Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part II: God's Sustainment Of Israel In The Wilderness Amid Humanly Helpless Trials
K. God's Elaboration And Application Of The Ten Commandments
8. God's Elaborating On His Commands Relative To One's Virginity
(Exodus 22:16-17 and Deuteronomy 22:23-29)
  1. Introduction
    1. The value that many who live in Western lands once placed on virginity has often been replaced with a "free love" mentality via the "sexual revolution", and many have sex if they simply "love" another party.
    2. However, God's values have not changed -- He places a high value on sexual virginity, for it is a cornerstone in the sanctity and order of the home as Exodus 22:16-17 with Deuteronomy 22:23-29 reveal:
  2. God's Elaborating On His Commands Relative To One's Virginity, Ex. 22:16-17 with Deut. 22:23-29.
    1. After giving Moses the Ten Commandments, God enlarged and applied them in Israel's life so that there would be no possible misunderstanding as to what He meant by them, and this elaboration is known as the "Book of the Covenant" in Exodus 20:22-24:11, Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, p. 140.
    2. The eighth part of that "Book of the Covenant", Exodus 22:16-17, applies the seventh and eighth commandments against adultery and stealing in relation to the loss of virginity (as follows):
      1. First of all, virginity was financially valuable in terms of a dowry, a fact involving the need to protect against the loss of one's property through the act of stealing another one's virginity:
        1. In the Ancient Near East, an unbetrothed virgin daughter was part of her father's financial estate since her virginity was considered valuable in terms of the dowry it would bring him, Ibid., p. 143.
        2. Accordingly, if an unbetrothed virgin were seduced by a man who had not paid a dowry to her father, God required the seducer pay the dowry to her father to avoid violating the eighth command against stealing her father's property, cf. Exodus 22:16.
        3. Now, if the father chose not to let his daughter wed the man who had seduced her, the seducer still had to pay the dowry as he had reduced the girl's value by taking away her virginity, Exodus 22:17.
      2. Second, taking another person's virginity could involve a violation against the seventh commandment that prohibited adultery, for a betrothal in the Ancient Near East was essentially a marital contract; accordingly, capital punishment was to result from violating virginity if it affected the marriage union:
        1. God revealed that if a betrothed virgin had premarital sex with a man with whom she was not betrothed, both she and her illicit partner were to be executed for adultery, Deuteronomy 22:23-24.
        2. If such a betrothed maid was forcibly raped in the field where she was unable to get help, the rapist alone would be executed for the adultery, Deuteronomy 22:25-27. The forcible rape of a betrothed or married woman was thus equal to the crime of murder, Deuteronomy 22:26; Ibid., p. 303!
        3. However, if a man found and forcibly raped an unbetrothed maid, the man who forced her was obligated to pay her father 50 shekels of silver as a dowry, and to forfeit any right to divorce her since he had socially humbled her in the process, Deuteronomy 22:28-29.
    3. In the Church era, God's stipulations became even stiffer relative to the subject of the loss of virginity:
      1. Paul revealed that if any believer, betrothed or otherwise, had consensual extramarital sex, unless he repented, he was to be excommunicated from the Church body for grave sin, cf. 1 Corinthians 5:11-13!
      2. Now, in the case of consensual premarital sex, the believer was to follow it by marrying the person with whom he had the union in application of Exodus 22:16-17. However, the sin of consensual premarital sex was still fornication that needed to be confessed before the Church.
      3. Then Jesus revealed that looking on another person with sexual lust equaled the act of immorality, Matthew 5:27-28. Thus, voyeurism and pornography are as sinful as any immoral activity!
Lesson: God holds one's virginity to be highly valuable, that it is to be guarded in the realms of both act and thought, and that one's virginity is to be given away only to one's spouse within marriage.

Application: (1) May we value virginity as a foundation stone to the sanctity of the home, and offer it as a gift only to the one we wed after marriage, cf. Hebrews 13:4 NIV, ESV. (2) May we teach our children to value their virginity, and (3) urge them to avoid losing it in aberrant acts (4) as well as urge them to avoid aberrant thoughts by the power of the Holy Spirit, Romans 8:3-4!