Written by cycleguy on January 9th, 2013

Such an ugly, ugly word.  A word so pregnant with hurt and meaning that just its mention conjures up “the cringes.”   But for this moment, take your mind away from the commonly talked-about type of adultery and consider the other kind:


On Wednesday nights, I teach a class I call “66”- short for Route 66.  If you know anything about the Bible you will recognize its connection…there are 66 books in the Bible.  After a short break for Christmas, we were back at it Wednesday night.  The books we discussed were Hosea, Joel and Amos.

Hosea, if you don’t already know, is the book of spiritual adultery.  Hosea marries Gomer, a prostitute, because God told him to. Sure seems like a strange request doesn’t it?  We aren’t told whether Hosea balked at the order or not.  The Bible simply said he did what he was told to do.  She bore three children and scholars differ on whether Hosea is the father.  Each name tells a story of God’s feeling toward Israel.  By the time chapter 3 rolls around, Gomer has left Hosea to resume her wayward life and Hosea is told to find her and redeem her.

The whole story sounds preposterous to me/us.  How in the world?  Who in the world?  But God has a lesson He wants His people to know.  They are unfaithful and will pay the price. But He also wants them to know He loves them and wants to restore them.  Several verses stand out:

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.”  10: 12

“Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them.  I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down and fed them.”  11: 3-4

There are more.  I encourage you to read Hosea yourself.  The point that I want to make is fairly plain:

Adultery, sexual adultery, is ugly.  It is a betrayal.  It leaves scars.  It hurts, even devastates. 

Adultery, spiritual adultery, is ugly.  It is a betrayal.  It leaves scars.  It hurts, even devastates.

While physical adultery may not be in the cards, spiritual adultery is a very real enemy.  I face it on a daily basis.  A betrayal to the One I love.  A betrayal of my relationship with the One who gave Himself for me, the One I pledged my love, life and devotion to.   Yeah, I am guilty of adultery when I choose to love and serve another.

How about you?  Any thoughts you care to share?


27 Comments so far ↓

  1. Tami Grandi says:

    Ouch- that’s my response…

    I need to work on putting Him first daily- it gets harder and harder the busier I get 🙁

  2. What gets me is that God/Christ asks us to do some preposterous things.

  3. Daniel says:

    Great parallel. I feel that shame of adultery when I let distractions encroach on my devotional time or nightly prayer time. It is something that I need to be very intentional about.

  4. Steve Martin says:

    Already been guilty of it.

    “If you even look at someone in that way, think about it, then you are guilty of doing it.”

    It’s far too late for us to try and recapture our lost innocence. Far too late.

    We actually need a Savior.

  5. I’ve always thought that Hosea really got the short end of the stick as a prophet. Jeremiah had it pretty bad too.
    For me, connecting physical adultery with spiritual adultery is actually helpful – because it shows me the shocking nature of being spiritually unfaithful. Without that punch in the gut, it’s easy for us to think spiritual unfaithfulness is some intangible, no-big-deal sin.

  6. Susan says:

    The thing that stands out to me in this story is how very very much Abba cares for us. He wants a relationship based not on rules, but based on a love that humanly speaking is impossible. “Wow! Look at the kind of love our heavenly Father has unstintingly poured out on us.” Excuse me, now I need to go find the pieces of my mind that just got blown away….

  7. Great points, Bill. As much as God draws the analogy of marriage to our relationship with Him, you’re definitely hitting on some truth. Thankful He takes us back and remains faithful in our unfaithfulness.

  8. Jeff says:

    I think adultery is just another form of self delusion, dishonesty or hypocracy. If a person is honest their actions will match their words. To say you believe something and then do something different generally means someone isn’t being honest about what they really believe. I don’t think you all should wallow in guilt and beat yourselves up so much. There aren’t many absolutes and you always have the grace and forgiveness cards to play. Just be nice to everyone and you will be fine.

    • cycleguy says:

      I don’t necessarily think we are beating ourselves up. Being realistic in our sinfulness may be accurate. I think faithfulness, whether in marriage or in our spiritual lives, is tantamount.

  9. floyd says:

    Great post, Bill. I appreciate the hard truth and honesty. We’re all guilty of it. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

    For me and the season that I’m in, I’d say this could be used in the subject of fear. When we fear the world, people, or things, and mediate on them with worry, anxiousness, and dread, we are adulterous to our Father who calls the shots in all matters. He causes or allows all things. If we fear the world we choose His creation over Him.

    Not sure why that hit me like it did… Excellent. Thanks.

  10. There are so many passages like this where God makes plain His love for His people and desire to restore them. Kind of blows that whole idea of He’s the “Judgmental God in the Old Testament” and “Lovey-Dovey God in the New Testament” out of the water, right? The reason He allows us the freedom to choose is because He really does want REAL relationship. Even in our choosing other lovers and stepping into the consequences, He’s coming after us. His love is amazing… Thanks Bill.

    • cycleguy says:

      I love your comment about the OT God and the NT God. Blows it out of the water for sure. Amos does that also. I am so glad for His freedom. Thanks for the comment Jason.

  11. Jan says:

    Powerful blog! Thank you

  12. Debbie says:

    Thank you for talking about the hard stuff . ..the stuff we need to hear. And for letting us know just how devastating it is. Praying now to stay true to the One I love. God bless you!

  13. Tom says:

    Count me guilty. I confess my spiritual adultery too Bill. GREAT message and so needed. Thank you!! Blessings and strength!

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