Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, for whatever reason, talk shows like Jerry Springer and Maury were big. Somebody would think their wife was cheating on them and they’d drag them down to Maury and swear they were unfaithful. And then the results from the lie detector came in.
That was a lie.
The truth was out. They could try to deny it but it would do no good.
I thought of that little moment this morning as I read in Numbers 5.
The Lord gave Moses a test to conduct to uncover adultery.
“And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD: And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water: And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse: But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband: Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell; And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.” (Numbers 5:16-22)
I don’t know exactly what was in that bitter water to make the belly swell or the thigh rot, but I would want no part of it. Would you?
The first thing this test did was to provide a deterrent for people to not commit adultery. If you think you can do something and not get caught or that no one will know, you might be tempted to do it. But if you know there is a chance you might be cursed if you do so, you might not make that choice to sin.
The second thing the test did was to reveal the truth. The woman could not hide her infidelity at that point. Any lies or denial she had would come out in the open. If she was innocent, she would be fine, but if she was guilty, it would be visibly evident.
The last thing this test did was bring judgment on the guilty. Immediately after drinking the bitter water, sin would be punished in a visible way.
While this is not a practice done today, the Lord has given us deterrents for sin and ways to discover the truth. And we know from His scripture that judgment will come for our sins. Sin has cursed man since Adam. Even as believers, we still face temptation, but it’s the choice we make in that temptation that either leads us into sin or helps us run away. The gravity of sin is that our guilt, the very sins we commit, aren’t just about us. Jesus took every sin you and I have ever committed and suffered and died for it. He offers you freedom from that sin!
Whatever you are dealing with today, know this – it’s never too late to start again. No matter the sin, stop now and start a new life. Turn from your old ways and follow Christ. The Lord is faithful to forgive if we confess and repent of our sins!
Will you trust in Him today? He is the only one that can change those desires and lead you away from the road to destruction.