Deuteronomy 22:13-30 – Russell Wilson, Ciara, and Our Cultural Worship of Sex

Posted: March 19, 2017 in Book of Deuteronomy
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Deuteronomy 22:13-30

Regulations for Sexual Purity

 

Isn’t ironic that in today’s world that the decision of star NFL quarterback, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, and his fiancée, the recording artist, Ciara, to not have sexual intercourse until after they married is considered bizarre? They are a power couple if there ever was one. He is a Super Bowl winning quarterback for a very successful NFL franchise and she is an accomplished recording artist with six albums, has released five top-10 singles, and has been nominated five times for Grammy awards and winning once. Russell is a strong believer in Jesus Christ and he felt that this time (he’s been married before), God implored him to do it God’s way. Russell, such a likeable fellow anyway, with his down-to-earth nature and his ability to realize that he is living every kid’s dream as an NFL player, was honest that it was going to be difficult. He had quipped once, “Yeah, it’s difficult. Have you seen her? To me, if there’s a 10, Ciara is a 15. So, yeah, it’s difficult!” Many claimed that Russell was a hypocrite because, since he had been married and divorced before, he had already had sex so what was the point of withholding it from his relationship with Ciara. Additionally, Ciara already had a child out of wedlock from a previous relationship. So, it’s not like they were virgins! Why? The seal of virginity had already been broken for both of them. They were no teenagers holding out for that first ever sexual encounter on their wedding night.

 

How amazing is it that people actually made fun of them, and particularly, Russell, for having made the decision! In this world that we live in today, it is more common to see celebrities flaunting their sexual relationships and having babies out of wedlock. Celebrities are often simply a reflection of the society in which they live. In our society today, marriage is no longer a sacred institution. Sex before marriage is so commonplace that you are considered weird if take sex off the table before marriage. Our society glorifies sexual intercourse more than anything else. Listen to virtually any popular song out there today and it is rare that it does not contain references to sexual intercourse just for the sport of it. Some people even claimed that Russell was brainwashing Ciara with his Christian beliefs because she no longer hung out with some of her closest friends from her past, including the likes of Kim Kardashian. Maybe, just maybe Ciara began to see things God’s way and how this warped view of sex that the world has is one she no longer wanted to celebrate.

 

Sex is the most powerful thing that God ever gave us. It is like nuclear fission. If it is not controlled and respected, it can be very destructive. Only under the right circumstances can nuclear fission produce good results (such as when it used to create electricity). It is the same with sex. Only in the setting of marriage is it considered a holy and wonderful thing. Outside of marriage it can lead to destruction. Christians are the least immune to the culture around them in this area. In a December 2009 survey by Relevant magazine, the researchers found that 88% of people who considered themselves evangelical Christians admitted that they were having sexual relations before or between marriages. That percentage is mostly likely a few percentage points higher than that by now. I am no man standing on a mountaintop condemning the world below on this one, sexual purity was not high on my list even after I accepted Christ as my Savior. I would have to do theological gymnastics to justify it over the years but it was when Luke Brower, my pastor at the time, confronted me about marriage and sex that I came to the realization that I need to break with culture on this issue and break with the lies that Satan was telling me. My past from age 14 before marriage at age 18, from the time that marriage ended at age 31 til I remarried at age 33, from the time that marriage ended age 42 until I remarried (to my wife Elena) at age 48, is littered with sexual relationships outside of marriage just like many American and many evangelical Christian Americans. Sex is powerful and it blinds us all.

 

It was the way we glorify sexual intercourse outside of marriage these days that I thought when I read today’s passage, Deuteronomy 22:13-30. God is pretty darn harsh here, I thought initially. Let’s read it together now:

 

13 If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her 14 and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” 15 then the young woman’s father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin. 16 Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. 17 Now he has slandered her and said, ‘I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.’ But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, 18 and the elders shall take the man and punish him. 19 They shall fine him a hundred shekels[a] of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives.

 

20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

 

22 If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.

 

23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

 

25 But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. 26 Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor, 27 for the man found the young woman out in the country, and though the betrothed woman screamed, there was no one to rescue her.

 

28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

 

30 A man is not to marry his father’s wife; he must not dishonor his father’s bed.

 

Why did God include all this detailed law about sexual sin? Instructions about sexual behavior for three million people on a 40-year camping trip! But they would equally important when they settled in the Promised Land. In Colossians 3:5-6, Paul recognizes the importance of strong rules about sex for believers because sexual sin has the power to disrupt and destroy the church. Sins involving sex are not innocent dabblings in forbidden pleasures, as Satan often portrays to us, but rather is a powerful destroyers of relationships. They confuse and tear down the climate of respect, trust, and credibility that is so essential for solid marriages and secure children. Think about the credibility gap that we have as parents when we are single and pursue sexual relationships outside of marriage. Our kids lose respect for us when we have a string of sexual relationships paraded in front of them.

What are we telling our children when we get tired of our marriage and seek sexual relationships outside of marriage. Divorce rates are now at 50% of first marriages, 67% of second marriages. Much of it is because we think we deserve exciting sex lives that the culture tells us that we are supposed to have.

 

Yes, God is harsh here on sexual sin. Because it is a society killer. It is a family killer. It is a soul killer. Lord, help us to seek purity in our sexual relationships. Let us not make sex the center of our lives. Let us make you that center. Let us make sex the thing you want it to be, that wonderful intimacy between man and wife. Not some sport that we play so that we can brag about how many different partners we have had. Sex is not a game. Sex is God’s gift of intimacy to a man and his wife. Lord, help us to change the tide of the culture. May there be more Russell Wilson’s out there willing to take the ridicule of a culture that has lost its way in its worship of sex rather than God.

 

Amen and Amen.

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