Category Archives: Adultery / Sex Outside Marriage

Consequences of Sin Can Be Very Destructive; Even If We Repent

As we read about the difficulties within David’s family in 2 Samuel 13, let us not overlook or forget that this immediately follows YHWH’s rebuke of David through Nathan in 2 Samuel 12 about the matter where David committed adultery and then murder. The family problems are resulting from David’s sin. Consequences of our sin can be very destructive, even if we repent and are forgiven.

2 Samuel 13

Amnon and Tamar

      1Now it was after this that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2Amnon was so frustrated because of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill, for she was a virgin, and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her. 3But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother; and Jonadab was a very shrewd man. 4He said to him, “O son of the king, why are you so depressed morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” Then Amnon said to him, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom.” 5Jonadab then said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill; when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some food to eat, and let her prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat from her hand.’” 6So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill; when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.”

      7Then David sent to the house for Tamar, saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.” 8So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, and he was lying down. And she took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9She took the pan and dished them out before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, “Have everyone go out from me.” So everyone went out from him. 10Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom, that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes which she had made and brought them into the bedroom to her brother Amnon. 11When she brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” 12But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing! 13“As for me, where could I get rid of my reproach? And as for you, you will be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14However, he would not listen to her; since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.

      15Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up, go away!” 16But she said to him, “No, because this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you have done to me!” Yet he would not listen to her. 17Then he called his young man who attended him and said, “Now throw this woman out of my presence, and lock the door behind her.” 18Now she had on a long-sleeved garment; for in this manner the virgin daughters of the king dressed themselves in robes. Then his attendant took her out and locked the door behind her. 19Tamar put ashes on her head and tore her long-sleeved garment which was on her; and she put her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went.

      20Then Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now keep silent, my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.” So Tamar remained and was desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. 21Now when King David heard of all these matters, he was very angry. 22But Absalom did not speak to Amnon either good or bad; for Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar.

      23Now it came about after two full years that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons.

Absalom Avenges Tamar

      24Absalom came to the king and said, “Behold now, your servant has sheepshearers; please let the king and his servants go with your servant.” 25But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, we should not all go, for we will be burdensome to you.” Although he urged him, he would not go, but blessed him. 26Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.” And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27But when Absalom urged him, he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

      28Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “See now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then put him to death. Do not fear; have not I myself commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant.” 29The servants of Absalom did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose and each mounted his mule and fled.

      30Now it was while they were on the way that the report came to David, saying, “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” 31Then the king arose, tore his clothes and lay on the ground; and all his servants were standing by with clothes torn. 32Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, responded, “Do not let my lord suppose they have put to death all the young men, the king’s sons, for Amnon alone is dead; because by the intent of Absalom this has been determined since the day that he violated his sister Tamar. 33“Now therefore, do not let my lord the king take the report to heart, namely, ‘all the king’s sons are dead,’ for only Amnon is dead.”

      34Now Absalom had fled. And the young man who was the watchman raised his eyes and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain. 35Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons have come; according to your servant’s word, so it happened.” 36As soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came and lifted their voices and wept; and also the king and all his servants wept very bitterly.

      37Now Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38So Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur, and was there three years. 39The heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom; for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

How We Respond to YHWH’s Correction Largely Defines Our Relationship with Him

When it comes to submitting our lives to YHWH and becoming His people, none of us will be above rebuke. Not even King David was above rebuke. This is a good thing. We are all accountable to YHWH.  He is a loving father who will rebuke and discipline those He loves. We may not like being rebuked, but it helps us remain close to Him and as such, is a very good thing.

How will we respond to the rebuke? That is what will truly define our relationship with our Father. Will we accept it, ask forgiveness, and repent or will we deny and make excuses, rationalizing what we did as acceptable because of the circumstances?

Repenting, even genuinely, does not mean there will not be consequences for our sin. But it will help to guide us back in good relationship with YHWH after.

2 Samuel 12

Nathan Rebukes David

      1Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said,
“There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor.

      2“The rich man had a great many flocks and herds.

      3“But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb
Which he bought and nourished;
And it grew up together with him and his children.
It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom,
And was like a daughter to him.

      4“Now a traveler came to the rich man,
And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd,
To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him;
Rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

5Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. 6“He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.”

      7Nathan then said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8‘I also gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these! 9‘Why have you despised the word of the LORD by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10‘Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11“Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12‘Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.’” 13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. 14“However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.” 15So Nathan went to his house.

Loss of a Child

       Then the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. 16David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. 17The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. 18Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!” 19But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” 20So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate.

      21Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ 23“But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

Solomon Born

      24Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the LORD loved him 25and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the LORD’S sake.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Temptation is a Trap that Leads to Sin, So Flee From It

David was a man after YHWH’s own heart, but even he was susceptible to temptation and sin. One of his most significant failures began when he should have been at war with his army. He stayed home. He allowed himself to be idle and let his eyes wander and then linger where they should not have done so.

Then, as he lingered, his desire increased and he took action to inquire about the woman. It leads to adultery and that then leads to even more sin, in this  case murder, to try to cover up what he did wrong. As David arranges fro Uriah to be murdered, he also causes the death of others in the battle. David sinned and then escalated the sin to try and cover. He was totally self absorbed and absent any thought of the impact on others. Did he forget that we can not hide such a thing from YHWH? or was he only focused on himself and the judgment of men?

Let us be bold enough to turn from temptation and flee from it early before it becomes a trap and leads to sin. If we sin, let us repent and come clean before YHWH and man and not escalate in our web of deceit and sin.

Perhaps an interesting context to better understand would be about the role of Bathsheba. Did she have an option to resist the king? or was she trapped by the situation and a powerful man? or was she a willing participant in this adulterous affair?

2 Samuel 11

Bathsheba, David’s Great Sin

     1Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.

      2Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. 3So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. 5The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am pregnant.”

      6Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7When Uriah came to him, David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war. 8Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and a present from the king was sent out after him. 9But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10Now when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.” 12Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his lord’s servants, but he did not go down to his house.

      14Now in the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15He had written in the letter, saying, “Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die.” 16So it was as Joab kept watch on the city, that he put Uriah at the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17The men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David’s servants fell; and Uriah the Hittite also died. 18Then Joab sent and reported to David all the events of the war. 19He charged the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling all the events of the war to the king, 20and if it happens that the king’s wrath rises and he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21‘Who struck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’—then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’”

      22So the messenger departed and came and reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us and came out against us in the field, but we pressed them as far as the entrance of the gate. 24“Moreover, the archers shot at your servants from the wall; so some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.” 25Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab, ‘Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another; make your battle against the city stronger and overthrow it’; and so encourage him.”

      26Now when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27When the time of mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she became his wife; then she bore him a son. But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD.

Buy Truth and Do Not Sell It. Get Understanding.

Not everyone we meet is to be taken at face value for everything they may tell you. Some may invite you to eat from their table, but silently curse you if they think you are being greedy about how much you eat or ungrateful about not thanking them enough. We should thoughtfully consider our behavior and how it matches with what YHWH tells us to do (and not to do) and also how our actions may affect others around us. Our Father has much to tell us about life and conduct in the Bible.

Proverbs 23

On Life and Conduct

1When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you,

2And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man of great appetite.

3Do not desire his delicacies,
For it is deceptive food.

4Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
Cease from your consideration of it.

5When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.
For wealth certainly makes itself wings
Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.

6Do not eat the bread of a selfish man,
Or desire his delicacies;

7For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
He says to you, “Eat and drink!”
But his heart is not with you.

8You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten,
And waste your compliments.

9Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10Do not move the ancient boundary
Or go into the fields of the fatherless,

11For their Redeemer is strong;
He will plead their case against you.

12Apply your heart to discipline
And your ears to words of knowledge.

13Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.

14You shall strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol.

15My son, if your heart is wise,
My own heart also will be glad;

16And my inmost being will rejoice
When your lips speak what is right.

17Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But live in the fear of the LORD always.

18Surely there is a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.

19Listen, my son, and be wise,
And direct your heart in the way.

20Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;

21For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.

22Listen to your father who begot you,
And do not despise your mother when she is old.

23Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice,
And he who sires a wise son will be glad in him.

25Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.

26Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes delight in my ways.

27For a harlot is a deep pit
And an adulterous woman is a narrow well.

28Surely she lurks as a robber,
And increases the faithless among men.

29Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?

30Those who linger long over wine,
Those who go to taste mixed wine.

31Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it goes down smoothly;

32At the last it bites like a serpent
And stings like a viper.

33Your eyes will see strange things
And your mind will utter perverse things.

34And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea,
Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast.

35“They struck me, but I did not become ill;
They beat me, but I did not know it.
When shall I awake?
I will seek another drink.”

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Reward of Humility And The Fear Of The Lord

The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life. Pause and ask the Spirit to guide you and speak to you as you read Proverbs today. May He open our eyes to the truth of God’s word and how it applies in our lives. May we be humble enough to identify and admit where we need to make changes.

Proverbs 22

On Life and Conduct

1A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold.

2The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The LORD is the maker of them all.

3The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the naive go on, and are punished for it.

4The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

5Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.

6Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

7The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

8He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,
And the rod of his fury will perish.

9He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.

10Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out,
Even strife and dishonor will cease.

11He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

12The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.

13The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”

14The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the LORD will fall into it.

15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

16He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

17Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;

18For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.

19So that your trust may be in the LORD,
I have taught you today, even you.

20Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,

21To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?

22Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;

23For the LORD will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.

24Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,

25Or you will learn his ways
And find a snare for yourself.

26Do not be among those who give pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.

27If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?

28Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.

29Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

There is much wisdom, much treasure, in Proverbs. Read it slowly and carefully. Reflect on how each part applies in your life and the lives of others around you. Pray for insight and help to make necessary changes in your life to come more in line with God’s wisdom and advice rather than “how you have always done things” or “how the world does things” or what is “normal”.

Only God is truly wise, so let us listen and obey.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

What Is Mardi Gras and Should Christians Celebrate It?

What is Mardi Gras and why do so many Christians celebrate it? I grew up in a Catholic church and never could quite figure out how people could say that Mardi Gras was a “Christian holiday”. People broadly seemed to have accepted the concept that Christ wants us to embrace wild parties, drunkenness, public nudity, gluttony and other sinful behavior as a precursor to a period of repentance which follows. If it is not obvious enough that celebrating Mardi Gras is not a way to edify, honor, or lift up Christ then try a more academic exercise. Where in scripture did Jesus demonstrate or teach that we should sin greatly before a period of repentance? It’s not there. In fact, the opposite.

The call to repentance is real, but not the call to sin before it.

This does not even begin to touch on the focus that Mardi Gras puts on pagan gods associated with parades and other events.

Matthew 4:17

      17From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Romans 6

      1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.

      8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

      12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

      15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

      20For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are called to righteousness and not to sin. How then can those in the church widely accept and embrace sin as a “Christian holiday”? The answer is that we have not followed the Lord’s instructions. He commands us not to learn the ways of the pagans and not to celebrate as they do. But all too often our common cultural holidays have been greatly influenced by pagan celebrations. The church has chosen to accept and blend pagan practices alongside or in place of how the Lord wants us to worship Him.

Mardi Gras is a tradition that dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the raucous Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia.

When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of fasting and penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

Along with Christianity, Mardi Gras spread from Rome to other European countries, including France, Germany, Spain and England.

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mardi-gras

Deuteronomy 12:1-5

   1“These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth. 2“You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3“You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place. 4“You shall not act like this toward the LORD your God. 5“But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the LORD your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come.

In order to choose to follow the Lord His way, which is the only true way to follow Him, then we must turn away from and reject pagan celebrations which have been blended with or replaced God’s instructions for how we are to worship Him and how we are to live. Let us not make excuses, accepting the lifestyle of the pagans as our own, no matter how long the family traditions have been established. When we start making exceptions, we often end up with things like Mardi Gras… many who claim to be Christian accept it and would defend it… but none can justify it based on scripture or God’s word. It has become part of the culture based on a historical choices and family traditions. Let us seek the Lord and the Lord’s way alone to live submitted to Him. Let us not blend with the ways of the pagans but rather turn back to our Lord wholeheartedly and without hesitation.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

Neither Be Nor Pursue the Harlot

Proverbs 7

The Wiles of the Harlot

1My son, keep my words
And treasure my commandments within you.

      2Keep my commandments and live,
And my teaching as the apple of your eye.

      3Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

      4Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your intimate friend;

      5That they may keep you from an adulteress,
From the foreigner who flatters with her words.

      6For at the window of my house
I looked out through my lattice,

      7And I saw among the naive,
And discerned among the youths
A young man lacking sense,

      8Passing through the street near her corner;
And he takes the way to her house,

      9In the twilight, in the evening,
In the middle of the night and in the darkness.

      10And behold, a woman comes to meet him,
Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.

      11She is boisterous and rebellious,
Her feet do not remain at home;

      12She is now in the streets, now in the squares,
And lurks by every corner.

      13So she seizes him and kisses him
And with a brazen face she says to him:

      14“I was due to offer peace offerings;
Today I have paid my vows.

      15“Therefore I have come out to meet you,
To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.

      16“I have spread my couch with coverings,
With colored linens of Egypt.

      17“I have sprinkled my bed
With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.

      18“Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with caresses.

      19“For my husband is not at home,
He has gone on a long journey;

      20He has taken a bag of money with him,
At the full moon he will come home.”

      21With her many persuasions she entices him;
With her flattering lips she seduces him.

      22Suddenly he follows her
As an ox goes to the slaughter,
Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool,

      23Until an arrow pierces through his liver;
As a bird hastens to the snare,
So he does not know that it will cost him his life.

      24Now therefore, my sons, listen to me,
And pay attention to the words of my mouth.

      25Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways,
Do not stray into her paths.

      26For many are the victims she has cast down,
And numerous are all her slain.

      27Her house is the way to Sheol,
Descending to the chambers of death.

Timeless Wisdom

Proverbs contains timeless wisdom we should still be teaching our children. Do not become financially responsible for someone else’s debts. Do not be lazy. Plan ahead for your future. Even the ants do that. Do not speak with perverse mouth or speak wicked things. Do not devise evil or stir up strife. In particular, there is much emphasis on avoiding adultery.

Proverbs 6

     Parental Counsel

     1My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor,
Have given a pledge for a stranger,

2If you have been snared with the words of your mouth,
Have been caught with the words of your mouth,

3Do this then, my son, and deliver yourself;
Since you have come into the hand of your neighbor,
Go, humble yourself, and importune your neighbor.

4Give no sleep to your eyes,
Nor slumber to your eyelids;

5Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hunter’s hand
And like a bird from the hand of the fowler.

6Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,

7Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,

8Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.

9How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?

10“A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest”—

11Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man.

12A worthless person, a wicked man,
Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth,

13Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet,
Who points with his fingers;

14Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil,
Who spreads strife.

15Therefore his calamity will come suddenly;
Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.

16There are six things which the LORD hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:

17Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,

18A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,

19A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers.

20My son, observe the commandment of your father
And do not forsake the teaching of your mother;

21Bind them continually on your heart;
Tie them around your neck.

22When you walk about, they will guide you;
When you sleep, they will watch over you;
And when you awake, they will talk to you.

23For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light;
And reproofs for discipline are the way of life

24To keep you from the evil woman,
From the smooth tongue of the adulteress.

25Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her capture you with her eyelids.

26For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread,
And an adulteress hunts for the precious life.

27Can a man take fire in his bosom
And his clothes not be burned?

28Or can a man walk on hot coals
And his feet not be scorched?

29So is the one who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
Whoever touches her will not go unpunished.

30Men do not despise a thief if he steals
To satisfy himself when he is hungry;

31But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold;
He must give all the substance of his house.

32The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense;
He who would destroy himself does it.

33Wounds and disgrace he will find,
And his reproach will not be blotted out.

34For jealousy enrages a man,
And he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

35He will not accept any ransom,
Nor will he be satisfied though you give many gifts.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Avoid the Pitfalls of Immorality; Rejoice in the Wife of Your Youth

Sexual immorality is a trap. It promises pleasure and delivers bitter and destructive impact. Sex is to be enjoyed and pleasurable, but it is only intended for a man and his wife. It is not really very complicated, but many fall prey to the trap of seduction and are drawn into destructive immorality.

Proverbs 5

Pitfalls of Immorality

1My son, give attention to my wisdom,
Incline your ear to my understanding;

      2That you may observe discretion
And your lips may reserve knowledge.

      3For the lips of an adulteress drip honey
And smoother than oil is her speech;

      4But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.

      5Her feet go down to death,
Her steps take hold of Sheol.

      6She does not ponder the path of life;
Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

      7Now then, my sons, listen to me
And do not depart from the words of my mouth.

      8Keep your way far from her
And do not go near the door of her house,

      9Or you will give your vigor to others
And your years to the cruel one;

      10And strangers will be filled with your strength
And your hard-earned goods will go to the house of an alien;

      11And you groan at your final end,
When your flesh and your body are consumed;

      12And you say, “How I have hated instruction!
And my heart spurned reproof!

      13“I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to my instructors!

      14“I was almost in utter ruin
In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

      15Drink water from your own cistern
And fresh water from your own well.

      16Should your springs be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?

      17Let them be yours alone
And not for strangers with you.

      18Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.

      19As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.

      20For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress
And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?

      21For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD,
And He watches all his paths.

      22His own iniquities will capture the wicked,
And he will be held with the cords of his sin.

      23He will die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Hold Fast to the Name of Yeshua and Repent from Following False Teaching

 

In the letters to the seven churches, Yeshua continues to identify Himself as the “One who has the sharp two-edged sword”, which represents the word of YHWH. It is against the word of YHWH that we are judged and encouraged or called to change.

Ephesians 6:17 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Hebrews 4:12-13 12For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

We do well to remember it is by the word of YHWH and not by the opinions of men that we are ultimately judged, and remember that not everyone who claims to teach the true word of YHWH is teaching accurately. We are to test it ourselves, not just take a pastor’s word for it.

Revelation 2:12-17

Message to Pergamum

     12“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:

      13‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15‘So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16‘Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

Pergamum must have been dealing with some serious sin to say it is where Satan’s throne is. Yeshua recognizes and encourages them for holding fast to His name even when faced with persecution and death. Yeshua then also calls them out that false teaching is amongst the church, calling them to repent and turn away from it. Repenting means to turn around, to change behavior to be more like Yeshua, it is not simply to “feel bad” about something or “say you are sorry”.

We can be sure that false teaching remains today in the church encouraging us to sin and live apart from YHWH’s word and in harmony or compromise with the world’s corrupted view.

To those of us who overcome all these challenges, we are encouraged that we will receive hidden manna and a white stone and a new name. I have not studied the symbolism here, but manna is how YHWH provided for His people in the wilderness after the exodus. It is not a stretch to say it represents YHWH’s provision for His people. White represents sin having been cleansed and forgiven. The new name seems to suggest a new beginning, whether in this life or after death. I am sure you can study further and get more thoughts or studied opinions on this symbolism and I would encourage you to do so. If you do, test more than one source to get some diversity of opinion. As we are warned in today’s scripture, there is much false teaching. We must test it for truth and reject what is false.

Let us also not overlook there are negative consequences if we refuse to repent. Yeshua mentions coming quickly to make war against them if they do not repent. Keep in mind, these are people “in the church body” who are teaching false doctrine. They are not just the pagans who happen to live there. There is a mixing and mingling of good and bad that is offensive to YHWH. All too often today, Christians seem to act and teach that Yeshua will not come in judgment against those who are not living in obedience. However, scripture indicates otherwise here (and elsewhere).

I would summarize by saying we are called to hold fast to the name of Yeshua through persecution unto death, and to study, discern, and root out false teaching to ensure we are not following man’s mixed and mingled ways (good mixed with bad).

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.