I am just overcome with joy on Hannah’s engagement! I know you are just overly excited as well. However, I have some sadness within me. As silly (and maybe inappropriate) as it sounds, please indulge me. I know that she has stayed pure and will remain so until her wedding day. That is so amazing! Yet it’s this very thing that saddens me. I was not pure by any stretch of the imagination. On our wedding night after we had sex, I just lay there and bawled. He asked me what was wrong but I just couldn’t let it all out. Not on our wedding night. He knew that I had slept with many guys prior to us dating. He had slept with many girls prior. We had laid everything out on the table way before the wedding day so everything was known. But I didn’t know how to tell him how much I hated myself for not waiting until that moment to give myself to the one true person that I loved. This was supposed to be a happy time, and here I was so upset with myself for messing things up. If I had just done the right thing, this night could have been so much more meaningful! I know that God has forgiven me. And I thought I had forgiven myself. Until now. So many emotions just flooded my soul. Many people get engaged. And it never hits me. But because I KNOW that Hannah has done what is right in the sight of God I can only imagine how amazing her wedding night is going to be. Literally only imagine. And that hurts. I want to know what it would have felt like. (Please don’t think I’m being inappropriate. I’m sorry if I am.). I can’t change the past. All I can do is prepare for the future. I pray that I plant the Word of God in my sweet girls’ hearts. I pray that I demonstrate the love that I have for Him and His word in every action of my day. I pray that they, like Hannah, can experience what I never got to experience. And I pray that even after 8 years I can get over the feelings I have about myself. Thank you for listening. And again, congratulations! I really am excited for you!! She will make an amazing wife, and eventually an amazing mother!
I was speaking recently at a seminar in another state, when a mom came up to me and began a conversation. In the middle of our talk, she mentioned that she had attended a purity seminar at a church with her teenage daughter in which a part of the program was about “choosing appropriate dresses to wear to the dances.”
Well, now I’ve heard it all. I have spoken in many places about the absurdity of parents promoting the dimming of the lights in a gymnasium and the playing of seductive music while encouraging 15-year-olds (whose hormones are running their lives) to move their bodies to said music while touching those of the opposite sex. Many times during my forthright discussion of this modern-day phenomenon in most public high schools, I have seen looks of surprise—even disgust– in the rolling eyes of some young girls. But this was a first. I have never heard of adults planning a purity day in which we help girls decide what’s appropriate to wear to such a worldly event. Really??
Help me with this if you can. Help me to understand the reasoning behind accepting the sin and then helping them plan how to dress as they participate in it. I know I’m old-fashioned, but it is not the Bible that has changed in the past fifty years, since that time when Christians took it for granted that dancing promotes lust. It’s the culture.
Again: Here is a portion of Thayer’s definition of “lasciviousness.” Remember as per Galatians 5:19-21, it is a work of the flesh. It is one of the items in a list of things we cannot do if we want to inherit the kingdom of heaven. So read Thayer and weep for the state of many women who are going to reap grave consequences for the encouragement of this sin:
“indecent bodily movements; unchaste handling between males and females”
Let’s not pick the right outfit to travel the path of temptation. That’s kind of like when your grandmother wanted you to wear nice underwear in case you were in a wreck! (Only, in this scenario, the spiritual wreck is much more likely.) Let’s eliminate the spiritually damaging activity and then we won’t have to worry about what to wear. Let’s flee fornication (I Cor. 6:18). Let’s determine to abstain from the appearance of evil (I Thess. 5:22).
*Article first appeared in THINK magazine, Focus Press, Brentwood, TN
Founded in 1902, Lamar Advertising operates over 150 outdoor advertising companies and 63 transit companies. They reach driving audiences across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico through billboards, digital billboards, bus shelters, benches and buses. Lamar is also the nation’s leader in the highway logo sign business, with operations in 19 states and the Province of Ontario, Canada.
Lamar once catered to families, but in recent months has contracted with businesses that encourage infidelity and the exploitation of women. The American Family Association has an opportunity to get a clear pro-family, pro-morality message to Lamar in the next few days. Find out below how you can help.
Encourage Lamar to stop taking ‘adult’ billboard ads
If you drive on some of America’s highways, you most likely have been visually assaulted by billboards advertising adult businesses, or “gentlemen’s clubs” as their owners prefer to refer to them. You may have had a curious child ask what they are. No parent should have to talk about these places to their innocent child. Billboard advertising giant, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, is one of the companies providing ads for these “adult” businesses. Lamar once had a family-friendly policy that prohibited sexually suggestive graphics and language — but not now. Sign the petition to encourage Lamar to again adopt its family-friendly policy that protects communities and highways from billboards that advertise for businesses that have the potential to increase crime rates, reduce property values, encourage infidelity and break up marriages and families. AFA believes that when outdoor advertising is used to exploit women as sex objects, concerned Christians should take a stand to protect women, men and children against indecent and irresponsible attacks on our families and community standards through advertising. Please take a minute to sign the petition. Your petition will be hand-delivered to the president of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), who has promised to bring up this issue at the association’s fall board meeting. OAAA has agreed to present the petitions to Lamar President and CEO Kevin Reilly, Jr. We understand that the OAAA has no authority to force one of its members to stop accepting business of this nature, but pressure from the public will have a great impact.
Families were weeping as they witnessed the hanging deaths of loved ones. The method of execution was not left to human discretion. There were no appellate courts to prolong life for the guilty. God was prosecutor, judge and jury. Twenty-four thousand were already dead. Millions were in mourning.
In this setting Cozbi enters the camp. Her appearance was a blatant and blasphemous slap in the face of God. While weeping multitudes were being humbled by the death plague, Zimri, an influential Simeonite, brought his adulteress publicly and pridefully before his brethren. In the somber setting of God’s wrath being dispensed, he displayed this whoredom before the assembly that now wept as a result of the consequences of such whoredom. Furthermore, Cozbi wasn’t just any old Midianite maiden. She was a princess of Midian. Zimri’s alliance was not only with an immoral woman of Midian. His alliance was with the influential and important idolaters (vs.15).
The Final Act
Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron was incensed by the utter defiance of Zimri. He followed Zimri to the pavilion and graphically illustrated for all of Israel, God’s disdain for his arrogance.
And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel (Numbers 25:8).
When the Curtain Closed….
Joining the devils forces is a progressive decline rather than a sudden fall.
Sexual sin binds with strong cords.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31).
Blatant and intentional sin must be Biblically confronted by people of God.
Setting the stage for Cozbi
The saga of Cozbi occurs during the last year of Israel’s wilderness wanderings. The magnificent promises of the land of corn and wine are on their immediate horizon. The generation that trembled in fear at the inhabitants of Canaan (Numbers 13, 14), has now been replaced by a generation that seems, not only fearless, but fraternizing with the riotous people of Canaan. Balaam, a Midianite seer, but one through whom Jehovah spoke to the Midianites, has desired and pleaded with God for permission to prophesy against Israel and favorably toward his sister nation Moab. God’s anger had been kindled against Baalam (Numbers 22:22) because he went with the princes of Moab to meet with their king who had courted his favor by promising him great honor if he would only curse Israel. God had powerfully shown through a talking donkey (Numbers 22:22-35) that his proposed alliance with Moab against Israel was potentially destructive for him and the lands of Moab and Midian.
But Israel should have heard the donkey’s message, too. In Numbers 25:1-3, we see that while God was blessing Israel and cursing her enemies, Israel herself was busy making sinful alliances with the very nations God was cursing.
And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
And Israel joined himself unto Baal–peor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
First, the men of Israel began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. Even casual observation by anyone who does counseling shows that sexual sin binds with cords stronger than any other sin (Read Proverbs 5 and note particularly vs. 22). Men are often willing to forfeit their homes, children, relationships with parents, fellowship with godly people, and jobs in order to continue an illicit sexual relationship. Fornication and adultery have even caused men to verbally admit that they are willing to be lost in hell eternally in order to continue in this sin. As one man I know put it, “If my relationship with her is going to keep me out of heaven, I’d rather have my heaven now.” I wonder if this person also believes he will schedule his own personal itinerary for hell, as well.
Secondly, the people became involved in the idolatry of Moab.
And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods (Numbers 25:2).
The devil is very busy getting his propaganda about safe sex to your children. He uses school courses, organizations like Planned Parenthood and centers for disease control. He leans heavily on mass media: television, movies, CDs , and the internet. He does it most powerfully through peers. It will not be an accident if my children remain pure until entering God-approved marriages. It will be a product of several factors including prayer, instruction, time, discipline and Bible study.
Once sexually involved with Moab, the Israelites were only a short step away from idolatry. Though 21st century idols in America are not statues of stone or carvings of wood, they nonetheless pull allegiance from Jehovah, giving it to whatever the godless society worships. Most often today the gods are materialism (Col. 3:5), sexual pleasure (Rom. 1:23,24), and entertainment (II Tim. 3:4).
It is interesting to note that it was contextually the MEN in verse one who were committing whoredom. But it was the PEOPLE in verse two who were bowing to the gods of the Moabites. Sin grows proportionally in severity and scope. When fathers fall to Satan, their families are often close behind them.
Third, Israel was JOINED to Baal-Peor.
And Israel joined himself unto Baal–peor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel (vs.3).
God’s response to this joining was extreme anger.
…and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.
And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baal–peor (vs.3b-5).
Let all know that He is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29). 24,000 lives were required before Cozbi came on the scene and through a series of events, the plague was stayed.