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If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her … then the father and mother of the young woman shall take and bring out the evidence of the young woman’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. (Deuteronomy 22:13)

No one could ever say that the Bible glosses over sensitive topics. Because the Creator knew the heart of man, He addressed issues that He knew would arise among His people and did not shy away from the details. In these particular verses — and throughout the rest of this chapter — He made it very clear that purity, especially when it came to a man’s wife or his prospective bride, was deemed very important. In fact, so much so that a woman who was proven to be guilty of an impropriety could be subject to the death penalty. Moses puts an exclamation point on the issue by saying that such a woman “has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to play the harlot” (Deuteronomy 22:21).

That phrase — “disgraceful thing” — is translated from the Hebrew word נבלה nevalah. According to one Jewish commentator, this word “does not indicate weakness of reason, but a rooted incapacity to discern moral and religious relations.” In other words, it indicates a lack of discernment between right and wrong which eventually leads to contempt for that which distinguishes right from wrong. Let’s put it this way: someone who does wickedly long enough will learn to hate that which points out their wrongdoing. In the end, they will bring destruction upon themselves and anyone who falls victim to their way of thinking which is why “spiritual harlotry” cannot be tolerated within the Body of Messiah.

So once again we see that, within the instructions given to Israel by Moses, there is a greater principle to be learned — one that pertains to you and me. As the prospective Bride of the Messiah, it is expected that we keep ourselves pure and chaste. Paul stated that the Messiah is returning for a bride “having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). According to what we see in the Torah, He may, in fact, demand evidence of our devotion, and so, when He comes will He find us to be faithful and true? Or have we allowed our hearts to be stolen by this world? Every follower of the Messiah needs to ask themselves that question and, if necessary, make the appropriate changes in our life.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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