1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Exodus 20:1-17)
It was February 12, 1998. I entered into the chapel and sat down with a couple of my friends. It was our daily habit in seminary, a half-hour chapel service at midmorning. I wasn’t paying as much attention as my friends, who noticed that something was wrong. The dean of the seminary was present on stage, along with a few other of the administrative big-shots. We whispered back and forth for a moment, and then hushed when Dr. Grier stepped to the pulpit.
There he announced that one of the professors, actually my own academic advisor, had resigned because of adultery. We were stunned as Grier explained that this had gone on for a long time. One of my friends had just recently submitted a paper to him on adultery in the Bible—it was handed back with comments like, “Good job, well put,” and so forth. We couldn’t help but wonder if that paper was one of the cattle prods that God used to convict his heart and confess his sin.
The adultery occurred when he started counseling a woman in the church that he pastored. One thing led to another, and pretty soon they were in a relationship. Dr. Grier, who had counseled in dozens of these sort of adultery situations, explained that, in counseling situations when this happens, it’s mainly the man’s fault. He pushes a little and the woman eventually complies. It was a stern warning to us men.
In our look at the Ten Commandments, we now turn to the one that my professor violated: