As you just saw in reading Deuteronomy 21 and 22, the Old Testament Law spoke to issues that were:
- Practical and important (like the inheritance of children in 21:15-17 or the help offered to a brother in 22:1-4)
- Unexpected but necessary (like the treatment of female captives of war in 21:10-14 or the building of a parapet for your roof in 22:8)
- Moral and essential (like the laws pertaining to sexual immorality in 22:13-30)
In looking at the issues addressed and the punishment called for by the Law, one might conclude that the New Testament does not place the same value on some of these issues. Indeed, the latter half of your Bible does not speak directly to issues of inheritance or to the presence of a parapet on your house.
Meanwhile, the New Testament does speak clearly to moral issues like sexual immorality. Yes, it’s true, when given opportunity to call for Old Testament judgment and execution of a woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus offered grace in the place of stones. (See Jn. 8.) At the same time, however, He called her to purity from that point forward.
You see, even though the death sentence may no longer be in vogue, God still intends for His children to be sexually pure. Here is how Paul expresses it in Ephesians 5:3:
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”
Recognizing the power of this area of our lives and the purity in which we are to walk, God allows zero tolerance in the sexual arena of our lives. He, therefore, uses phrases like “not even a hint” and no “kind of impurity.”
We cannot even leave the door open a crack or allow the smallest trace of poison to contaminate the water. Where we allow our glance to rest, our thoughts to dwell, and our person to go . . . those are all impacted by His call to sexual purity. It affects our people-watching, our entertainment choices, and our interactions with others.
Absolute purity. That’s what He desires.