A current TV ad for credit card application shows a man on the phone with his pet frog in his hand. The man on the other end of the line is assuring man #1 that they do indeed have fraud protection. And to clarify, man #1 says, “you are saying frog-guh protection, aren’t you?” Man #2 says definitely, “Yes, I am saying fraud-duh protection. Both think they are understanding the other. Makes me laugh every time.
In Genesis 3:1-2, the enemy of our souls slithers up to Eve and says, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?'” The woman says to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”
Eve quotes God correctly in that He did say they were free to eat from any tree except one – the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But, then, she doesn’t stop there. She says God told them they were not even to touch it. Now, Genesis 2:16-17 does record God’s words about not eating, but does not record that he said not to touch it. The serpent knows he has her hooked. I think it is quite likely that she added something of her own. She deviates from the truth. I think we call that a lie. You can read Genesis 3:3-7 for the immediate – and lasting – consequences.
Today, we see the effects of Satan’s words all around us. “Did God really say we are to limit full expression of intimacy to marriage? That is just plain silly, and certainly not reasonable.” While there are no verses which say specifically, “If you are unmarried, do not have sex,” there are plenty of verses which make that message clear. Look at Galatians 5:19. King James Version uses words like, “adultery,” and “fornication,” to differentiate intimate acts of those who are married from those who are unmarried. Other translations use words like, “sexual immorality and impurity,” “moral corruption,” “immoral ways,” and “not being sexually faithful.” Some even have the gall to use phrases like, “impurity of mind,” “mental and emotional garbage.” Oh oh! You mean I can live my whole life without, say, physically stealing something, but just thinking about doing it is like doing the act of stealing?
Jesus addressed that in Matthew 15:19 when He says that murder, theft, false testimony, and wrong use of sexuality really begin in the heart, and that inward commission of these is as powerful as outward commission. And then, He says specifically in Matthew 5;27-28 (NIV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
I don’t know about you, but I have to admit that I have coveted what was not mine. I have hated someone at times. I have had lustful thoughts. And, I have done all those things without another person knowing about it. Well, one Person knows. The One Who created me. The One Who learned obedience in the arena of suffering. (Hebrews 5:8) He alone can help me live in the tension of unfulfilled desires.
More thoughts next time.