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The High Price of a Dishonorable Marriage
Proverbs 5:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 I am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation.”
I am at the brink of utter ruin: The Hebrew (רַע ra) rendered ruin is literally “in all evil.” The sense of the term here is a calamitous, catastrophic, disastrous event, which results in a significant loss and misfortune. Here the young man has been so inundated with foolish behavior that he has now become the victim one can suffer: dishonor, disgrace, terrible public shame, even possibly death. Under the Mosaic Law, some sexual immorality could lead to the death penalty. Under the law of Christ, the penalty for unrepentant sexual immorality is total, eternal destruction, death.
When one lives life to the world’s idea of the fullest extent of looking for nothing more than one avenue of pleasure after the other, it will eventually come to the “if only” syndrome. If only I had listened to my father, to the teachers, to the instructors. If only I had taken other paths in life. If only I had paid attention to the wise advice I had received. However, this is too little too late because this foolish one who sought pleasure, immediate gratification above all else had ruined his life and his reputation is stained. We must ponder the high price of sexual immorality before we are immersed in it!
In the assembled congregation: The two words assembled (עֵדָה edah) and congregation (קָהָל qahal) mean the same thing, a group of people who are gathered together, usually for religious purposes. In this case, it is the community of this man who has gathered together to examine his sexually immoral offenses.
The foolish person strolls into the synagogue or into the courts of the temple with the other Israelites, where worship of God is taking place, yet his heart is not on God, but instead is full of shameless thoughts and cravings and his eyes filled with fornication. There is no respect, no devotion of God, the holy place, or the worshipers. He had no restraint over himself, for his vile and wicked mind could care less about the place or the company. When one begins to have an awakened conscience that had become callused or simply grew up unknowing, the idea of profaning a holy place with lustful thinking will be appalling to him. It will tear at him internally in the place where he is to assemble for worship. There are grave consequences when one commits sexual immorality wantonly in mind or in deeds, such as when Zimri and Cozbi declared their wickedness in front of Moses and all the assembly. “And look, one of the sons of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his brothers, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, while they were weeping in the entrance of the tent of meeting. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her stomach. So the plague was stopped on the sons of Israel. And those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.” (Num. 25:6-9) Fornication or adultery in mind and heart are fully known to God and are repulsive to him, especially in a place of worship.
Let that be removed from mind and heart that will be lamented and regretted in the end. It is but a momentary please with long-term consequences. Immorality or sexual misconduct can seem like the greatest thing in the beginning until it becomes public knowledge. The family, the community, and the congregation now know of our immoral behavior, and our shame is unbearable; we are in utter ruin!