The following are sermon notes from Proverbs: The Cheater. This is an eight week topical study of the book of Proverbs. To read more about this series, including the introduction, resources and listen to audio content click here.
The following post is rated PG-13
You and I are adulterers. You and I are cheaters. Everyone you know is as well. Our culture and our world is rife with adultery.
There are over 4.2 million pornographic webpages on the internet which comprises 12% of all websites and that number is growing daily. Every second $3.1 million is being spent on porn. Every second 28,258 internet users are viewing porn right now and every 39 minutes a porno is being made. Read more information about pornography statistics here.
Internet infidelity is huge, but so is physical. One or both spouses in 41% of all marriages admit to physical or emotional infidelity. 57% of men and 54% of women admit to committing infidelity during any relationship they’ve had. 74% of men say they would commit adultery if they knew they would never get caught. Read more information about marital infidelity here.
NOT JUST THE DEED
As Jesus always seems to do, when He was teaching about the 10 commandments, He completely blew up the disciples understanding of these important moral guidelines for those who worship the God of the Bible. Jesus took a well-understood and passionately followed concept and turned it up-side-down.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell” (Matthew 5:27-30).
First of all, Jesus paints a stunning picture as to how urgent and important it is for us to fight our sin. Not the most pleasant thought, “cut off your right hand”! What is most important in this text is that Jesus takes the act of adultery (enjoying sexual intimacy of any kind with someone that is not your spouse, we’re in Seattle, I have to be specific), and makes it about the motivation, attitude and thought. Now Jesus is saying, that merely thinking lustfully about someone you’re not married to is the SAME as actually enjoying sexual intimacy with them.
With the advent of technology through which a virtual conveyor belt of sexually suggestive and physically attractive people are paraded in front of us, this commandment should convict everyone with hormones. You and I have probably lusted after more people than anyone did in their entire lifetime during Jesus’ day.
Often times lust is thought to just be a man’s issue this is, however, untrue. All you have to do is listen to a group of women (married or unmarried, it doesn’t matter) as they talk about men they think are “hot”. All they are doing is discussing which body type, face and so on they would prefer to be intimate with. Lust.
PRINCIPLE OF STANDARD OF BEAUTY
At Paradox we operate with something we call the Principle of the Standard of Beauty. And what we mean by this is an understanding of the relationship that Adam had with Eve.
When God created the first two people on the planet He gave us a pattern for which we are to follow. God made Eve after He had made Adam. Adam had just finished naming all of the animals and then God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. While Adam was asleep, God took one of his ribs and created Eve. God did not create several women, Eve 3G, 3GS, and 4 and have them march around in front of Adam while he chose the hottest looking one. God made one woman for the one man and gave the woman to the man. Adam had only ONE standard of beauty and that was Eve. No other woman could be compared because there were no other women.
Therefore, we teach our people to make their spouse their standard of beauty. If they are not married we tell them they have no standard and need not find one until they get married. This means, if you’re married to someone short, then you like short people. If you’re married to a brunette, then you like brunettes.
Yet, even as we work to keep ourselves from committing adultery, the temptation is everywhere.
THE CHEATER IN PROVERBS:
Proverbs gives us a sobering warning against adultery and devotes two complete chapters to this subject. We will take a look at chapter 7.
“My son, keep my words and treasure up my commadments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister’, and call insight your intimate friend, to keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words” (Proverbs 7:1-5).
The person who will commit adultery is a smooth talker. They are convincing, seductive and attractive. The author’s instruction to you and I is to seek wisdom and not pleasure. To seek insight and not sexual gratification. Draw close to wisdom and flee from the temptation.
“And behold, the woman meets him dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him…” (Proverbs 7:10-13a).
The temptation grows. They are dressed provocatively. The temptation lies in wait like a predator waits for it’s prey. It’s aggressive and bold. The Proverb goes on to say that her husband is gone and her bed is made neat and smells nice. She’s hot, dressed in lingerie, her bed smells good, no one will find out. The temptation grows and grows. Then the consequence…
“With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till and arrow pierces it’s liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life” (Proverbs 7:21-23).
The pleasure you will feel is not worth it. There are consequences for what you do.
Men: You’re going to need to turn off the computer, avert your eyes and put some pants on. The lustful pleasure you seek is fleeting and destructive. If you like girls in lingerie, turn off the porn, read your Bible, find a girl who loves Jesus, marry said girl and enjoy her! The girl with tight pants walking down the street in front of you or the girl doing unspeakable things in front of a camera while you watch are not for you! You are a boy-pervert and you need to be a strong man.
Women: You are more likely to start with an emotional affair that moves towards sexual intimacy. Maybe the dude you’re with is not taking care of you the way he should. This is not an occasion to satisfy your needs somewhere else. If you’re married to this dude, this is an occasion to tell him to man up and take care of you. You may be looking for what you can’t have currently in places you shouldn’t be. Let me give you some advice. The dude that is willing to take advantage of your emotional needs is an abusive, lying sleaze. You cannot trust him, you can only run from him.
To those who are married: Take King Solomon’s advice and enjoy each other sexually! “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love” (Proverbs 5:18-19). And all the men said, “AMEN!” Married couples that are regularly intimate with one another are much less likely to fall into the temptation adultery.
The wise flee from adultery.
The fool stupidly runs after lustful pleasure.