Nebuchadnezzar said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him. They disobeyed the king’s command and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore, I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that utters blasphemy against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins; for there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” Daniel 3:28-29 NRSV
The world and God see sex in completely different ways. The way we view and interpret life and pretty much everything in it, including relationships, morality, and God, is called a worldview. At the core of a biblical worldview is the understanding that God is real and not only that He’s real, but that He’s good and morally perfect. In the story above, King Nebuchadnezzar’s worldview was shaken up when he witnessed the miraculous deliverance of three devout Jewish young men who many believe were in their late teens when they were taken into captivity. They would have rather died than follow the crowd. These three young men were commanded to bow down to a statue, otherwise known as an idol, and they refused. Their civil disobedience landed them in a fiery furnace. If you’re not familiar with the story, be sure to read Daniel, Chapter 3 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+3&version=NRSV). But what about the other Jewish people who were captured and brought to Babylon? Why weren’t they standing in line with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego waiting to be thrown into the furnace? Just as in our day, they were already adopting the beliefs and behaviors of their neighbors or they obeyed for fear of losing their lives if they took a stand. Sound familiar?
It’s just a statue. What’s the big deal?
Now, replace “a statue” with “sex”. The enemy has been spreading the lie that, “Sex is no big deal,” for thousands of years. Maybe you’ve heard it. Maybe you’ve thought it. Maybe you’ve even believed it. Let’s be honest. Sex is a big deal. People are married and divorced because of it. People (male and female) are kidnapped, tortured, and abused because of it. Babies are born and babies are aborted because of it. You can be blessed by it or traumatized by it. If you have a relationship with God, then you probably have some sense of a right and a wrong when it comes to sex. Children innately know that it’s wrong for Mommy or Daddy to have an affair. “And [Jesus] said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 NIV The world’s attitude toward sex has become cold and hard-hearted. Maybe yours too. To understand God’s purpose for sex, we must soften our hearts and become like little children.
But, what if it’s consensual and there’s no chance of pregnancy, what’s the harm? The truth is the harm is great. Having sex outside of a covenant marriage between a man and woman who love and trust each other opens us up to illness and death, and not just STD’s!! It may feel good to begin with and we say to ourselves “see, I didn’t get hurt”, but what the enemy knows is that, when you take the first bite of the forbidden fruit, you will want more and more and more. Eventually, he will use sexual temptation to draw you further and further away from God, yourself and the purpose God has for your life. And, he will use it to destroy you psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and physically. What’s more, like being pulled out to sea by the undertow, the further out you get the harder it is to get back to shore. When Satan told Eve “surely you won’t die” Genesis 3:4 after tempting her with the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he questioned what God had said and used it to bring doubt into Eve’s mind about God’s goodness and love for her. Eventually she and Adam took the bait and, well you know the rest of the story.
The truth is God does LOVE us and wants the absolute best for us! The problem is we don’t always believe that. When we come to the realization that He loves us, we begin to trust Him. When we trust Him and follow His leading, our faith grows. As our faith grows, our worldview changes and we begin to see things differently. We begin to understand the reasons behind God’s rules and the spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical consequences of not following them. All sin is rooted in a lack of faith. We don’t trust God to take care of us or others, so we take matters into our own hands. We turn our backs on God and find ways to justify our wrong choices. “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him.” The story from Daniel applies to sex because it is a story about integrity. The three young men knew that God was real; they trusted Him; and they made a very difficult choice to not follow what the world around them was doing. Apparently, the rest of the Jewish people in captivity bowed down to the statue. We are living in a morally insane world and we must choose who we will bow down to and serve, either the Creator or the created.
No matter where you are in your sexual life, from those trying to save themselves for marriage and feel like they’re navigating a minefield to those who have been “hooking up” for years and feel something is not quite right to those who are looking to escape a life of abuse and even prostitution, God is ready to meet you where you are. He LOVES you! No matter what path you’ve taken or what mistakes you’ve made, know that God can redeem any situation. You can trust Him, because He is real, and we’ll say it again, He really does LOVE you!