The seventh commandment forbids adultery which is viewed biblically as the shattering of the marriage covenant between a husband and a wife through sexual relations with another outside the marriage. This commandment became the basis for the prohibition of a whole range of sexual sins expanded upon elsewhere in Leviticus and the New Testament: fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, etc.
The warning against adultery is second only to idolatry in the Old Testament, and second to none in the New Testament. It was considered to be a treacherous sin, not only against another person, but against God, as expressed by King David’s cry in his post-adultery confession, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.” (Psalm 51:4)
We are commanded to honor marriage (Hebrews 13:4), and adultery is an offense to the sacredness of that union. The fallout of unbridled adultery is everywhere. Someone has quipped that in America every hour is “Sex O’Clock.” A perusal of the media reveals an epidemic of relationships birthed or ended because of adultery, and any type of accountability for this covenant shattering behavior is dismissed out-of-hand.
A national acceptance has settled like a dark cloud, and like the adulteress woman in Proverbs 30:20, “She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I have done no wrong.’” However, the pain, the regrets, the shame, and the awkward dynamics brought to family life through adultery last a lifetime. From our neighborhoods to our nation, we hear regularly of the blow-outs that come to marriages because of marital unfaithfulness. (more…)