In Exodus 20:1-17 Exodus 20:1-17 1 And God spoke all these words, saying,
2 I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 You shall have no other gods before me.
4 You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And showing mercy to thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long on the land which the LORD your God gives you.
13 You shall not kill.
14 You shall not commit adultery.
15 You shall not steal.
16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is your neighbor’s.
American King James Version×, God gives us a list of ten commandments to follow in order to live a happy and fulfilling life. They are all very simply worded and seem easy enough to follow, but from human experience, we know that their simplistic wording is indeed deceptive for they are each a daily challenge not to break. In particular, the seventh commandment seems easy enough to follow: Do not commit adultery. But as we will discover through this study, there is a lot more meaning to that statement than what meets the eye.
DEUTERONOMY 5:1-4 And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive. The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire. “
EXODUS 20:14 “You shall not commit adultery.”
1. In a physical sense, what is adultery? What constitutes adultery?
2. What were the punishments for committing adultery? For some answers, look in Leviticus 20:10 Leviticus 20:10And the man that commits adultery with another man’s wife, even he that commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
American King James Version×. Is this too harsh? Other ideas are found in Revelation 2:22 Revelation 2:22Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
American King James Version×and I Corinthians 6:9.
3. In Leviticus 20:10-21 Leviticus 20:10-21 10 And the man that commits adultery with another man’s wife, even he that commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
11 And the man that lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be on them.
12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have worked confusion; their blood shall be on them.
13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be on them.
14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and you shall slay the beast.
16 And if a woman approach to any beast, and lie down thereto, you shall kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be on them.
17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he has uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.
18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he has discovered her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.
19 And you shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, nor of your father’s sister: for he uncovers his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity.
20 And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he has uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.
21 And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he has uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.
American King James Version×, God gives some other guidelines regarding this matter. What are they? Are they being broken today?
COMMENT: The Bible makes clear that adultery can be committed before marriage (specifically referred to as “fornication”) as well as after marriage. Fidelity to one’s mate actually is lifelong.
4. What advantages are there to abstinence before marriage? Can you think of any disadvantages?
5. Are the rewards to practicing abstinence short term or long term? Which do you think is more gratifying?
6. What should one do when faced with the temptation to violate the 7th commandment? Consider I Corinthians 6:18 and comment.
PROVERBS 6:26,32 For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life. (32) Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul.
7. What does the Bible say about a man that commits adultery? Explain how a man “is reduced to a crust of bread.”
8. Explain how it “destroys his own soul.”
9. Why is adultery such a unique sin? Consider I Corinthians 6:18.
MATTHEW 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. “
10. Many today think that they have not violated the seventh commandment unless sexual intercourse is actually performed. Is it okay to do anything and everything short of actual intercourse? How do Jesus’ words in this verse apply to such thoughts?
COMMENT: God’s way is the way of truth (Psalms 119:30 Psalms 119:30I have chosen the way of truth: your judgments have I laid before me.
American King James Version×), not deceit. Lust may be disguised and professed to be love. Purity and innocence begins as a state of mind.
11. Is committing adultery more than just a physical act? Why is the mental act just as severe in God’s eyes? What harm does it do to the lustful person?
12. The breaking of one of God’s commandments can lead to the violation of another. What other sins can adultery lead to?
13. Part of retaining a healthy marriage includes being loyal to your mate. What are the rewards for remaining loyal to your mate?
14. The divorce rate in the United States has reached 50%, meaning that 50% of all marriages toady will end in divorce. How could this be connected to the outrageous breaking of the 7th commandment in today’s society?
15. Now that the 21st century is here, do you think the morals of society regarding adultery are the same as what God wants us to believe? What evidence can you cite?
1. Does God want us to learn something from this commandment that applies to a larger and more glorious marriage? Read Ephesians 5:31-32 Ephesians 5:31-32 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
American King James Version×and comment.
2. In Jeremiah 18:13 Jeremiah 18:13Therefore thus said the LORD; Ask you now among the heathen, who has heard such things: the virgin of Israel has done a very horrible thing.
American King James Version×, 31:4, Amos 5:2 Amos 5:2The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken on her land; there is none to raise her up.
American King James Version×and several other locations throughout the Bible, Israel is referred to as a “virgin.” Why is this? To whom is Israel to be married someday? Is she to remain pure until then? II Corinthians 11:2 may help.
3. How could one commit spiritual adultery? Read James 4:4 James 4:4You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
American King James Version×and comment.
1. How does our society view adultery? Do your peers think infidelity is wrong even before marriage? In your opinion, how common is the practice of abstinence?
2. Sexual immorality is a sign of the end time as in the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah. Why do you think it is so important for God’s people not to partake in the ways of the world, especially during this time?
3. Why is it so important to think of the long term effects of breaking God’s laws, the 7th commandment in particular?
4. After this discussion, what do you think is the reason (or reasons) God created sex and marriage?