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Warning! Examples of Moral Failure

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
The lives of many immoral people in Scripture warn us against the dangers of sexual immorality.

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Many men and women in God’s Word experienced tragic consequences in their lives because they lost the battle against impure thoughts. In the 2nd segment of a seven-article series on conquering impure thoughts, Dr. Don Dunlap urges readers to familiarize themselves with scriptural examples of moral failure. He also encourages us to carefully study the lives of people in Scripture who experienced victory over sexual temptation.

The second strategy for overcoming impure thoughts is to familiarize ourselves with scriptural examples of moral failure. There are several men and women in the Bible who experienced tragic consequences in their lives because they lost the battle against impure thoughts.

Samson forfeited his strength, his freedom and his life because of sexual immorality.

The writer of Judges 16:1 tells us that mighty Samson went to Gaza where he saw a prostitute and spent the night with her. Because he gave in to adultery he ended his life in chains, with his eyes gouged out, groping around in darkness.


A man after God’s own heart, King David had walked closely with God and had experienced His hand of blessing on his life. We read, however, of his anguish and grief after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and then murdered her husband. The consequence of his sin was a divided family and kingdom.


Amnon’s sin demonstrates how lust turns to violence, hatred and death.

David’s son Amnon, sexually violated his half-sister Tamar. We read in 2 Samuel 13:15, “Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, ‘Get up and get out!’ ” He paid for his crime of rape with his life. His brother, Absalom, plotted revenge for two years and then ordered his servants to kill him.

Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of the old priest Eli, were both sexually immoral. We learn in 1 Samuel 2:22, “Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women.” God’s judgment fell on both sons when they were killed in battle against the Philistines.

An account in Genesis 19:24 describes one of the most dramatic biblical examples of God’s judgment on sexual sin. People living in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah practiced unrestrained sexual immorality and perversion. “Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.”

We should study the lives of people in Scripture who experienced victory over sexual temptation.


In contrast to these examples of moral failure, we should also be acquainted with the radiant portraits of those people in God’s Hall of Fame who won the battle against impure thoughts. Among these Bible heroes are Sarah, Hannah, Rachel, Joseph, Daniel, Job, Ruth, John the Baptist, Stephen, Timothy and Paul.


God commands us to maintain a clear conscience toward Him and our fellow man.

Christians must understand the importance of dealing biblically with sexual sin that involves other people. When we have been involved in sexual immorality with someone, we should first confess the sin to God and ask Him for forgiveness. Then we should seek forgiveness from the other person who was involved in the immorality.

Paul assures us in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” When scenes of past moral impurity with others begin to arise in our minds, we must learn to picture the words, “I forgive you,” covering over the sinful images.

When our goal is to gratify our own lustful desires we diminish the scope of our consciences. Additionally, we grow increasingly less aware of how we hurt other people with the sin of sexual immorality. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 is one of the sternest warnings against sexual immorality in all of Scripture,

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins…for God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.



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