Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Walking in Wisdom – Wisdom in Temptation

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Week Five – Day 3.   Wednesday, February 15, 2017wk05d03

WEDNESDAY – THE TEMPTATION OF ADULTERY
Read Proverbs 6:27-35 SOAP Proverbs 6:32

PROVERBS 6:27-35 27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? 28 Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched? 29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished. 30 People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry, 31 but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house. 32 He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. 33 He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away. 34 For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. 35 He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts.

O – Adultery. Even the word grieves me. The SOAP verse flat out describes the effects of adultery – destruction. It destroys everything. Relationship. Family. Marriage. Trust. Self esteem. The text says that someone who commits adultery lacks sense. Wisdom. Leb – in Hebrew. The inner man, mind, will, heart, understand, resolution, determination of will, conscience. The Amplified Version lays it out: “But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks common sense and sound judgment and an understanding [of moral principles]; He who would destroy his soul does it.”

Interesting note from Lumina…… v. 27 – Fire – he word “fire” (אֵשׁ, ’esh) plays on the words “man” (אִישׁ,’ish) and “woman” (אִשָּׁה, ’ishah); a passage like this probably inspired R. Gamaliel’s little explanation that what binds a man and a woman together in a holy marriage is י (yod) and ה (he), the two main letters of the holy name Yah. But if the Lord is removed from the relationship, that is, if these two letters are removed, all that is left is the אֵשׁ – the fire of passion. Since Gamaliel was the teacher of Paul, this may have influenced Paul’s advice that it was better to marry than to burn (1 Cor 7:9).

Again, adultery is a sin of the heart…… even if it has not been committed with the body. Jesus speaks of this in Matthew. Matthew 5:8 – “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (ESV) Again in Mark – Mark 7:21 – “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,” Adultery is not just an act – it is a state of the heart. It is not being willing to be pure, committed, and true to the marriage covenant and God’s word. And, it starts with the heart.

A – It is so interesting to note that the theme that I am seeing in Proverbs is the heart. (The word heart is mentioned in Proverbs 91 times in the ESV!) It is where decisions are made – to follow or not obey what we know to be true from God’s word. It affects every area of our lives. Proverbs 4:23 says, ” Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)

This particular subject of adultery is painful for me. My first marriage ended because of my former husband’s adultery. I saw the rationalization, the lies, the destruction, the hurt that it caused. It DID destroy everything. Our relationship. Our marriage. Our family. My trust. My self esteem. God designed marriage for “ever.” Only when man dissolves it – it tears that fabric apart. The whole idea of “one flesh” brings “one spirit” into marriage as well.. So – adultery destroys that. And God meant for it NOT to be destroyed. It is sad to say that I don’t even know where Jerry is, what he is doing, where his heart is now. I just know that 32 years ago, he walked away with someone else, and married at least twice since then. My daughter has had no contact with him since she was five. That is destruction, as well.

I am so blessed to be married to Paul, now for 19 months. We walked into this marriage, preparing for it with the acknowledgement that he was coming from a 34 year faithful marriage, and I was a single mom for over 30 years. Our covenant before God included powerful words of commitment, and recognition that He is the “glue” that keeps us together. But – we must guard our hearts. It is interesting that my pastor, from the very beginning of my relationship with Paul, told me to find a woman who would pray that God would “guard our hearts!” That has been so integral in our relationship.

But – in guarding my heart, I acknowledge that I need to be aware of the “little foxes” that could ruin our relationship. See Song of Solomon 2:15 –“ Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” It is being aware of what our culture does to damage purity. It is being aware that movies, books, television, ads, magazines, and even music does to cheapen pure love. It is being aware that my eyes belong on him, not others. It is being aware that he needs my prayers – for him. It is being aware that marriage takes work, and time, and commitment. It is being aware that nothing, NOTHING, is worth the destruction of a marriage. And it is being aware that small things, taken lightly, lead to bigger things, and complacency is one of them.

Married or single, purity and integrity is what God desires in us. Purity in our thoughts. Purity in our actions. Purity in our words. Integrity in our thoughts. Integrity in our actions. Integrity in our words. And we can’t do that without Him. We can’t do that unless we are digging in the Word, letting it permeate our hearts.

P – Father God, do Your work in My heart today. Permeate it with Your love, Your spirit, Your Word. Seek out those little foxes and rid them. Let me not become complacent in my blessing. Keep me aware of the things that may threaten to invade our commitment. Keep my love fresh, and pure, and full of integrity. Guard my heart. Guard Paul’s. Guard the hearts of my friends who are married. Guard the hearts of my friends who are single. Guard the hearts of those who live in the shadow of adultery, the destruction of their marriage, and the pain of that loss. Fill me, fill us, with Your love. Let me live today in integrity and purity – in all that I do. Amen.

Slow Fade (Casting Crowns) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wo26sCH-Fw
Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands
As darkness pulls the strings

Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattering leads to compromises, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises leave broken hearts astray

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see

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