The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Deuteronomy 5: 1-21 Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today. The Lord spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. He said, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me. ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day. ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you. ‘You shall not murder. ‘You shall not commit adultery. ‘You shall not steal. ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’
Matthew Henry said “There are somes sins from which we need to be saved with fear, particularly, fleshly lusts, which are such natural brute beasts as cannot be checked, but by being frightened; cannot be kept from a forbidden tree, but by Cherubim, with a flaming sword. When we are tempted to think it hard to deny ourselves and to crucify fleshly lusts, we must consider how much harder it will be to lie forever in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone”.
Jesus taught “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 lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart”.
As is His custom, Jesus cuts off all avenues of escape when it comes to the issue of adultery. In regards to the seventh commandment, many would say they have never physically cheated on their spouse, therefore, they have never violated God’s Law in this manner. That is the crafty, slithering thought and language of a pharisee. However, as we can see from Jesus’ commentary on the seventh commandment, adultery goes far beyond the physical manifestation of it, into the realm of thought, into our very heart.
While adultery is a sin which both men and women are capable of committing, this morning I am speaking to the men of Sovereign King Church, both young and old. I love you, and want to see you follow after Christ, enslaved to Him, not living your lives as oxen stumbling to the slaughter.
Job said that he made a covenant with his eyes that he might not look upon a young woman. David, a man after God’s own heart, and a serial adulterer, said in Psalm 101 “I will give heed to the blameless way. When will you come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil”. These are men who recognized the need to guard their eyes, and their homes, from that which has caused many a strong man to stumble.
Many, many Christians, under the umbrella of Christian liberty, believe wrongfully that they can bring fire to their bosom and not be burned. We consume entertainment designed to entice and lure us away. We surf the internet knowing exactly where to look to get our fill of that which we lust after. We allow things into our homes saying “Well, this may cause you to sin, but not me, so it's all good”, forgetting the admonition that “He who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall” and “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”. Our world is drunk with the desire to be endlessly entertained, and within that entertainment are seeds meant to be implanted in your heart which slowly crumble your defenses. A little compromise here, a little capitulation there, and your favorite movie, song, or place to go and be entertained slowly but surely desensitizes you to adultery. “Well, that movie has only 1 sex scene, I will close my eyes for that”, or “There isn’t anything explicit in this movie that might cause me to stumble, but all the women are pretty scantily clad, I will just avert my eyes for those scenes”. We build up excuse after excuse for why we allow these worthless, soul damning, enticing things before our eyes and we hide behind Christian liberty and our desire to be entertained in the process of doing it. Men, it’s madness. King David, a man after God’s own heart, stumbled after a glance. Job, blameless, upright, God fearing Job, knew the impact of a glance here and there, and made a covenant with his eyes. But you, and I, in our pride and arrogance, believe that we are spiritual enough, strong enough, wise and discerning enough, to bring these hot coals to our bosom and not get burned. What fools we are to believe this.
To compound our sin in the matter of lust in our hearts, we bring this garbage into our homes, set these worthless things before the eyes of our wives and children with all the accompanying excuses, and we set a standard for our wives that they can never meet, teach our sons to be whoremongers and our daughters to be Jezebels.
When I was thirteen years old I was introduced to pornography at a friends house. This was 30 years ago. If I choose to, I can still remember the scene that played out on the TV screen that day. Men, you cannot unsee these things. Your sons cannot unsee the scantily clad, form fitting, cleavage revealing women that prance around on the TV. Your wives and daughters cannot meet the expectations demanded by the entertainment of our day. Lost men and women by the millions are having their perceptions of the opposite sex warped by pop culture and entertainment, and we Christians drink it in like sweet tea on a hot summer day and call it liberty.
Jesus said “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell (Matthew 5:29,30).
If you are able, let us kneel and cry out to God for His grace and mercy.
Heavenly Father, please be merciful towards us sinners. Father, please forgive us for our prideful hearts which seek that which you have forbidden, believing that we can bring fire to our bosoms and not get burned. Father, we are weak. We think we are strong, believe that we are able to dabble in that which leads many astray, and wind up caught in a snare of our own making, leading our wives, sons, and daughters into the pit with us. Please forgive us. Please create with us clean hearts and steadfast spirits. Help us to recognize that our adulterous ways are sins committed against You alone. Father, please be with the men of Sovereign King Church. Help us to love our wives and children enough to say with David that we will allow no worthless thing before our eyes. Please fill us with Your Spirit, and give us affections which lead us to seek after that which is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Philippians 4: 4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 5/26/19 liturgy of Sovereign King Church, written by Aaron Sabie.)