Solomon in all his inspired wisdom writes, “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, And running waters out of thine own well” (Pro. 5:15). In Proverbs 5 Solomon warns his son evils of adultery. He describes the adulterous and her ability to seduce in verses 1-6. This wise man of God warns his son of the grief that adultery will bring to his life in verses 7-14. He encourages his son to be faithful in his marriage in verses 15-20. Solomon closes out chapter 5 by giving reasons for moral behavior, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of Jehovah; And he maketh level all his paths. His own iniquities shall take the wicked, And he shall be holden with the cords of his sin. He shall die for lack of instruction; And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray” (Pro. 5:21-23).
Adultery means to have sexual relations with someone other than your spouse. Adultery has always been a great evil in the sight of God, and clearly condemns it in Scripture. “Thou shalt not commit adultery… Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife…” (Exo. 20:14, 17). “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death” (Lev. 20:10). Paul said that fornication/adultery is a work of the flesh, and “they who practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21).” Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
Notice the following reasons for the severe penalties for and God’s condemnation of adultery.
Adultery does violence to God. Of all the sins committed by man, fornication/adultery attacks God in a special way. David speaking of his adultery with Bathsheba says, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, And done that which is evil in thy sight; That thou mayest be justified when thou speakest, And be clear when thou judgest” (Psa. 51:4). The sin of fornication demonstrates a greater love for the pursuit of sinful pleasure than for God. Friends, the God of the Bible will not play second fiddle to anyone or anything. Many adulterers have a way of convincing themselves and others that adultery really does not matter, but it does! Fornication/adultery is a slap in the face of God.
Adultery destroys the symbolism of marriage. Moses learned that God will not let men destroy symbolism. Christian families were designed to teach about God. How can the oneness of the Godhood be understood? (Mat. 19:4-6). The fidelity of marriage teaches about the blessed relationship between the church and Christ. Christ is married to only one church. Christ is always faithful to His bride. Love in the home should help men to learn about God’s love. The husband’s love for his wife is an example for others (Eph. 5:23). The father’s love, training and discipline, are designed to be godlike. The same is true concerning a mother’s tender embrace and affection. This symbolism between the Christian family and God is not found anywhere else in nature. Christian families are designed to attract people to God. Families which are torn apart because of fornication/adultery are not able to function according to the divine plan.
Adultery make a slave out of the mind. This sin really gains control over its participants (1 Cor. 9:27; 6:12). The more one surrounds himself with immodesty, the more he dwells on it and then desires the transgression (1 Cor. 15:33). Dancing and mixed bathing often lead to fornication/adultery. God wants man to guard his mind and keep it pure. Don’t covet your neighbor’s wife (Exo. 20:17). Be satisfied with the wife of your youth (Pro. 5:15-18). Christians, like David, should refuse to set any wicked thing before their eyes (Psa. 101:3). It is not enough to love what God loves. God hates divorce and fornication and so must his people.
Adultery destroys the marriage vow. God expects men to keep his vows. Who is it that will dwell with the Lord (Psa. 15:1)? Among other things, “He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not” (Psa. 15:4). A man of God will hold true to his marriage vows – drinking water only out of his own cistern. Many see nothing wrong with breaking a vow when they think that they are getting “the short end of the stick” – when they think they are not getting the affection/attention they think they deserve. The two most important vows a man can make better be taken seriously, becoming a Christian (Col. 1:21; 1 Cor. 15:58; Rom. 12:1-2; Rev. 2:10) and marriage (Matt. 19:6). Malachi presents the Jewish cry because God would not heed nor answer their prayers. One reason God would not answer their prayers is recorded in Malachi 2:13-17. “Jehovah hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously, though she is thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth” (Mal. 2:14-15).
Adultery is a sin which originates in the heart of men (Mat. 5:28). Because of the seriousness of this problem, Jesus admonished men to remove any hindrances from their trek down the narrow road to eternal life (Mat. 5:29-30). Here Jesus used a figure of speech known as hyperbole to communicate the seriousness of the situation. David alluded to the plucking out of one’s eye when he said, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes” (Psa. 101:3). “He that committeth adultery with a woman is void of understanding: He doeth it who would destroy his own soul” (Pro. 6:32).