Walk in the Spirit not in the World - Nathele Graham -
The mainstream news today could easily be confused with tabloid scandal magazines. There are many important prophetic events happening but "news" stories about sexual misconduct of men in power seem to be more important than the alliances coming together in the Middle East. Moral corruption is everywhere and it's time that it comes to an end. America, and indeed all nations, need to hold God's word as the moral standard of living. "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a Woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. " Matthew 5:27-28. Moral responsibility isn't a popular subject, but until men learn to be gentlemen and women learn to be ladylike we will continue on the downward spiral of moral destruction. There are two sides to these "news" stories, but it seems as if only one side is promoted. A woman accuses a man and the man is convicted by the media without the benefit of a trial by jury. In many cases these accusations stem from a situation decades earlier. Why didn't these accusations happen at the time the misconduct occurred? Another question is whether or not the woman has some responsibility in the misconduct. This isn't a popular question, but if a person puts themselves in a compromising situation then there should be no surprise when the worst happens. Should the men be held responsible for their misconduct? Absolutely. Should the woman be held responsible if she allowed herself to be in a compromising situation? Absolutely. As always we can look into God's word and see examples which will give insight into how we should conduct our own life. Let's look at a few instances in Scripture that can teach lessons to those willing to learn.
Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, was a victim of rape. She wasn't flaunting herself but was in a place where she shouldn't have been. Jacob had moved his large family to the land occupied by the Canaanites. These people were heathens who worshipped pagan gods. The ways of the world may cause us to be curious, but this curiosity can get us into trouble. So it was for Dinah. "And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her." Genesis 34:1-2. Had Dinah not been socializing with the Canaanites she wouldn't have been in a place where she could be asaulted. As it was, she caught the eye of Shechem, who raped her. How many Christians put themselves in the same situation? Too many people who claim to be Christians yoke themselves with non-Christians, join in parties, then find themselves in trouble. Is there any wonder why there are so many unwed mothers, or worse, so many abortions? Dinah's story is a sad one. Shechem lusted for her, but he surely didn't love her. Had he taken Dinah as his wife would he have rejected her when another woman evoked lust in his heart? We'll never know the "what if" scenario because Dinah's brothers conspired to kill the Canaanites. They used the covenant of circumcision to weaken the men of the city and then used that time of weakness to attack and kill them. The rape was wrong, but using God's covenant for revenge is not acceptable. They did rescue Dinah but at the cost of human life. God warned Jacob to leave and take his family to Bethel. When Jacob told his household that they were leaving he had good advice. "Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments." Genesis 35:2. We all struggle with serving strange gods, which are anything that we put ahead of God Almighty. Dinah put her curiosity of the pagan culture ahead of God. Had she stayed with her family she wouldn't have been defiled. This truth is as true today as it was in ancient times. If you become curious about the pagan ways around you, you can easily be pulled into sin. Whenever I read about a young woman who has been raped my heart breaks, but when I read that she had been to a party where drugs and alcohol were being consumed I understand that she made a bad choice and allowed herself to be put into the situation. The man is certainly in the wrong, but the woman needs to bear some responsibility.
The next person we can learn from is Bathsheba. She was a beautiful woman who was married to Uriah, a loyal soldier in King David's army. Uriah was away at war and Bathsheba was alone. Was she lonely? We aren't told, but one night she took a bath. She chose to bathe on her roof. In Israel the roof was used in much the same way we use a front yard or a patio. It was a public place and anyone could look at activity taking place. Her neighbor, King David, had a lot on his mind and was on his own roof pacing as he considered the matters of his nation. "And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon." 2 Samuel 11:2. Was this Bathsheba's intention? She went to a lot of trouble to get the water for a bath up to the roof. David was taken by her beauty and sent for her. The king called and she went to him. She became pregnant. That sin snowballed into more sin. Uriah, who was loyal to David, was eventually put in a place where he would be killed. This allowed David to take Bathsheba as just one more wife even though the Law forbade kings to have multiple wives. "Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away..." Deuteronomy 17:17a. Bathsheba was beautiful, but she was just one of many wives. Today we see similar circumstances. Many women willingly make a public display of their bodies with no regard as to the consequences. Hollywood starlets make it known that powerful men had inappropriate encounters with them or touched them in an inappropriate manner, but they have no qualms about meeting the man in his hotel room. There is little modesty as their necklines plunge and their swimsuits leave nothing to the imagination. No man should ever take advantage of a woman, but on the other hand why do women compromise themselves by looking and acting like harlots. This way of life isn't limited to Hollywood. Remember the romp that Monica Lewinsky had with Bill Clinton in the White House? It was a disgusting display of sin, but she certainly seemed to be a willing participant. King David didn't rape Bathsheba, but there was defiantly an abuse of power but the abuse was encouraged by Bathsheba. Things become complicated when pointing fingers blaming this one and that one for wrong doing. The way to avoid becoming a statistic is to be sure that you don't do anything that puts you in a compromising situation. This isn't to excuse David or any man who has sexual relations with anyone who isn't his own wife. God honors marriage and both David and Bathsheba sinned.
Does a woman have to compromise? No. If you have to compromise morality in order to get a job, then you don't need the job. One of the most mistreated people in history was Vashti. She was married to King Ahasuerus of Persia. He was a very egotistical man who had no regard for his wife. This disregard was evident when he had a huge banquet for various powerful men. "On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on." Esther 1:10-11. Seven men were sent to bring one woman to this banquet in order to parade her before the drunken guests. Vashti had no intention of parading herself in front of these men, but refusing the king could bring bad consequences. "But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him." Esther 1:12. Ahasuerus was angry and asked the party guests what should be done to Vashti because she refused to degrade herself in front of them. Their concern wasn't for the welfare of Vashti, or women in general, but they were concerned that her rebellion would cause their own wives to do the same. "For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not." Esther 1:17. What egotistical buffoons. Vashti had self respect and no matter what it cost her she wouldn't be the punch line of a joke. The result of her decision to not be displayed before the men was that she no longer was queen. It would be refreshing if there were more women who had self respect and said no rather than being made out to be a bimbo.
Today we see accusations flying right and left regarding sexual harassment. If these people are guilty they need to be prosecuted, convicted, and severely punished. Mostly it's men who are being accused of misconduct towards women, but the problem is much deeper. Homosexual behavior is becoming more aggressive and worst of all is pedophilia which is so rampant. Where are the parents? Christians need to turn to God's word for guidance as to how we conduct our life. If Dinah, Bathsheba, and David had followed Godly standards then there would have been no compromise. Shechem didn't have the moral guidance of God, but rape isn't acceptable even for pagans. Ahasuerus and his buddies were disgusting, and only Vashti did the right thing in spite of the cost to herself. Everyone makes choices about the way we dress, the company we keep, and how we react to situations. Men and women need to stop following Satan's ways and live a modest life. "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:14-15. Don't be a temptation to others and don't allow yourself to be drawn into temptation. We cannot control others but we can take every temptation that comes our way to God.
If every Christian would walk on the strait and narrow path we could make a huge difference. "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16. Be careful how you behave, what you hear, and what you see. This world is under the influence of Satan, but Christians are not of this world. We need to walk in the Spirit and not take part in the pagan world around us.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived athttp://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
If you'd like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries just drop me an email and let me know.