Numbers 5

  1. This chapter is better known for determining if a woman is guilty of adultery, and the means by which this determination is made. But, there are a couple of other points that might be overlooked. First, the nature of separation with that which is unclean; second, the importance of confession and restitution. With regard to determining if one is guilty of adultery, we ought not to single out the woman for our emphasis, but that which brought this circumstance to the fore. Those guilty of adultery (male and female) had one verdict from the Lord: death (Deuteronomy 22). What we have here is the spirit of jealousy that might come over a husband with regard to his wife. This is not an arbitrary matter that a husband can just whip up on a whim, but he has to have some reason for it. If there is no actual visible guilt, but questions remain, then it is the Lord who determines the matter. Perhaps it could be said that the Lord brought the “spirit of jealousy” onto the husband.
  2. Application: Adultery is deadly serious. There is spiritual adultery, which is the action (response) of those who break faith with the Lord and worship idols (and the word idol is a much more comprehensive term than many realize). There is, also, physical adultery: those who break faith with their spouse, having sexual intimacy with one not her (his) spouse (the Lord had a word or two on this Matthew 19:1-9).

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