A Lesson from Ashley Madison and Numbers 32:23

The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.

 

Gone are the days of wearing a “red A” on your chest if you committed adultery. In our day, hackers can simply steal private information from an often-used adultery-trafficking and then release all that stolen information online for the world to see.

If you missed it, the social networking site called Ashley Madison, whose slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair” was hacked on July 15 by a group called “The Impact Team.” Email addresses, names, home addresses, credit card info, and user’s sexual fantasy requests were all stolen. Just one week later, much of this information went public.

By the way, it is worth mentioning that this website has 124 million visits per month and ranked #18 among Adult sites! So this is not some little-known, hardly used website on the internet.

Ashley MadisonThis post is not about privacy. It is not about freedom of speech and it’s allowance of websites like this. It is not about the immorality of soliciting affairs in other people.

This post is about one verse in the Bible – “But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23).

The context of this verse is about land being allotted to the tribes of Reuben and Gad in exchange for their full-blow participating in the Conquest of Canaan. The concern Moses had with Reuben and Gad was that once they got comfortable in their news homes, they might not engage in warfare with the rest of the tribes. They might neglect their responsibilities to the community of Hebrews.

The warning in Numbers 32:23 is simple – if you neglect what you have committed yourself to, be forewarned, there will be consequences.

Like marriage, know that when you commit to your spouse (like the tribe committing to the Conquest), God will hold you to that vow and expect you to be above reproach. And if you don’t, your sin will not be overlooked.

The warning to the tribes of Reuben and Gad are direct warnings to these groups of Hebrews, but the principle of the consequences of sin following a sinner are true.

Some translations say, “Be sure your sin fill find you out.” In other words, be convinced of it. When you finally make that decision to choose sin, know and believe that you are not only inviting sin, but you are inviting the consequence of that sin.

In the users of Ashley Madison’s case, their decision to fill out a profile page, subscribe to their site, and then being looking for a mistress/mister is about more than deciding to have an affair. It is also an inviting for God to chastise the believer or judge the unbeliever.

Friends, let’s not be naïve. Let’s stop pretending that we can fool an omniscient God with our “secret sins.” Let’s stop thinking that a just God will not care about sin. Let’s stop thinking that a forgiving God will always look the other way when we choose our will over His.

If you are guilt of adultery or any form of sexual sin, your roadmap to a restored relationship with God is as simple as following the example of David in Psalm 51: beg God for His grace, confess your guilt of your sin, agree with God that it was sin, understand why it is sin, make a plan to replace that sin with righteousness, pray that God will restore you, and pray that God will give you a holy desire for purity.

 

 

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