Biblical Precepts-Notable Cases of Adultery in the Bible


My spouse is cheating, and I’m a Christian, but I’m so upset I don’t know what God wants me to do! I’m the spouse who cheated and I am a Christian, but I ended the affair and confessed to God–do I have to tell my spouse?

In this week’s episode, we conclude our series “Biblical Precepts on Adultery” which was a summer study of what the Bible has to say about infidelity and how God would have us act. Today we discuss two notable cases of adultery in the Bible: 1) King David and Bathsheba, and 2) Hosea and Gomer


King David and Bathsheba:

2 Samuel 11 and 12

Chapter 11
1. David was not where he was supposed to be–he was the king and should have been leading his army.  We learn that when we are not where we are supposed to be (honoring our vows) we can be lead into temptation!

2. David let his eyes wander; he had not disciplined his eyes to avoid lust.  We learn that if we do not live our life to please God, we can be overcome by sins such as lust.

3. David got the OW pregnant, then tried to hide a) by bringing him home from war, b) by getting him drunk, and finally c) by killing him. We learn that when someone commits adultery, they very often will do drastic things to try to hide it.

4. David tried to legitimize his adultery by marrying the OW, but what he had done displeased the Lord. We learn that often cheating spouses will try to legitimize their relationship with someone else.

Chapter 12
1. The Lord sent his prophet, Nathan, to David, and confronted him about his adultery. Nathan told David that because he had used the sword of his enemies to kill the OW’s husband, the sword would never depart from his house. We learn that adultery affects our families: parents, siblings, children and grandchildren!

2. Further, Nathan told David that he did his adultery in secret but that God would bring about all this judgment in public.  We learn that what is hidden eventually does come to the light of day–the truth is revealed.

3. David REPENTED. He didn’t blameshift. He didn’t avoid looking as his own sin. He changed 180 degrees! Psalm 51 is his poem of repentance for his adultery.  We learn from this repentance that there is HOPE, because David was the apple of God’s eye and yet he wasn’t perfect. He committed ADULTERY! And when he truly repented God did forgive him!

4. Now the real lesson! Note that after he was forgiven, God told David that HE (David) was not going to die but the child born of adultery was going to die. David begged and pleaded with God, but in His holiness, He allows David to experience the consequences of his adultery: the child died AND his older sons rose up against him and tried to take the throne and were killed in the coup attempt.

Hosea and Gomer:

Hosea 1-3

Hosea is believed to be the first prophet to use marriage as a metaphor of the covenant between God and Israel.  Whenever there is “husband imagery” that is a metaphor for God; and whenever there is “wife imagery” that is a metaphor for God’s People, Israel, His Bride.

Chapter two describes a divorce. This divorce seems to be the end of the covenant between God and Israel. However, it is probable that this was again a symbolic act, in which Hosea divorced Gomer for infidelity, and used the occasion to preach the message of God’s rejection of Israel. He ends this prophecy with the declaration that God will one day renew the covenant, and will take Israel back in love.

In Chapter three, at God’s command, Hosea seeks out Gomer once more. Either she has sold herself into slavery for debt, or she is with a lover who demands money in order to give her up, because Hosea has to buy her back. He takes her home, but refrains from sexual intimacy with her for many days, to symbolize the fact that Israel will be without a king for many years, but that God will take Israel back, even at a cost to Himself.

Chapter 11 is God’s lament over the necessity of giving up the people of Israel, whom God loves [The metaphor is a husband’s lament over losing an unfaithful wife whom he loves].

In Chapter 12, the prophet pleads for Israel’s repentance [just as a Loyal Spouse pleads for their Disloyal to end the affair and return to the marriage].

Chapter 13 foretells the destruction of the kingdom, because there has been no repentance [just as a spouse might try to warn their Disloyal of all that damage and hurt and pain that will come if they don’t end the adultery and reconcile].

In Chapter 14, the prophet urges Israel to seek forgiveness, and promises its restoration, while urging the utmost fidelity to God [Similarly, a Loyal Spouse might say “Have you ended the affair yet? No? Come talk to me about reconciling when you have” in order to let their Disloyal know there * could * be restoration if they would be faithful]!

The “Biblical Precepts” series:

  1.  Introduction
  2.  Old Testament precepts about adultery
  3.  New Testament precepts about adultery
  4. Today:Notable cases of adultery in the Bible and what we can learn


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