Lesson 4 Brings us to the Letter A.
Again … there are many words that begin with A that might make us cry. I have experienced several in my lifetime… such as:
Abuse….. Accusations…. Adultery…. Adversity……. Affliction….. Alienation…..Annoyances…. Affection…. Anointing …… Anything!!
Adultery….. is the word that kept coming back to me as I prayed over this lesson, even though I kept thinking…… these women don’t want to hear my story ….
and I don’t need to be bringing up old wounds. But…. That is exactly the A word He wanted me to use, because He had a wider scope on Adultery He wanted to address.
Websters Defines Adultery as:
A Sexual encounter or relationship between a married person and someone other than their spouse.
Cheating…. infidelity….misconduct….two-timing…. unfaithfulness.
Many of us have felt the sting of Adultery. The thing about Adultery is it not only affects those going through it personally…. but many on the outer edges of those involved as well. My life was turned upside down with not only the traditional form of Adultery committed by a spouse… but also a nontraditional form of having a friend who was two-faced and unfaithful in our friendship.
This friend …whom I spent many hours with…. went shopping with… ballgames of our boys with…. even church together…. ended up with an adulterous affair with my husband. Its not the first in history I know…. many of you have had similar stories and the hurt cuts deep. Adultery rips and tears hearts and lives apart…. even in a world that is now callous to faithfulness.
18 years ago is when my story began. I was a fairly new Christian of about 5-6 years. I was a new Momma for the second time…. and I was attending a Bible Study on Mondays where I was filled with the Holy Spirit. I had just lost my Dad to Cancer when it started back up…. and needless to say…. really rocked my already shaken life. Things began to escalate with the uncertainty of my circumstances. I believed that God wanted to heal my marriage… and yet… I was bombarded with so many arrows flying at my head and my heart as well as my spirit!
My Heart…. was broken! I tried to hold on to the hope for a year….but I just no longer could keep believing for the miracle of reconciliation. I began to lose who I was and didn’t recognize who I had become. To the outside world… it looked as though I was the same happy woman I had always been… but to those close to me… knew I was becoming battle worn.
I finally made the decision to file for divorce. One thing my Pastor had told me when I finally talked to him about it…. was that the filing of divorce is not when divorce happens….. it happened the first time he stepped out on me. Not that that made it any easier to file…. but it seemed to be what I needed to push on through.
Many nights… in my little chair…. in my house…. behind closed doors…. I cried. I felt like such a failure! I felt as though I had failed as a wife…. why would he have an affair after he told me on our wedding day he could “forsake all others”? Was there something I could have done differently? Was I not pretty enough? Smart enough? Why?
I felt like I was a failure at being a mom! I had already been divorced once before and I wanted to just do it “right” this time. You know… the happy American family…. with a Mom and a Dad… and 2 kids… going to family things together. I wanted my youngest to be able to have his parents sitting together at ballgames and school functions together…. and now… just like with my oldest son…. we would all show up in different cars…. set in different sections of the gym…. and one of us would go home….. alone.
….. and of course… I felt like I had failed my God! Did I not pray long enough….. believe hard enough…. have enough Faith? Did I give up too soon? Oh…. how God must have been so disappointed in me!
I remember one evening in particular …. feeling ALL of the weight of what was happening…. feeling ALL of the emotions of being Abandoned… and of course those thoughts of being a failure in every area of my life. I sat in my recliner…. VERY emotional…. TEARS and sobs filled my night of loneliness. The TV was on…. and an episode of Touched By An Angel was playing. I prayed…. God… I am so sorry… I know I have failed you and you are very disappointed in me…. and then…. Andrew…. the “death Angel”…. began to minister to a lady who was dying. The camera panned up to his face…. and it was as though he was in my room… looking directly at me when he said….
God wanted me to tell you…. that He is not disappointed in you….He is pleased with you…. and He loves you very much!
Ok… NOW the Tears are multiplied…. but this time… they are more of a Thankful kind of a Tear. I had hope again… and I knew that God had spoke a Word directly to me… through a secular TV show! Isn’t He AWESOME!!! God ALWAYS shows up …. right when I needed Him most to remind me of His promise that He would never leave me or forsake me…. No matter how it felt…. His promise was and IS true!
Hebrews 13:5 AMP…… for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!”
Then….I began to do some digging in my Bible about Adultery …..when I cam across Hosea.
In the 2nd verse of the 1st chapter Hosea God told Hosea….. “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”
So he married a woman named Gomer.
I searched the meaning of Gomer and found a definition in Biblegateway that said it meant “completion,” that is, the filling up of the measure of idolatry, or ripeness of consummate wickedness. Her name was indicative of the wholesale adultery and idolatry of the kingdom she represented.
In Chapter 5…. the Scripture says she either must have returned… or maybe never truly left her “old ways”.
She said, ‘I’ll run after other lovers and sell myself to them for food and water, for clothing of wool and linen, and for olive oil and drinks.’
6 “For this reason I will fence her in with thornbushes. I will block her path with a wall to make her lose her way
7 When she runs after her lovers, she won’t be able to catch them. She will search for them but not find them. Then she will think,
‘I might as well return to my husband, for I was better off with him than I am now.’ 8 She doesn’t realize it was I who gave her everything she has—
the grain, the new wine, the olive oil; I even gave her silver and gold. But she gave all my gifts to Baal.
This passage of Scripture gets me everytime I read it. I read it in my Spiritual walk with God this way.
God…. I don’t trust you to take care of my every need. I need to go out and find other resources to gain bigger homes… newer cars…. fuller closets… finer foods…deeper wallets…! I will let you take care of the day to day things… the little necessities…or call on you when something Big comes up… but in the meantime…I am going to run after these things the world has to offer… but… you know I’ll be home on Sunday so we can see each other then!
Haven’t we all been guilty of this… at least to some degree? I know I have. And… like Gomer… God has fenced me in when I get that way… blocking my path to those things …. simply to get my attention. Things begin to seem like they are getting harder… the bills pile up… things breakdown.. and I just cant seem to get my hands on anything fun anymore…. and… Just like Gomer…I have been quilty of saying… “I might as well turn to God… and Pray … and trust Him…because I was better off with Him than I am now.”
Put like that… it really breaks my heart that I would have ever done that to my God. The ONE person who loves me unconditionally….and cares about every part of my life and who was and is the source of everything good I have or have ever had in my life… and I…. gave credit to everyone and everything else instead of Him!
But… look at verse 14… “But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.
God… waits until we are in our “desert” …those dry places where we have nothing else to distract us… and THEN… He speaks tenderly to us. He doesn’t yell… He doesn’t scold!
He reassures…. He teaches… He corrects…. He LOVES!
When we mess up…. when we find ourselves some place we aren’t supposed to be…. God … through the Blood of Jesus has given us another promise…
1st John 1:9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose.
Then the Lord said to me, “Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them. 2 So I bought her back for fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine…..
Hosea… was told to go buy his wife back…. even though… she had committed Adultery with another lover. The exact thing that God did for us…. through Jesus ….Romans 5:8 But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Even though…. we were adulterers with the world… God loved us … and bought us back!
The price Hosea paid to get Gomer back…. was the price of a “slave”. Jesus…..was sold out… for the price of “a slave”!
It can bring us to TEARS……It can break many hearts…. and it also breaks God’s heart!
To wrap up….I found this one last passage I wanted to share with you….to give you something to think about ….and which should ….. be an eye opener for all of us!
Hosea 4:1-3 NLT
…..The Lord has brought charges against you, saying:
“There is no faithfulness, no kindness,
no knowledge of God in your land.
2 You make vows and break them;
you kill and steal and commit adultery.
There is violence everywhere—
one murder after another.
3 That is why your land is in mourning,
and everyone is wasting away.
Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky,
and the fish of the sea are disappearing
James 4: 4 NLT You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.