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?