They will eat but not be satisfied; they will be promiscuous but not multiply. For they have abandoned their devotion to the Lord. Promiscuity, wine, and new wine take away one’s understanding (4:10-11 CSB).
What we believe about God and the world directly influences how we live. We all live according to our worldview. Whether it is true or false, we make choices that we suppose are consistent with our basic presuppositions. For example, if you believe that good nutrition is crucial for your health, your diet will show it.
However, most people will not (or do not) consider that their doctrine of God affects their ethics and morals. They mistakenly assume that people can believe whatever they want about God and still maintain respect for human life, human rights, and some measure of order in society. God’s word reveals that doctrine, especially what we believe about God, produces moral or immoral conduct. When people reject God, they enter onto a dark path that leads to the oppression and abuse of others.
Let’s think about the Biblical concept of covenantal purity. First’ God’s design in creation was to demonstrate the glory of purity.
- As a spiritual being, God made people for his pleasure. He made us to display his glory as a personal, sovereign being (Genesis 1:27-28). Mankind would honor God by faithfulness to God, as shown by fulfilling God’s purpose. God has designed you and me for worship, fellowship, discipleship, service, and mission. This is not a list that you can check one or two that sound interesting. Every Christian is to do all five.
- As a physical and sexual being, God made the woman out of the man to be man’s helper and companion. God created male and female to join together to glorify God in love (Genesis 1:27; 2:18-25). Any rivalry and strife between the sexes arises from our rebellion against God, because what God has designed is very good (Genesis 1:31). Therefore, if males and females pursue the pleasure of God together, they will have harmonious relationships.
Now if you are going to work on a project with other people, what must you do? Communicate! Communicate in planning, in working, in project updates, in encouragement, in correction, etc.
Some of us might need more organized communication in our marriages and families—and our churches.
Second, God’s law (instruction, revelation of his will) reinforces this idea.
- Spiritually, God requires us to honor God exclusively and faithfully. This is set forth in the first great commandment, to Israel in the first four commands of the law, and to us in the example of Christ and the repetition of the first three commands of the law covenant, in the Lord’s Supper, and in many commands to keep our minds focused on the Lord (Colossians 3:1-4). God by his grace has put us into a covenant relationship with our covenant Lord, Jesus Christ. The Lord calls us to relate to him by faith and love (1 Thessalonians 5:8) wholeheartedly and exclusively (1 Corinthians 6:17; cf. Romans 7:4).
- Sexually, God requires us to honor him by only having sexual relations within the bond of a marriage covenant between one man and one woman (Deuteronomy 5:18; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Ephesians 5:3). Sexual relations between a man and a woman married to each other are very good. God is not against sexual desires and relations. God created both! But he also ordered marriage between a man and a woman as the proper expression of both.
We need a high “marriage-esteem”. It is very good! Why would you want anything else? We need to remember that Christ’s people are related to him as his bride (Ephesians 5:25-32). We need to hold our spiritual relationship to the Lord of all as very precious.
Grace and peace, David