This week we’re talking about marital faithfulness as we dig into the heart behind the seventh commandment, You shall not commit adultery. Today we’re returning to Psalm 19, which continues to beautifully complement our study of the Ten Commandments. Let’s review the full psalm again before jumping into more discussion.
We have noted before that the psalmist uses seven words interchangeably to describe God’s guidelines for living — law, testimony, precepts, commandment, fear, and rules. In verse 9, he declares, “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever.” This part of the psalm is especially fitting as we address the commandment against adultery.
Throughout history, humanity’s views on sex and sexuality — and how loudly those views have been proclaimed — have swung back and forth with each generation, ultimately impacting marriage and families for better or worse. How have you seen this shifting in your generation? How have these changes impacted your relationships?
The good news is that even though the world changes around us God’s standards haven’t changed since the beginning of time. We know the account well, but let’s pause for a few minutes in the story of Adam and Eve and consider the beauty of God’s original design for marriage and why it’s so important to protect the union between husband and wife. Sometimes we just need a little reminder of the beauty of oneness in marriage.
When the first seconds became minutes and minutes hours and hours days, God formed adam, the first man, out of the red dust of the earth in the very image of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. When God breathed His life into this pinnacle of His creation, Adam became more than an animal. Adam was a living soul with his will, mind and body harmoniously and intimately intertwined into a reflection of the triune God.
Adam was so different than those of the animal kingdom that not one of the animals even came close to being his equal, and not wanting Adam to be alone, God performed the first transplant surgery to bring life to Eve, whose very name means life-giver. She was ezer kenegdo, a helper suitable to ally with Adam in daily life and a trustworthy friend to walk side-by-side.
God separated His image in the creation of man and woman as He gave each unique characteristics that when combined would shine a beautiful reflection of Him, and He called this final piece of his creation “very good.” United as one, Adam and Eve were God’s perfect masterpiece placed in the perfect, peaceful Garden of Eden. They were naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25).
Yes, a snake dropped a question, doubt formed in Eve’s mind about God’s goodness, and she made a choice to go against God’s plan. Yes, innocence was shattered and humankind began to replace God’s perfect design for oneness in marriage with their own ideas now saturated by lust and shame. But through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we have victory over sin. We can live as God intended and honor the covenant of marriage in our lives today.
Respond in prayer. Praise God for His perfect marriage plan. Confess where you’ve failed to live according to His best. Thank Him for your marriage and/or the marriages of others in your life. Ask Him to help you protect the treasure of marriage whether your own or that of others.