A Little FartherDo you hear much about lament in your local church?
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No Sex Week
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow (v.7).
For several years, Yale University—an elite institution in the US—allowed students to engage in an annual 7-day sexual frenzy known as Sex Week at Yale. The week included “prominently featured titillating displays, [porn] film stars, and commercial sponsors of such material.” But a campus group called Undergraduates for a Better Yale College rose up and challenged Sex Week, declaring that it was part of an attitude that “both trivializes sex and is obsessed with it.” By voicing their concerns on a special website, in articles featured in the campus newspaper, and directly to Yale leaders, they got Sex Week canned in 2011.
Sadly, King David engaged in his own “Sex Week.” In 2 Samuel 2:1, we find him getting sexually aroused as he “looked” at a naked woman who was another man’s wife (v.2). Then, in a rapid two-step misstep, he inquired about who Bathsheba was (v.3) and had her brought to his royal chambers to have sex with her (v.4). Later, trying to cover up his sin, he arranged for the death of Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband).
When we choose to engage in sex outside of marriage, there is also death—of purity and peace. In Psalms 51:1, we find David agonizing over his sexual sin. In deep shame, he bows before God, seeking His mercy, forgiveness, and cleansing (vv.1,2,7). The king’s illicit encounter of pleasure had led to a bitter “stain” that tormented him and his spirit (vv.1,9-10).
David knew that only God could “purify” him of his sins and “create in [him] a clean heart” (vv.7,10). Yes, by God’s grace, we can be cleansed. But how much better it is to avoid the pain, shame, and stain of sexual sin by choosing purity in the first place. It’s something that—unlike Sex Week—honors God and shows true love and respect for others.
Read Isaiah 1:16 to see what it tells us to do if we’re struggling with sexual sin (and all sin).
What things have you been dabbling in that could cause you to move toward engaging in sex outside of marriage? Why does God command you to stay pure and holy?
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