Greetings MOL Family!
God, in His love for each of us, is considerate of every aspect of our lives. He has given us His holy Law, to guide us – every step of His way. We ought not to guess at anything!
The Ancient Landmark
Who wrote Proverbs? Solomon. The wisest of men. What makes the book of Proverbs so wonderful is that it is an inspired book.
Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. – Proverbs 22:28
What’s the margin for landmark? The bound, or boundary. The wise man says not to remove the ancient landmark. To remove it or change it would be to steal. Does the Law of God have anything to say about that?
“Thou shalt not steal.” That’s the eighth Commandment. Now, the only way there can be anything stolen is for there to be property rights. If everything belongs to everybody, then I can’t steal anything, can I? The only way I can steal from you is if there is something you have that does not belong to me.
So, when the eighth commandment says thou shalt not steal, it gives us the divine command which is fundamental to all property rights. But this is more than dealing with land or money or houses. The tenth commandment spells it out:
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s. – Exodus 20:17
We are not only not to steal it; we are not to even want to steal it. That’s what coveting would be. Oh, I’m so thankful for the Ten Commandments. And remember what the Master said in the Sermon on the Mount – He came not to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. As long as Heaven and earth stood, that Law would stand without even a letter changed. So, it is written that whosoever shall keep the whole Law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10). So speak ye and so do as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty (James 2:12).
Is it the Law of liberty, or would you rather have the Law done away so you could steal anything you wanted to? If this Law is written in our hearts, we would not want to steal anything. All I want is what belongs to me. That’s all. That’s the attitude of the converted heart.
Before I take anything, I want to know first whether it belongs to me. That is the eighth Commandment; that is the tenth Commandment. It’s a wonderful thing to have this Law so written in our minds and hearts that we not only know what it says, but love what it commands.
We are dealing in this class with this wonderful institution of the home. Was the home made, or did it just evolve through time? It was made. Who made it? God. When did He make it? The creation week – the same week He made the Sabbath. And just as He gave us the fourth Commandment to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, so He gave us the seventh Commandment to safeguard the holiness of the home.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” As we studied in our last class, adultery is to mix something with that which does not belong. How many people belong in the inner circle of the home? Just two.
For Good or For Evil
Let’s go back to Genesis. The word Genesis means beginning. Moses wrote:
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1
Now the 26th verse:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. – Genesis 1:26-27
Who made man? God. He made them male and female. Did He know what He was doing? Did He do it right? Doesn’t that make a lot of problems in the world? Oh, yes, it makes a lot of them. Eating makes a lot of problems. Are there people who are overweight? Are there people who are getting heart attacks and ulcers and a lot of other things from the way they eat? It makes a lot of problems. Wouldn’t it have been a lot easier if God had made us like a gasoline engine? We could just drive up to the filling station and say, “Fill ‘er up,” and go on. Think of all the problems it would solve.
When God made this world, He built into the people and into the program wonderful principles which, if we remain in harmony with them, bring joy and health and life and success. But everything that has great potential for good has great potential for evil.
Let’s take a few illustrations – Electric power: it’s gives us light. It will run a motor. It will cook a meal. It will freeze. You can go on and on. Today, there are literally thousands of uses for electric power. Would you say it’s a good thing or a bad thing? It depends on how you use it, doesn’t it? Did you ever hear of anybody getting burned with electricity? Did you ever hear of anybody getting killed with electricity? It happens every day. It is the same electricity that is lighting our lamps. Which is it, good or bad?
It seems so easy to understand this as it relates to electricity and so difficult for some people to see it as it relates to love. But love is the electric current of the soul. It has a great potential for good; it also has a great potential for pain and heartbreak.
The reason that heartbreaks are so heart-breaking is that we are dealing with one of the greatest things in the universe. And there is no way to make it as wonderful as God has made it, on the positive side, without it having (inherently) a great potential for sorrow and pain. Thank God for His Law which guides us in how to apply love and how to use love, for it is written:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and great commandment. – Mark 12:30
All our love belongs to God. He made us; He made us with love. And when God made man male and female, He did it not merely that children might be born (that’s covered in Genesis 1:28 – “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it”). God did it that there might be opportunity for the expression of love in a special way.
To start with, man was just one; and the name of man was Adam. But before the day was over, after Adam sensed a need, a longing was awakened in his heart. God put him to sleep and from his rib made Eve, the first woman.
“And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” – Genesis 2:22-24
One in Adam. Two in Adam and Eve. Joined together again to make what? One.
God’s Great Plan For Life
Years ago in South America, a pastor was way up in the Andes, itinerating; and there a tribe begged that a teacher might be sent to them to teach them the way of God. The pastor promised that he would try to send somebody.
The old chief said, “How will I know whether the man that comes is the man you sent?” Guided by the Spirit, the pastor took a stone and, with a hammer, broke it in two. He gave to the chief one part, and he kept the other.
He said, “The man whom I send will bring you this half. You keep the half I have given you. When he comes, this half and your half will fit, and you will know that this is the man.”
My dear friends, in God’s great plan for life, He has wonderfully arranged that one man shall fit with one woman and blend together in a union that brings joy to all the universe as they behold.
I picked up another illustration of this. Speaking of man and woman, God made us different from one another, not merely physically but mentally, aesthetically, and spiritually that we might be to one another as music to words, making together the song that God wants to hear His children sing. Don’t you like to hear a song where the words and music are blended? Oh, yes! So, in making man and woman, God has arranged the blending of two lives.
Somebody says, Yes, I think this is wonderful, and if a little is good, a whole lot is better. The more the merrier. The more the blending – the more the mixing of men and women – the more happiness. But we are dealing with something which, like electricity, has great potential. And our opening text says remove not what? The ancient landmark, or bounds.
We might reason and philosophize about this thing, but we do not have to. The Law of God makes it very clear. God has set bounds. In the ancient sanctuary, He said all the people of Israel could come into the court, but only the priest could go
into the holy place, and only the high priest could go into the Most Holy Place. So, in the sanctuary of the home, outsiders are not to enter.
While there is a love that is proper for the world, and there is a close fellowship which is proper between brothers and sisters in the church; there is a love that belongs within the boundaries of the family; and a special intimate love that belongs in the Most Holy Place – the union of the husband and wife.
For many years, much of the gold reserve of the United States government has been treasured and guarded in Fort Knox. If you were to go up there, you would find some soldiers on guard night and day. That gold is the property of the government.
In every woman’s heart, there is a love which is more sacred than all the gold in Fort Knox. And that love is to be guarded by her lawful protectors – her father and mother as she is growing up; by herself as she comes to assume the responsibility of adult life; and by her husband when she is married – that love is to be sacredly guarded. And in its intimate expression, it is to be shared with one, and one only.
Let me say to you, my dear friends: reserve is necessary if we are to preserve. Modesty guards virtue. Notice this interesting statement:
Do not see how close you can walk upon the brink of a precipice and be safe. Avoid the first approach to danger. The soul’s interests cannot be trifled with. Your capital is your character. Cherish it as you would a golden treasure. Moral purity, self-respect, a strong power of resistance, must be firmly and constantly cherished. There should not be one departure from reserve. – Adventist Home, pg. 404
Some of us may have already had, in our past experience, some “breaking through” the barrier, some breaking down of reserve. I tell you, there is good news: Jesus can help us. He will restore the years that the locusts have eaten. God is in the business of rebuilding the barriers that protect the sanctity, the purity, of the marriage relationship.
One act of familiarity, one indiscretion, may jeopardize the soul in opening the door to temptation, and the power of resistance becomes weakened. – Ibid
Let me state it very simply. My heart is for one, only one. My hands are for one, only one. My eyes are for one, only one. This is God’s glorious ideal for every husband and every wife. This is what is involved in the seventh commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
Somebody says, “But certainly, we have thoughts of love for others beside husband and wife.” Indeed, but the thoughts are different. Another says, “Certainly, we have looks of love for others beside husband and wife.” Indeed, but the looks are different. And another says, “Surely, we have a caress for other loved ones and dear ones beside husband and wife.” Indeed, but the caress is different.
There is a love that belongs to the Most Holy Place and that union of one man and one woman that is not to be shared with others. If we will study the inspired instructions which God has been pleased to give, we can understand what those bounds are. They are just as clear as the golden walls of the sanctuary and the beautiful veils with the embroidered cheribims. The lines are there, simple and clear.
You remember Solomon wrote that beautiful inspired love song in The Song of Solomon. Goodspeed translates it:
The only one is she, my dove, my perfect one. – Song of Solomon 6:9
This is what is involved. When a young man and woman stand at the marriage altar, when the vows are said, the minister asks the question:
“Will you leave everybody else and take this one? Forsaking all others, will you keep yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?” Strange to say, the answer is always: “I do, I will.”
You say, “Of course, what’s strange about it?” The strange thing is that thousands who take those vows have never kept them. They have never kept themselves to anyone or for anyone. They have selfishly squandered their love. They have selfishly used their hands, their eyes, their hearts to express intimate love first with this one and that one, and they have kept that up since they were 12, 13, 14, and in some cases before, and all through the teens. And now they come to the marriage altar and all of a sudden, they promise that they are going to forsake everybody else and be true to just one.
I have thought sometimes that if they were honest they would say, “Wait a minute preacher. I don’t know if I can do that or not.” But of course, they don’t do that. That wouldn’t be expected. Think about it, my dear friends. The seventh Commandment is just as much for the unmarried as for the married. God intends that the young man who comes to the marriage altar and promises to take this one girl and love her and her alone will have demonstrated through his teens and twenties, from adolescence to the day of marriage, that he has control of his affections, that he doesn’t let his eyes wander and let his hands and thoughts linger where they should not. No. God intends that there shall be full self-control.
Somebody says, “When should you give your hands, your eyes, your heart?” Not until it is settled as to who that “only one” is. Settled forever. Ah, but somebody says, “Would you take all the fun out of it?” Yes, I would. But I would not take all the joy out of it. There is a world of difference.
God never intended that courtship or the experiences leading to courtship should be fun in the sense of just a frolic, a gay time. God intended that seriously, earnestly, humbly, trustfully, a man and woman should seek God. We will be studying in this class God’s way of Christian courtship – God’s way of arriving at the settled truth concerning your life’s companion.
God’s way is the only way – to experience love, joy and peace; on earth, as it is in Heaven… Seek. God. Today!
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
- Country Living
- Courtship & Marriage
- The Christian Home
- Child Guidance
- Army of Youth
- The School of Health
- Other Present Truth Studies
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.