Proverbs 6:30-35

Proverbs 6:30-35 "Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.  A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts."
Buffalo NY Christian Church
In these concluding verses of chapter six, Solomon reveals the motivation behind his sensitive counsel dealing with the “birds & the bees” – the long term welfare of his son.  A parent’s lack of training or poor training on sex can lead to a child’s demise.  Fathers who don’t teach their sons about the dangers of sexual sin are putting their sons in harm’s way.  Mothers who don’t teach their daughters about the perils of romantic relationships turning sexual are putting their daughters in grave danger.  Solomon didn’t want to see his son destroy his life because of sexual temptation, in particular adultery.  Rather than try to do the impossible by sheltering his son from sexual temptation, he wisely chose to equip his son to deal with sexual temptation. This equipping would be done by giving Rehoboam insight into the mind of men.    
 
In these verses, Solomon compares the sin of theft with the sin of adultery.  While both sins are crimes against God, they are also both crimes against man.  Theft is taking something from someone while adultery is taking someone from someone.  Both sins are done in private with serious efforts made to keep the sin private.  That being said, there are substantial differences between theft and adultery.  First of all, theft is easier to hide than adultery and doesn’t always get discovered.  This is why Solomon wrote of a thief in verse 31, IF he be found.”  Adultery on the other hand is very difficult to hide and almost always get discovered.  In verses 27-30, Solomon compared adultery to playing with fire and concluded that it will impact the way a person looks and acts.  Because of the emotional, physical and spiritual nature of an affair, it is near impossible to keep it secret.

Second of all and most importantly, theft is more tolerable than adultery.  If a man steals food because he is hungry, the victim still demands justice but he tends to show some mercy because of the necessity of food to one’s survival.  Society punishes but tolerates a thief stealing food to survive.  Adultery, on the other hand receives no such sympathy or mercy from its victim.  An adulterer is treated differently than a thief because no man needs sex to survive.  An adulteress is treated differently than a thief because no woman needs sex to survive.  Stealing food from a neighbor’s refrigerator doesn’t compare with stealing sex from a neighbor’s bedroom.  Anyone can go and buy the same food from the market but no one has romantic rights to someone else’s spouse.

Adultery is a crime against God and His sacred institution of marriage.  God hates adultery but still offers forgiveness as best seen in John 8.  On the other hand, one could argue that man’s response to adultery is fiercer than God’s.  Because of the deeply emotional and sexual nature of mankind, nothing strikes our soul as deep as adultery. Nothing pierces a wife’s heart deeper than adultery and nothing enrages a husband’s soul more than infidelity.  In verse 30, Solomon wrote, “men do not DESPISE a thief” but in verses 31-35, he went on to say in no uncertain terms that men hate an adulterer.  To a woman, sexual relations with her husband is the ONE THING in life that no one else can have.  To a man, sexual relations with his wife is the ONE THING in life that no one else can have.  These exclusive rights to husband and wife were secured at the altar when vows were made before God.  When someone steals those exclusive rights, man’s deepest emotions are stirred to fire.  These intense emotions rise to the surface and silence the cries for mercy.

Because of youth and inexperience, Rehoboam did not yet know about these intense emotions.  Had Rehoboam grown up without this warning, he could easily pursue a married woman and commit adultery.  Such a crime would eventually be exposed and then create an enraged male victim.  This enraged husband would SPARE NOT in the day of VENGEANCE” (vs. 34) nor “regard any ransom” (vs. 35).  It wouldn’t matter how much money the royal prince would offer the enraged husband – this jealous man would demand justice by the Jewish Law.  Justice by the Jewish Law was death (Leviticus 20:10).  Evidently within Judaism, it would be up to the victim spouse to press charges of adultery against his adulterous spouse.  If the charges were proven true by witnesses, the penalty would be death.  If adultery was suspected, Jewish spouses had the option to divorce (Deuteronomy 24) as well as go through a ritual dealing with a “spirit of jealousy” (Numbers 5).  On rare occasion, it appears that some spouses when discovering an affair, chose to divorce their spouse secretly so their adulterous loved one wouldn’t become public examples of shame.  This was only the case by very loving souls as evidenced with Joseph when discovering Mary’s pregnancy (Matthew 1). He was the exception as the vast majority of men do “not spare in the day of vengeance.”  Solomon knew his son’s life could be lost as the result of one foolish decision with a tempting woman.  Solomon knew his son’s life could be lost as the result of one brief night of pleasure.  

Solomon wasn’t trying to shelter his son from sexual sin for he knew there was no hiding from its temptation (vs. 26).  Instead, he was attempting to equip him to deal with it by UNDERSTANDING the nature of sexual sin.  Society doesn’t show mercy on adulterers or adulteresses because sex isn’t necessary for survival.  Society doesn’t show mercy on adulterers or adulteresses because it’s a crime that strikes the deepest emotional chord in man’s soul.  Solomon wanted his son to UNDERSTAND the consequences of adultery before he considered adultery.  Not only could he lose his life by sleeping with a married woman but Rehoboam’s reputation would forever be marred.  In Jewish society, adultery resulted in a “wound and DISHONOUR (vs. 33).  Honor and reputation meant something to the Hebrew of old, especially to Royal Hebrew of old.  Solomon would go on to say that an adulterer’s REPROACH shall not be wiped away” (vs. 33).  Rehoboam wouldn’t have to look far into the history books to read about a great man’s legacy being permanently marred by adultery.  His grandfather would be known for many great things but David would forever and always be known as an adulterer.

Solomon didn’t want his son’s promise and potential getting snuffed out by sexual sin. Therefore, he taught him at a young age to UNDERSTAND the dynamics of sex and how sacred it is to both God and man.  Parents in our world today would do well to take a page out of Solomon’s wise book.  Instead of teaching children about “safe sex,” parents need to teach their children about SACRED SEX.  Christian parents in the church today would do well to follow Solomon’s wise example.  Instead of sheltering children about sex, parents need to teach their children about the dynamics of sex.  Adultery can get our children killed.  Our society may not have penal laws like Solomon’s society but adultery awakens crimes of passion every day in our world.  Every day in our world, love triangles are formed and homicide units are eventually called into service.  When jealousy rises from the heart of a betrayed man, rage sets him on a path to execute vengeance at any cost.

We need to teach our children the marital and societal consequences of adultery.  Adultery can lead to death but it always leads to shame.  In the best of homes, adultery is forgivable but there isn’t a place in our world where adultery is forgettable.  Even in a morally-broken society, adultery still stains a man.  President Bill Clinton will forever be known as an adulterer and this reputation will forever remain a blemish on him. “His reproach shall not be wiped away.”  Adultery is not the unpardonable sin of Scripture but it is most surely the unforgettable sin of Society.  

Committing adultery is not the result of weakness as much as it is the result of a lack of understanding.  Solomon said, “whoso committeth adultery with a woman LACKETH UNDERSTANDING.”  Parents, we need to teach our children about the nature and dynamics of sex so our children UNDERSTAND what they’re dealing with WHEN sexual temptation finds them.

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