You shall not commit adultery

Deuteronomy 5: 18

Reading: 1 Corinthians 10

If ever you wondered how God could have ‘saved a wretch like you’, look no further than the people who comprised the Wilderness wanderings, for comfort. They may have been chosen and redeemed, but they were far from holy.

The reason why 1 Corinthians 10 makes for such sober reading, is because Paul refers to these Wilderness wanderings and tells us to take warning from them. The four strongholds of sin that the people continued to embrace, did not go unnoticed or unpunished by God – the obvious inference being, that if we do these things, they won’t go unnoticed or unpunished by God either.

We know that the Corinthians Christians whom Paul was writing to, were prone to sexual immorality. Paul warns them not to test God in this and to take seriously the lessons of Exodus 32. What did happen in Exodus 32? Moses had been invited up the mountain to meet with God way back in Exodus 24, and he was taking a mighty long time up there. The people became anxious. They became so anxious that in Exodus 32 they proposed that Aaron make them a golden idol to lead them and then they “rose up to play.”

Playing, that’s nice isn’t it? Apparently not. According to Cole, the verb translated “play” should actually be “sex play”. “Rose up to play” is thus just a tasteful way of referring to the gross immorality that broke out amongst the people of God.

The Lord was furious and it was only the intercession of Moses that limited the damage. Nevertheless, 3000 people died that day and God later sent a plague on the people as a result of this sin. We don’t know exactly what the nature of this plague was but it’s not hard to imagine that it took the form of some sexually transmitted disease.

In today’s promiscuous world, it’s important that we understand why sexual purity is so important to God – and so we will continue to examine this topic in tomorrow’s study. See you there.


Forgive me Lord, for any sexual immorality that I have participated in. Free me and purify me.


For the family

Over the next few days, watch parts of this brilliant video together about the Wilderness region in Israel where the people wandered.