First Love

Proverb 5: 1 – 5

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding, so that you may maintain discretion and your lips may comply with knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

We can talk about adultery in the narrowest sense. In this case, a married man having an extra-marital affair. We understand that. However, perhaps these verses have a broader context as well. We, the beloved, have stepped out on God who is our first love, our true love. We have put our careers, human relationships, sports, food and about everything you can name before Him. When we are supposed to be with Him, we are giving our affection to other things or people. They have become the adulteress who lures us away from the one true love and they lead us into Sheol, to our demise, to our death. We, not just individually, but collectively. We, the church, have forsaken our first love.

Later, in this proverb, Solomon says to be satisfied with the wife of your youth. That speaks of God who loved us first, who loved us before our great-grandparents were born, who saw us from the pre-dawn of time and dedicated Himself to us forever.

As a body, and as individuals, our hearts long to return to our first love and be satisfied. However, all the other components of who we are and life’s complexities conspire to steal us away from the deepest love of our heart. It takes dedication and determined purpose to retain the zeal of young love. Remember how sweet this love is and fall in love all over again.

Proverb 5:

Keep Your Rock

John 8: 3 – 11

And the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” And they were saying this, testing Him, in order that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And when they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the midst. And straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no on condemn you?” And she said, “No one, Lord” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more.”

The moral of this story may be “Take care at whom you throw rocks.” This woman (and presumably her partner) was caught in sin. They violated one of the Ten Commandments. Borrowing a bit from David Letterman, I like to call the Commandments God’s Top Ten List. So, there was no gray area here. They had broken the letter and the spirit of the law. But Jesus’ coming ushered in a new way of thinking about sin and grace.

Take care when you begin to throw rocks at others. Be careful about judging them for you may find all too quickly that Jesus is taking you to task over your judgment. He gave us one commandment and that is to love. I doubt you can stand in judgment and love at the same time. Besides which, none of us has been called to sit on the throne of judgment. That is God’s job alone. So even if someone is in such an obvious sin as adultery, mind your attitude. Pray for them (not about them). Ask God to save them and rescue them. Ask for his grace and mercy to cover them at the same time. Before you cast the first stone remember the times that God’s mercy has covered you because you weren’t perfect either. Pray people into grace rather than condemning them to hell or you may find yourself in the same shoes as these Pharisees; standing in opposition to Jesus.

And finally, if you are the one in sin, there is great grace and mercy for you but take note. Jesus’ last comment to the woman was to “sin no more.” He didn’t just turn a blind eye towards her behavior. Don’t use God’s grace and mercy as an excuse to keep on in sin. Don’t kid yourself. Get yourself right and thank God for his everlasting mercy.