For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
God knows men. He knows their minds and emotions. He knows a man’s jealous rage against an adulterer that steals his wife for love or sex. God inspired Solomon to teach men against committing adultery by warning them about a husband’s fury (Pr 6:27-35).
Marriage is an intimate and sacred relationship. Adultery is a horrible violation of it. Jealous rage and unmerciful vengeance are natural consequences of this heinous sin. Solomon soberly warned all men of this natural trouble for touching another man’s wife.
He is at the end of a long warning to his son about adultery (Pr 6:20-35). He added a practical argument that the husband of the woman will be outraged by the crime. Not only does divine justice condemn the horrible sin, so do the fair laws of men and nature.
Marriage is a very personal, intimate, and possessive relationship. A violation of it causes enormous pain and loss. For this reason, the blessed God made capital punishment the judgment for this sin. Both the adulterer and adulteress were put to death (Lev 20:10).
Marital jealousy is not sin; it is part of love and possession. Marriage is based on love and possession. Love includes jealousy. Solomon said about his wife, “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame” (Song 8:6).
Envy is horrible. It is worse than anger or wrath (Pr 27:4). A man does not want to share his wife’s body or heart. When another man takes either, the envy is outrageous. A thief may find mercy from men, but not an adulterer (Pr 6:30-33). To steal to satisfy hunger is understandable, but to touch another man’s wife is inexcusable. Young man, Flee! Now!
God’s laws for Israel provided for jealous husbands (Num 5:11-31). If a man was jealous about his wife, with or without evidence, he could take her to the priests for the test of jealousy. If she were guilty, the curse would cause her to rot immediately, starting at her genitals. If she were innocent, she would be cleared by divine revelation and conceive.
A woman’s jealousy toward her husband is not the same, so God did not have the same protection in Moses’ Law. Since he was not made for her, like she was for him (I Cor 11:9), a husband owes his sexual fidelity more to God than to her. God deals with husbands directly, as He did with David and Israel (II Sam 11:27; Mal 2:10-16).
Though very difficult, godly men can forgive an adulterous wife and her adulterer, especially if they repent, for they know they have sinned worse against God themselves and have been forgiven (Matt 18:21-35). Of course, such a situation requires great grace, for Solomon laid down a very true rule that adultery is contrary to nature (Pr 6:27-35).
The LORD, choosing Israel to be His wife, declared His name was Jealous, and He was a jealous God (Ex 34:14). The first commandment was for her to love God with all her heart, soul, and might (Deut 6:4-5). Any infatuation with other things caused His jealousy to burn, for He would not share her affections with anything else (Deut 32:16; Ps 78:58).
Spiritual adultery is flirting or loving this world’s things or false religion instead of the true God and His things. It is described often in the Bible as adultery, fornication, and whoredom among other descriptions. Read Ezekiel 16. God dealt terribly with Israel when they compromised with false gods or their religious practices. Let every sober Christian be quick to spot such flirting and hate it (Deut 12:1-4,29-32; II Cor 6:14-18). God considers any friendship with the world as spiritual adultery against Him (Jas 4:4).
For Christians, Jesus Christ is the Husband, and He demands total loyalty (Luke 14:26). All other relationships must be sacrificed, if they conflict with your love for Him. This is not extreme or wrong, as Solomon’s lesson in this proverb taught that even men have such passionate expectations for the inferior relationship of human marriage. Are you loving God and living for Jesus Christ as devotedly and carefully as you should be?