At one point in Jesus’ ministry, the Pharisees and Sadducess (recognized religious leaders of the day), demanded that he give them a sign to prove his authority.
“A wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Then He left them and went away (Matthew 16:4, Berean Study Bible).”
Aldultery we think we understand. But what about adulterous?
Understanding this word better will help us understand why this commandment is so important to God, and why Jesus spoke about it on more than one occasion.
I went to the Thessaurus to find words that might help us. Consider these: illicit, fast and loose, immoral, cheating, two-timing, moon-lighting.
What about antonyms or the opposite: chaste and pure. To those I would add loyal and committed.
Isn’t it interesting that when God begins this section of rules and commands, he starts by demanding a pure and chaste relationship with himself?
Our relationship with him becomes the standard for our relationships with our mates and with others.
But we’re not naturally wired that way. One of my favorite hymns puts it this way: “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above (Come Thou Fount).”
We are prone to wander. We have wandering eyes and wavering commitment. We are tempted to move to whatever seems better than what we have—whether it’s a car, house, a job, or a mate.
We flirt with the new until our heart forgets the promises we made. Our reckless and riotous living is similar to the prodigal son described in Luke’s gospel. We don’t appreciate what we have, so we take what’s not ours…and the chasing and wandering lands us starving in a pig sty of our own making.
The solution? Return to the God who knows us best and loves us most. The God who specializes in restoring because he never stops loving.
And if you haven’t wandered yet? Keep your heart pure!
Just in case you think purity is impossible, God has a word—a promise—for you (and me!):