Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal
Lust (1937) (epithumeo from epí = upon, used intensively + thumós = passion) (Click study of noun epithumia) means literally to fix the desire upon (object could be good [Mt 13:17, Lk 22:15 used of Jesus] or bad [1Co 10:6]). It means to have a strong desire to do or secure something. To desire greatly. To long for. Note that the preposition epi can express motion toward or upon and thus one lexicon defines it as to set one's heart upon. In sum, epithumeo describes a strong impulse toward something so that one's passions or affections directed toward some object, thing or person. Jesus uses epithumeo with its evil connotation here in 5.28" class="scriptRef">Mt 5:28, where epithumeo describes a husband's lustful passion directly toward a woman who is not his wife ("Those leering looks you think nobody notices" Msg). As an aside, for one of the best "defenses" against this seductive but dangerous sin of sexual immorality and adultery see Solomon's advice in Pr 5:15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and compare it with Paul's in 1Co 7:2, 5. In fact, Proverbs 5-7 should be required reading for every Christian man at least once a year! Here are the 16 uses of epithumeo in the NT - Mt 5:28-note; Mt 13:17; Lk 15:16; 16:21; 17:22; 22:15; Acts 20:33; Ro 7:7-note; Ro 13:9-note; 1Co 10:6; Gal 5:17-note; 1Ti 3:1; Heb 6:11-note; James 4:2; 1Pe 1:12-note; Re 9:6-note. Epithumeo is translated in the NAS as covet(2), coveted(1), craved(1), desire(1), desired(2), desires(1), long to(3), longing to(2), lust(2), sets its desire(1). There are 37 uses of epithumeo in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX)- Ge 31:30; 49:14; Ex 20:17; 34:24; 11.4" class="scriptRef">Nu 11:4; Dt 5:21; 7:25; 12:20; 6" class="scriptRef">14:26; 18:6; 1Sa 2:16; 20:4; 2Sa 3:21; 23:15; 1Ki 11:37; 1Chr. 11:17; 2Chr 8:6; Esther 4:17; Job 33:20; Ps 45:11; 106:14; 119:20, 40; Pr 21:26; 23:3, 6; 24:1; Eccl 6:2; Song 2:3; Is 1:29; 26:9; 43:24; 58:2, 11; Je 17:16; Amos 5:18; Mic 2:2 UBS Handbook makes the distinction that... this verse does not just refer to noticing a woman as attractive, or even to a brief recognition that she is sexually appealing. It refers instead to actually contemplating having sex with her, that is, to having the intention of doing so. (The United Bible Societies' New Testament Handbook Series or Logos) Lust is like rot in the bones. Thomas Brooks wrote that... A little will satisfy nature; less will satisfy grace; nothing will satisfy men's lusts. The Ten Commandments clearly addressed the problem of looking and desiring... You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet (chamad = desire, take pleasure in; Lxx = epithumeo the same verb Jesus used in Mt 5:28 = to set one's heart upon and so to have a strong impulse in this context in a bad sense toward) your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Exodus 20:17, cp Dt 5:21) Oswald Chambers rightly warned us that... We cannot think anything without the thought having its consequence. (Shade of His Hand) Jesus explained the relationship between the heart (including our thought life, especially our "secret" thought life - not "secret" to God - Pr 5:21, 15:3, et al) and our actions, specifically those that are defiling... (In the context of clarifying that food is not what defiles a man) And He was saying, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man. (Mark 7:20-23, cp Mt 12:34) Solomon explains that... the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life, to keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, (cp Job 31:7, 9) nor let her catch you with her eyelids. (See notes Proverbs 6:23-25) James explains that we are each responsible and cannot blame God writing... Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. (James 1:13-16-notes) The godly King David failed to keep watch over his eye gate which were the door to his heart as recorded in 2 Samuel 11... Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle (Spring was an advantageous time to wage war because of good weather and available provisions from the harvest), that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But (this is one of saddest conjunctions in the Bible and in the story of this man after God's own heart. So many subsequent events hinged on this one "but". How we all need to watch over our hearts with all diligence especially when the old nature begins to seduce with "but this..." or "but that...") David stayed at Jerusalem. 2 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king's house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing (Oriental homes had an enclosed courtyard that was considered part of the house. Bathsheba, bathing herself by lamplight, was not immodest for she was in her house. However, the interior of the courtyard could be seen from the roof of David's house, situated as it was on the higher elevation of Mt Zion); and the woman was very beautiful in appearance (Temptation is the enticement to satisfy God given desires in a God forbidden way. We all must remember that character is revealed by what you do in secret, when no one else is around to see. David's palace likely commanded the best view and there was no one who see into his courtyard except of course God! How practical are the lessons in David's life in our modern era where one click of a mouse in privacy of one's study, where no one else can see, can place a "bathing Bathsheba" before one's eyes in an instant. Maturity is revealed by what you do in your free time. A person of integrity uses their free time wisely.) (Click Spurgeon's devotional on 2Samuel 11:2) 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. (David looked and he lusted in his heart) And one said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" (We are never out of the reach of temptation. Both at home and abroad we are liable to meet with allurements to evil; the morning opens with peril, and the shades of evening find us still in jeopardy. They are well kept whom God keeps, but woe unto those who go forth into the world, or even dare to walk their own house unarmed. Those who think themselves secure are more exposed to danger than any others. The armour-bearer of Sin is Self-confidence. It wasn’t sin for David accidentally to see Bathsheba bathing. Sin came when he allowed himself—no, chose —to fix his eyes and mind on her. Lust overshadowed moral conviction. David’s dam wasn’t strong enough to restrain the forces of sexual temptation he exposed himself to. Am I more righteous than David, whom God called “a man after his own heart”) 4 And David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. 5 And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, "I am pregnant." (like a stone thrown in water, sin’s ripples led to a cover-up and murder for which David, his family, and his nation suffered dearly) 6 Then David sent to Joab, saying, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war. 8 Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house, and wash your feet." And Uriah went out of the king's house, and a present from the king was sent out after him. HAS ALREADY COMMITTED ADULTERY WITH HER IN HIS HEART: ede emoicheusen (3SAAI) auten en te kardia autou (Psalms 119:96; Romans 7:7,8,14) Spurgeon - So that the unholy desire, the lascivious glance, everything that approximates towards licentiousness, is here condemned; and Christ is proved to be not the Abrogator of the law, but the Confirmer of it. See how he shows that the commandment is exceedingly broad, wide as the canopy of heaven, all-embracing. How sternly it condemns us all, and how well it becomes us to fall down at the feet of the God of infinite mercy, and seek his forgiveness. “’Tis mercy — mercy we implore, We would thy pity move; Thy grace is an exhaustless store, And thou thyself art Love.” Committed adultery (3431) (moicheuo from moichós = an adulterer - see Adultery) means to commit adultery and refers to sexual intercourse between a man and woman when one or both of them is married. MacArthur adds that... In both the Old and New Testaments the word relates to sexual intercourse with anyone other than one’s marriage partner. That Jesus here implies that the principle of sexual purity can be seen in a wider sense than adultery (though adultery is His point here) seems clear from the fact that both everyone and a woman are comprehensive terms that could also apply to the unmarried... It is not lustful looking that causes the sin in the heart, but the sin in the heart that causes lustful looking. The lustful looking is but the expression of a heart that is already immoral and adulterous. The heart is the soil where the seeds of sin are imbedded and begin to grow. (MacArthur, J: Matthew 1-7 Chicago: Moody Press) The central moral thrust of the Sermon on the Mount is that the basis of all sin is the inner thought, not the outward act. A person commits the sin when he wants to do it, whether or not he ever carries it out in action. Do not misunderstand what Jesus is saying. He is not saying that a lustful thought is identical to a lustful deed, and so one might just as well commit adultery! That is not what He is saying! The desire and the deed are not identical, but, spiritually speaking, they are equivalent. Dave Guzik agrees writing that... Jesus is not saying that the act of adultery and adultery in the heart are the same thing. More than a few people have been deceived on this point, and say "I’ve already committed adultery in my heart, so I may as well do it in practice." The act of adultery is far worse than adultery in the heart. Jesus’ point is not to say they are the same things, but to say they are both sin, and both prohibited by the command against adultery. Some people only keep from adultery because they are afraid to get caught, and in their heart they commit adultery every day. It is good that they keep from the act of adultery, but it is bad that their heart is filled with adultery.. This principle applies to much more than men looking at women. It applies to just about anything we can covet with the eye or mind. (Commentary Notes) Jesus declared that "the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile (cause to become unclean, profane, polluted, unholy, cf the man or woman God uses 2 Timothy 2:21) the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." (Mt 15:18-20) The things that defile the man come from an unwashed heart, not from unwashed hands. The need is for God to cleanse men’s hearts, not for men to wash their hands. It is interesting that many of the Jews considered the OT command not to commit adultery (Ex 20:14; Deut 5:18) not so much as a function of purity, as of theft or the stealing of another man's wife. "I see her. I want her. I will steal her." Barton has a well worded comment noting that... “Private sins” have a fatal attraction by appearing to be internal, hidden, secret. Jesus declared lustful looks to be sin. God is not bound by our privacy—our thoughts and emotions are as visible to him as our actions. From the divine perspective, they are actions. This, in part, explains their sinfulness. Lust also creates an offense before God by misusing one of his most powerful gifts—the capacity to reflect. That part of us most able to consider and appreciate our Creator, his Word, and his world, becomes increasingly toxic as we use it to consider sin. Unlike an offending eye or hand, a sinful mind cannot be removed. Don’t give in to lustful desires. (Barton, B. B., et al. Life Application Bible Commentary. Romans: Tyndale House Publishers) Arthur Pink applies our Lord's teaching to temptresses as well as "temptees"... If lustful looking is so grievous a sin, then those who dress and expose themselves with the desire to be looked at and lusted after … are not less but perhaps more guilty. In this matter it is not only too often the case that men sin but women tempt them to do so. How great then must be the guilt of the great majority of modern misses who deliberately seek to arouse the sexual passions of young men. And how much greater still is the guilt of most of their mothers for allowing them to become lascivious temptresses.

Be the first to react on this!

Group of Brands