother and my birth father divorced when I was still a toddler, and I love them both very much.

Rather than condemnation, these are words of love and truth. I share the Lord’s feelings about divorce, because He loves us and He wants the very best for us. As I listened to the song above, I felt a heaviness in my spirit, because divorce is so painful. And look at the reason the Lord gives for hating divorce. “It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat,” says the LORD Almighty.

There’s no question about it. Divorce causes nothing but pain… pain to both spouses… pain to their children… pain to their families and friends… If you’ve ever been through a divorce or had a loved one who went through a divorce, you know this is true. God isn’t being harsh or cruel when His word says, Here is another thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, weeping and groaning because He pays no attention to your offerings, and He doesn’t accept them with pleasure.

You cry out, “Why has the LORD abandoned us?”

I’ll tell you why! Because the LORD witnessed the vows you and your wife made to each other on your wedding day when you were young. But you have been disloyal to her, though she remained your faithful companion, the wife of your marriage vows. Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are His. And what does He want? Godly children from your union. So guard yourself; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.

“For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat,” says the LORD Almighty. “So guard yourself; always remain loyal to your wife.” (Malachi 2:13-16 NLT)

For those of you who are in the midst of a divorce, because your spouse has been unfaithful to you or because he/she has filed against you, or if you have ever been divorced, please know this. God sees you. He knows your pain. Psalm 56:8 says that the Lord has seen your sorrow, and that He has collected all of your tears in a bottle and recorded them.

The Lord also warns us not to seek revenge against the spouse or anyone who hurt you. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 NLT)

I have to tell you, the Lord has so much to say about divorce, that one blog post could never cover it, but let’s just continue a little more… For those who have claimed that Jesus never speaks against homosexuality and same-sex marriage, I submit the following Scripture:

Some Pharisees came and tried to trap Him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?”

“What did Moses say about divorce?” Jesus asked them.

“Well, he permitted it,” they replied. “He said a man merely has to write his wife an official letter of divorce and send her away.”

But Jesus responded, “He wrote those instructions only as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness. But God’s plan was seen from the beginning of creation, for ‘He made them male and female.’ ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them, for God has joined them together.

Later, when He was alone with His disciples in the house, they brought up the subject again. He told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and remarries, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:2-12 NLT)

As you can see, marriage is spelled out very clearly by Jesus – one man and one woman, and when they are married, the two are united into one. And again, Jesus makes it clear that since the two have become one, no one is to separate them, because God has joined them together.

You see, my beloved, a marriage is a lifelong commitment. It’s a covenant, not only between you and your spouse, but also between you and everyone else who witnessed your vows, including the Lord. When we marry, we vow to love, honor and cherish one another for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or worse as long as we both shall live. Jesus was very clear when He spoke to the Pharisees about divorce. The only reason Moses allowed them to divorce was because they were wicked and hard-hearted, but God never sanctioned divorce.

I know that many reading these words are already hurting, and these words may feel like a hammer pulverizing your already broken heart, and beloved, that is not my intention as I write these words. I want to speak the truth to you in love, and Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Someone once said, “The truth hurts,” and sometimes it cuts like a knife, but Jesus said if you know the truth, it will set you free.

The apostle, Paul, wrote these words about divorce… Now, for those who are married I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else go back to him. And the husband must not leave his wife.

Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a Christian man has a wife who is an unbeliever and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. And if a Christian woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not have a godly influence, but now they are set apart for Him. (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a Christian insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife is not required to stay with them, for God wants his children to live in peace.)  You wives must remember that your husbands might be converted because of you. And you husbands must remember that your wives might be converted because of you.  You must accept whatever situation the Lord has put you in, and continue on as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches. (1 Corinthians 7:10-17 NLT)

I know that some are outraged by what they are reading here, and I’m sure some are saying, “What about a situation where one spouse is abusing the other spouse and their children?” I hear your cries for help. I hear your pain – indeed, as a child brought up in an abusive household, I understand better than you know. Truly, the Lord understands your plight and it grieves Him. Step back for a minute and see what He said, Now, for those who are married I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else go back to him. And the husband must not leave his wife

The Lord knows that because we live in a fallen world, there are situations that require one spouse leaving another, so He has given a provision for that, but because you made a covenant between your spouse, God and man, you must remain single, or if circumstances change, go back to your spouse. I know these words may not sit well with many of you, and it may seem unfair, because after all, don’t we deserve a little happiness?

And I would say to you that it wasn’t fair that Jesus had to go through all that He went through to pay for my sins and yours. And don’t you think that if anyone deserved happiness, it was Him? The walk of a man or woman of God is not any easy one, but it brings life to us. And though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He promises to be with us and to comfort us. No matter how lonely and hurt we are, He understands and He tells us to cast our cares on Him, because He cares for us.

No matter how exhausted and alone we feel, Jesus says, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)

This is a hard word for us, but praise God, we have a gentle Savior who is there to carry our burdens. And His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Beloved, I am praying for every man, woman and child who has ever gone through the heartache and disillusionment of divorce. I pray that the Lord will give you wisdom to know where to go and what to do. I pray that He will give you peace in the midst of your storm. I pray that He will comfort you as you mourn and give you a garment of praise to take the place of the spirit of heaviness. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

Cut It Off!

“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So if your eye — even if it is your good eye — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand — even if it is your stronger hand — causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-30 NLT)

A life of following Jesus calls for us to be radical in our faith. Let’s dive in and deal with what He had to say about adultery…

Jesus dealt with the sin of adultery on several occasions, but in this instance, He spells it out for us. Most define adultery as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse. Jesus makes it clear that adultery is not only the act of having sex with someone other than his/her lawful spouse – it involves the heart and the mind. 

The thought that immediately leaps to my mind is King David and Bathsheba. David’s sin began before he sent for her. His sin began when he didn’t go to war like he was supposed to do… Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 11:1 NLT)

  • Lesson 1 – when we’re not doing what we should be doing, it is sin and it can lead to more sin…
  • Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. (James 4:17 NLT)
http://www.ingodsimage.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/CityOfDavidFerrellJenkins.jpg

 Late one afternoon David got out of bed after taking a nap and went for a stroll on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. (2 Samuel 11:2 NLT) 

Now, I’ve heard a lot of people give Bathsheba a bad rap for this… some have said she was bathing on her roof, but that is not what the scripture says! The Scripture says that David was walking around on his roof, and from the roof, he saw a woman bathing. If you look at the picture above, the rail at the top shows where David’s palace most likely was, so you can see, from this viewpoint, he would have easily been able to look down and see Bathsheba bathing, and she wouldn’t have had to be on a rooftop to be seen…

Regardless, David, who wasn’t where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing, was restless and got up out of his bed that evening and walked out onto his roof, perhaps surveying his kingdom, when he saw Bathsheba bathing. Now, if David’s heart had been in the right place at that time, when he saw the woman bathing, he would have looked away, perhaps gone back into his room or at least to the other side of the roof! But he didn’t. Instead, he looked a little closer and saw that she was beautiful.

  • Lesson 2 – When you accidentally see, hear, feel, smell or taste anything that tempts you to sin, don’t dwell on it or continue to look, listen, touch, smell or taste it – run from it!!!
  • Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. (2 Timothy 2:22 NLT)

He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” (2 Samuel 11:3 NLT)

Rather than running from the temptation before his eyes, David quickly ran to temptation.

Now, I have to be honest with you… David is one of my favorite biblical characters, because he has so much passion for the Lord! He didn’t care what anyone thought about him while he worshiped the Lord – he was more than willing to be undignified, and I love that about him.

The problem is, and I say this to caution myself and all brothers and sisters called to the ministry of the Lord, the people loved David and they flattered him. Now maybe that doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, but I have to be honest, when I’ve delivered a message from the Lord and seen His power at work, and people flatter me, I really struggle with it.

On the one hand, there is a part of me that longs for recognition and approval. I grew up in a home where it seemed that love and affection had to be earned, and there is still some of that little girl inside of me who craves affirmation. So when people flatter me, I get mixed feelings.

Yes, it feels good when someone admires something you’ve accomplished, but what if my ego gets puffed up? I can’t judge King David or anyone else who struggles against pride, because I constantly wage my own war with pride.

O Lord, I don’t want to shame You. I want to always glorify Your name and not my own. Please Father, keep me from stumbling and causing others to stumble. Hear my cries O Lord, keep me from shame.

  • Lesson 3 – don’t let the adoration and/or approval of others cloud your vision and make you prideful.
  • You younger men, accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for “God sets Himself against the proud, but He shows favor to the humble.” So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time He will honor you. (1 Peter 5:5-6 NLT)

 Then David sent for her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. (She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period.) Then she returned home. 

http://www.sftawareness.org/archives/modern-day-bathsheba/

Now a lot of people and a lot of books have painted a pretty picture of one of the greatest love stories of all time, implying that David and Bathsheba had consensual sex, but that’s not how I read the story. David was at home with too much time on his hands because he wasn’t where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing. So, in his boredom and restlessness, he wandered out onto his rooftop, probably surveying his kingdom, when lo and behold! He saw a woman bathing.

Scripture does not say that she was on a roof bathing. For all we know, she could have been in her own home, or at a bathing spot where women may have gone during that time. It’s unclear where she was, but I don’t believe that she was sinning as she bathed, and she had no way of knowing that King David was at home or that he had wandered onto his rooftop and that he would be observing her as she completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period. There is nothing in all of scripture that suggests Bathsheba was ever unfaithful to her husband prior to this episode with King David, nothing to suggest that she was promiscuous.

Now, imagine the fear and worry she must have felt when she was summonsed to the royal palace. Did she worry if something had happened to her husband, Uriah, or if perhaps she had unknowingly broken some law? And how do you think she must have felt when she arrived to the palace, and David looked at her lustfully, undressing her with his eyes?

Do you think that as she shivered with fear, David, who had already committed adultery with her in his mind, thought she was aroused? Did her mind desperately search for a way to tell him no, while he caressed her? Did she fear retaliation against herself? Her husband? Her family?

I can imagine how she felt, as her eyes darted around the room, looking for an escape, and her heart felt like it was about to beat right out of her chest. I can almost see her desperation, as it quickly dawns on her that this is the king, and if she fights him, he could very easily kill her or worse, and no one would ever even know about it. I submit to you, that David not only committed adultery with Bathsheba – he raped her.

My reason for believing this is not just what I’ve written so far, but because of Bathsheba’s response when her husband died and the Lord’s response.  When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the LORD was very displeased with what David had done. (2 Samuel 11:26-27 NLT)

Bathsheba mourned for her husband. Does that sound like the response of a wanton woman? Also, please note that scripture says that the Lord was very displeased with what David had done. If they had committed adultery together, consensually, the Lord would have been displeased with what David and Bathsheba had done.

I praise God that David repented of his sin, but I can understand why Jesus so strongly said, “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So if your eye — even if it is your good eye — causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand — even if it is your stronger hand — causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-30 NLT)

It’s a lesson we can all learn from, and none of us should ever even dare think, “Well, I would never do that,” because scripture says, “The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I know! I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers