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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 6:27-31

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SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Responsible Living: Do Not Commit Adultery (Part #1): Prov 6:27-31

27) Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
28) Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
29) So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
30) [Men] do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
31) But [if] he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.


Adultery described the transferring of one’s affections from their spouse to another person.  In the commission of this sin we find many different sins being involved.  Normally, with the sin of adultery we also find the sins of: lying and deceit; stealing (of one’s spouse); breaking of promises (departure from the marital covenant); and uncaring, selfish attitudes; to name a few.  Sadly, in our society adultery is quickly becoming more acceptable, and in some aspects, admired by those who are not concerned with God’s will and standards of morality.  In the next set of proverbs, Solomon makes sure that God’s people understand the sinfulness and dangers that are involved with the act of adultery.


27) Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?  28) Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
With the act of adultery comes the certainty of harmful consequences.  Solomon shares with us a proverb that presents this truth to us.  This is a dual proverb presenting rhetorical questions to us…
Question #1 – Can a person choose to bring fire into his lap and his clothes not be consumed by the fire?  The implied answer is NO.
Question #2 –  Can a person willfully walk upon burning, glowing coals and his feet not be seared? Again, the implied answer is NO.

Because of the severity of the sin of adultery, and the multiplicity of the sins that are involved, NO ONE can expect to escape harmful results from this willful, selfish act of immorality.

If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or [if] I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door;  [Then] let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.  For this [is] an heinous crime; yea, it [is] an iniquity [to be punished by] the judges.  For it [is] a fire [that] consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.”   (Job 31:9-12)

29) So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
The above two questions were given to picture for us…..  the certainty of guilt and retribution coming upon those who have a relationship with those who are promised to another.
Although in this example the man is the one causing the adultery with a woman, the male/female role can be reversed, and yet the principle remains the same.  Whoever is involved with the sin of adultery will face certain reprisal for their actions.

How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by [them that are] no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.  They were [as] fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife.  Shall I not visit for these [things]? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?”   (Jeremiah 5:7-9)

30) [Men] do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; 31) But [if] he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
Men do not hate another when he steals food because he is famished and suffering physically. In this type of situation he must make retribution because he has committed wrongdoing.  But that retribution is tempered based upon the situation that he is facing.
When men steal food to survive, although it is a sin, it does not rise to the level of the theft that is involved with the sin of adultery.  What is involved with this distinction?
1.  The motive behind the theft:
The stealing was not done with intent to harm another, it was not done to increase wealth or position of esteem, also implied in this situation is that there were no other options open to him.  The man is facing starvation with no other way to provide food for himself (or his family).  Because of his situation, he becomes an object of pity and understanding by the general public.
2.  The punishment is lessened:
Adultery (the theft of a spouse), in Solomon’s day, was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:10-21).  Although the hungry man committed theft as well, his life would not be taken.  He would be required to pay back seven times what he had stolen, even if it meant his losing all his earthly possessions.  Due to his impoverished condition, in most cases, this would be paid back by becoming a bond slave to the one from whom he had stolen.

Solomon shares this with us to emphasize the heinousness of the sin of adultery…. It is the uncaring, willful harming of another to fulfill fleshly lusts.  It is choosing the carnal pleasure of the sinful world, over loving God and putting Him first.  It is an inexcusable sin.   These are a few reasons why there can be no expectation of limited consequences for the sin of adultery.

If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, [both] the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”   (Deuteronomy 22:22)

Adultery,  an act that involves a whole variety of sins,  results in severe consequences to those who commit this sin.  May we all be constantly reminded of God’s hatred of that sin, the harmful results of the sin, and the need to flee from any temptation that would lead to the sin.  May God give us the grace we need to keep us away form the grip of this horrible sin.

In our next devotional, we will be continuing to look at adultery and it’s harmful results upon all of mankind.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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  1. The subject of adultery seems to be missing from sermons these days. I am glad you are highlighting it, Pastor.

  2. Shofar says:

    I was wondering if you also plan to write on fornication, especially since it is so prevalent among youth and adults today. Like adultery, fornication is not a subject that is preached about in most churches today.

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    This is a good study and one that a believer must be reminded of often in our sex saturated age

  4. Debbie says:

    Thank you for teaching us how God views adultery and why, Pastor Rob. It’s a heartbreaking situation, each time it happens . ..praying for us all now! God bless you as you take the time and energy for these studies!

  5. Thanks for posting on this widespread problem, which is sadly accepted as ‘normal’ by a large proportion of society today. Our young people are growing up, conditioned by TV and movies, and ‘celebrity’ life styles to think it is normal behaviour.

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