The biblical definition of adultery, is any intimate relationship outside of the covenant of marriage. Therefore premarital relations as well as extramarital relations both fall under the definition of adultery. The marriage covenant is the umbrella and the enclosure, within which intimacy blesses and unifies. But outside of that umbrella and enclosure, intimacy, as we are learning from this chapter, brings destruction. Solomon was the son of an adulterous couple, David and Bathsheba, so he had first hand knowledge of the ruin into every area of life adultery brings.
It is interesting that as Solomon got older, he abandoned his own instruction. The Scripture records that he had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines, and his pagan wives were his downfall, who turned his heart away from the Lord God (1 Kin 11:1-6). The wife of his youth was the daughter of Pharaoh.
The life of Solomon is a warning for us: no matter how blessed someone is, no matter how gifted or anointed in their calling, no matter how well versed in God’s word they are, they must keep their heart with all diligence, for from it flow the wellsprings of life (Pro 4:23). If they do not, even the greatest can fall and be led astray. And it begins with breaking one command of Torah (in Solomon’s case, adultery), and thinking it will not matter because look how strong I am in the LORD, or look at my great ministry, or great knowledge, or mighty ways that God has used me. This is how these famous pastors and evangelists get involved in sin and scandals. They forget, like Solomon forgot, that they are not invincible or invulnerable, and they will continue to be blessed only as long as they keep their heart knit with God’s heart.
That was David’s success. He was not perfect, he sinned and made many mistakes. But he kept his heart soft and submitted to the LORD, and knit with the LORD’s heart. He kept God’s word in his heart and did not get slack about that (Pro 4:20-23). If we do the same, His word will refresh our hearts and guard our feet from stumbling.