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The Ten Commandments

The Sixth & Seventh Commandments: The Iniquity of the Amorites

 

 

ILLUSTRATION:

Five Murder Attempts!

Do you remember the story about Tony Toto, of Allentown, PA.? He operated a pizza parlor there. Tony Toto survived at least 5 murder attempts on his life, all arranged for or carried out by his dear wife, Frances, & her lover.

Twice she arranged for assailants to beat him over the head with baseball bats. On one occasion she put a tripwire across the basement stairs in their house, hoping that he would trip over it & plummet to his death.

Twice she arranged for him to be shot. The first time she drugged his chicken soup so he would sleep soundly, & he was shot in the head, but miraculously survived. The 2nd time he was shot in the chest, but only sustained minor injuries. Now this is a picture of a real happy couple, isn’t it?

Even more miraculous than Tony’s survival was his attitude toward his wife once he found out she was responsible for all of this. Tony, a self-confessed lady’s man himself, said that he held his wife blameless.

When she was found guilty & sent to prison for arranging for his murder, he took their 4 children & visited her every week – every single week. Then when she was released from prison, she went back to their red brick home to resume her married life with Tony.

With his arm around her, Tony said, “We’re more in love now than ever before. I don’t understand why people break up over silly little things.”

 

People are funny!!! J

 

We are going to look at the sixth and seventh commandment in a rather non-traditional way.

 

Here are the two commandments:

 

Exodus 20:13–14 (ESV)

13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery.

 

Today we are going to be looking at the two of the common themes of today’s Hollywood industry – murder and adultery.

 

I am going to lengthen this 7th commandment to include not only adultery but sex sins in general.

 

·        The obedience of a people to these two commandments are of upmost importance when it comes to establishing the moral fiber of a nation.

·        America is considered already a top nation.

o   Our concern should be how do we stay there; that is, how do we stay on top.

o   In order to stay on top, we have to understand some of the reasons why nations fall – and then, as a nation, be willing to adjust accordingly.

 

WHY DO GREAT NATIONS FALL? –IMMMORALITY

·        The history of the world is the history of nations that are conquered by other nations or collapse into anarchy. 

 

The Iniquity of the Amorites

 

Genesis 15:13–16 (ESV)

13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

 

·        As part of the Abrahamic Covenant, God promised Abraham land for his descendants.

·        Here in this passage, God informs Abraham that He is not going to give them the land right away.

·        According to this passage, the time for Israel to inhabit the land was at least 4 generations away.

·        The obvious reason for this is there was no one to give it to yet!

o   Isaac had not been born yet

o   Consequently at this point, there is no nation of Israel yet.

§  There is only a promise.

·        A Promise with God is a sure thing.

§  The physical part of populating a nation had to take place first.

§  Isaac’s birth would not take place for another 13 years after this conversation between Abraham and God.

 

THE INIQUITY OF THE AMORITES

·        But there is a second reason why it was not time for Abraham and his descendants to inhabit the land.

o   The scripture says the ‘iniquity of the Amorites was not complete.’

o   The word ‘Amorites’ here is a general term meaning all the different Canaanite families in the land.

o   Like the word “American” could mean family origins from many other countries

 

·        We must ask the question then, what was the iniquity of the Amorites?

o   Their specific ‘iniquity’ is described in Lev. 18:6-28

 

Leviticus 18:6–23 (ESV)

6 “None of you shall approach any one of his close relatives to uncover nakedness. I am the Lord. 7 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, which is the nakedness of your mother; she is your mother, you shall not uncover her nakedness. 8 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness. 9 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether brought up in the family or in another home. 10 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son’s daughter or of your daughter’s daughter, for their nakedness is your own nakedness. 11 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, brought up in your father’s family, since she is your sister. 12 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s relative. 13 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s relative. 14 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother, that is, you shall not approach his wife; she is your aunt. 15 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness. 16 You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. 17 You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, and you shall not take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to uncover her nakedness; they are relatives; it is depravity. 18 And you shall not take a woman as a rival wife to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while her sister is still alive. 19 “You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness while she is in her menstrual uncleanness. 20 And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her. 21 You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 23 And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion.

·        There is a long list here of people that Israel was not to have sex with.

·        The sins described there are sexual perverse in nature

·        There is right sex and wrong sex

o   Mixed in with these sexual sins was innocent blood shed

o   Some of the deities the Canaanites worship required human sacrifice.

 

·        Verse 24- 26 gives you the reason

 

Leviticus 18:24–28 (ESV)

24 “Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, 25 and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you 27 (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean), 28 lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you.

 

·        Notice one of the reasons why he told them to keep their sex lives straight

o   Lest the land vomit you out.

·        Why do nations fall? Because they become perverse in their behavior that the land expels them.

o   What it means is that the ground that you are walking on records the iniquity done on it.

o   When it gets to a certain level – it vomits out the inhabitants.

§  That’s why nations fall

 

Here is this same principle in Genesis

 

Genesis 4:1–2, 8-9 (ESV)

1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” 2 And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.

8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 

 

·        Notice in verse 9, the Lord asks Cain ‘where is your brother’.

o   Cain replies, ‘I do not know’.

o   And so what you have is the first murder mystery.

·        Ask yourself this question – who solves the first murder mystery?

 

Genesis 4:10

 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.

·        The ground (the earth) solved the mystery because the ground recorded it.

·        So think of the irony of this;

o   People have committed murder.

o   People have tried to hide that murder from others by burying those bodies in the ground in some secret place.

o   Unknown to the murderers the very ground they are trying to use to hide the deed is actually recording the deed!

·        Here is the point – there are no unsolved murders on planet earth – not even one!

·        They are all known – there is a witness! –   the ground itself!

 

Isaiah 26:21 (ESV)

21 For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place

to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,

and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,

and will no more cover its slain.  

 

·        Notice from these three passages in Leviticus 18, Genesis 4, and Isaiah 21, “the land” registers the amount of sexual perversion committed in it and records the amount of innocent blood shed upon it.

·        When those sins are ‘full’ or ‘fulfilled’, when it becomes too much – when there is too much perversion – when there is too much innocent blood shed – when commandments 6 and 7 are not respected, the land rejects its inhabitants – it vomits or evicts the people who live in it.

·        Why do nations fall?     

o   The land ‘evicts them’ because of innocent bloodshed and sexual perversion

o   This is part of what happened to the great Roman Empire.

 

The Lord’s Position On The Land of the Amorites (going back to Gen. 15)

o   Here is a thought that you might have and so let us preempt that thought by asking the question…

§  Did God just take the land from ‘innocent people’ and give it to Israel (by the Abrahamic Covenant) just because they were Israel and needed a place to stay? 

o   No, God knew that these ‘innocent people’ were not so innocent and He knew the land would reject the Canaanites because of their iniquity they were sowing.

o   He knew there was going to be a vacancy.

o   He also knew the exact time that vacancy would occur

o   And so He had Israel positioned there at the right time to move in – the fourth generation.

o   Back at that time because the people had much longer life spans, a Bible generation was 100 years and so 4 generations would be 400 years.

o   This was the approximate time Israel would be in Egypt.

 

A Mini Picture of The Land Evicting Its Inhabitants

·        We see a small taste of this idea of the land ‘evicting its occupants’ when their iniquity is full when we look at what happened with Sodom and Gomorrah. 

 

Genesis 18:20–21 (ESV)

20               Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

 

·        I had read this passage and taught prayer from this passage many times – Abraham asking God is there is 10 righteous in the city etc. But, something always bothered me about this passage and that was this question.

o   Where was the outcry coming from? There was only Lot and his family, and some of his family you could not be too sure of spiritually (only 4 made it out of Sodom – and one was turned to stone leaving three). I used to wonder about this – what is this outcry, where did it come from?

·        The outcry was not from people – the outcry was from the land!

o   Notice the language of verse 21

o   God said “I am going down there to see whether they have done according to the outcry. I am going to go down and check this out”.

o   When He found out it was so – fire and brimstone fell – that is the land ejected its inhabitants.

o   Even though Lot and his two daughters were spared – he lost his home, his possessions and his wife.

 

WHY ISRAEL WAS GIVEN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

·        We can understand from this one of the reasons why the Law was given to Israel

o   When they came out of Egypt – they were just a bunch of families

o   No governing authority

·        He gave them the law so that…

o   Reason 1 – The land would not spit them out

§  By staying in the land they could as a nation fulfill their purpose and their destiny

o   Reason 2 – Sin would not be a separator between them

§  He then could be a functional part of their lives.

o   It is essential in understanding who God is – to understand this deep internal desire He has to be part of your life.

§  Seen in the garden – God walking with Adam in the cool of the day

§  Seen when erecting the tabernacle – (Num. 2 and Ex. 40)

§  All the Lord has ever wanted was a family

§  Why the sense of family is so strong in you

·        The Lord pleaded with Israel to keep the law

o   He knew the land would spit them out if they didn’t keep it

o   Another reason why nations fall – they refuse to listen to the Word

o   If they were scattered, where would the glory fall?

§  The glory cloud could not descend in the midst of His people if His people were scattered.

o   His people being scattered is like a broken home to Him.

o   The Lord’s remedy for this

§  Recreate the spirit of man

§  And then move in!

§  No longer would there be a separation

 

WHAT BELIEVERS CAN DO TO HELP THEIR NATION

o   Pray and seek His Face

o   Seen in 2Chronicles 7:14

 

2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)

14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 

 

·        The phrase “Heal the land” now takes a greater depth of meaning.

o   The future of our nation rests with believers like us in this room.

o   Nations fall because of rampant Immorality

o   Believers can do something to alter the outcome.

 

Ezekiel 22:30 (ESV)

30 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.

 

·        This verse in Ezekiel is almost a repeat of 2Chronicles 7:14 though this verse was written approximately 100 years later.

 

The Salt Principle

Matthew 5:13 (ESV)

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

 

·        The nature of salt is to protect against decay and disease

o   For example, it is very easy to cross-contaminate when you are cooking if you are not careful. After working with eggs or working with chicken, the conventional wisdom is you should immediately wash your hands. If you touch things with salmonella on your hands, you contaminate your work surfaces, your cutting boards etc.

§  This is true for everything except touching salt.

§  If you touch salt with bacteria on your fingers, in a matter of minutes, the salt will absolutely kill the it.

·        Now couple this thought with the New Testaments admonitions to do ‘good works’.

o   There are 36 passages in the New Testament that speak or reference the idea of good works.

o   Here are just a few

 

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

Titus 2:14 (ESV)

14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

 

Titus 3:8 (ESV)

8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

 

o   Why are good works profitable for people?

o   Good works are profitable because just like sex sins and murder are registered by the ground, so are good deeds.

o   Righteous people can sow acts of righteousness and help reset the ‘iniquity’ gauge so to speak.

o   All of which brings me to another point: you cannot sin and say, “this sin is okay because it is between two consenting adults – I am not hurting” anybody.”

§  Yes, you are hurting everybody because we all live in the same land!

§  When you sin, the ground registers it and when it reaches ‘fullness’, the land will vomit its inhabitants. Remember what Lot lost!

 

The Importance of Revival

·        Revival resets the ‘iniquity’ gauge!

·        Throughout the history of America, this nation has experienced revival at times when the moral fabric of our nation was so poor it was ready to cause eviction.

·        During revival people get saved, people get recommitted, people repent from sin, people sow righteousness.

o   During Finney’s revivals, whole towns came to God. The bars shut-down – the brothels and houses of prostitution shut down.

·        When saved people start acting saved in massive numbers they sow acts of righteousness and become salt spreaders and that reverses the moral decay already registered by the ground.

·        It is revivals that have kept us in the land not our great Constitution!

·        It is ‘moves of God’ and ‘outpourings of His Spirit’ that have kept us from being vomited out of these 50 states.

·        Here it is in Acts 2.

 

Acts 2:16–21 (ESV)

16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17 “ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. 21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

 

·        This revival, prophesied to take place right before the Second Coming, resets the gauge on planet earth. It undoes the ungodliness sown in the last of the last days. All the junk you are seeing now, that the ground has registered will be washed away by this revival.

·        This revival sends planet earth us into the Millennial reign of Jesus with a clean slate!

 

Conclusion:

I hope you can see from this the importance of living clean, pure life’s fulfilling the principles and purpose of the commandments you shall not commit adultery, and you shall not commit murder.

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