What is it to be truly wise? The books of Proverbs is a microcosm of the whole biblical outlook.
He whose walk is upright fears the LORD, but he whose ways are devious despises him. Pr 14:2
A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless. Pr 14:16
He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. Pr 14:26
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. Pr 14:27
A fear of the Lord is to be truly wise.
This is not a cringe-worthy fear, where one is afraid of being zapped for upsetting a god.
To fear God is to acknowledge him for who he truly is. For he is not vindictive, waiting to pounce at the smallest opportunity. At the same time, we need to avoid the other extreme of seeing him as ‘all matey’. Rather, he is the almighty God, who is holy and just, whilst loving and gracious.
For we indeed are only able to walk uprightly through his love and grace. For he is able to work in us that which is pleasing in his sight by his grace.
We get a true glimpse of God’s holiness and what it is to be holy by the power of his Spirit working in us, convicting us of sin and enabling us to live holy lives.
Those who fear the Lord have a security of a God who has their best interests at all times.
Ultimately, we cannot truly fear God in our sinful unrepentant state. We can only have a true understanding of what it is to fear God through the grace and love demonstrated in his Son, through the great sacrifice that all might be saved through faith. In this way, we become a new creation, renewed in our minds through the work of the Spirit, that we might rightly fear the Lord, and so attain the wisdom which comes from God alone.
You shall not commit adultery Ex 20:14
Of all the sins which human beings can commit, adultery is one of the most heinous in the sight of God and one of the most destructive.
Whilst all sin is ultimately against God, and so leave us falling short of God’s glory, God has a particular hatred of adultery. It is one of the sins which is deserving of the death penalty in the Torah.
Adultery generally isn’t a sin which happens spontaneously, but requires nurture and time to come to fruition. As such, it is a sin which of particular affront to God, and is almost always premeditated. Through what we look at, read, and hear, our thoughts might be directed to this sin.
Adultery attacks one of the Creation ordinances – the sanctity of marriage. The solemn vows which are made to love and cherish, in sickness and in health… until death parts us. We should love the one we marry, in a special way to the exclusion of all other humans.
It destroys people, families, trust and reputation. Adultery is never a sin which only affects one, at the very least three people are involved, and it can destroy families. It destroys both the love of a husband and wife, and if there are children, that of a child’s love and character. The one person whom a husband/wife/child should be able to trust destroys that trust. Once a person has proved themselves to be untrustworthy, how can they be trusted with smaller things when they have broken the trust of something so special? How can their yes be yes and their no be no?
Yet, despite the abhorrance of adultery, there is still forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor 6:9-11
So if we fall, we have to deal with the consequences, but there is forgiveness and an enabling to conquer this sin through the grace of God.