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Archive for November 4th, 2015

At this time the Daily Lectionary Old Testament readings are from the prophet Jeremiah.  Yesterday’s lesson is Jeremiah 3: 6-4:2 in which we read:

The Lord said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore?

False gods were worshiped on “…every high hill and under every green tree”.  Before the building of Temple in Jerusalem, Israel and Judah had some hundred shrines.  After the Temple was built, these worship sites became infused with Canaanite idolatry, combining the worship of the one true God with false gods.  This is called “syncretism”.  Since Canaanite idolatry was a fertility cult for the male and female deities to unite and so ‘insure’ the fertility of the land for a good harvest;  and so there were cult prostitutes to unite with the heretical priest to manipulate the deities for their favor.  Israel could well have been both spiritually and physically playing the whore, though the distinction between physical and spiritual is not as distinct as we tend to think.

What is a whore?  A woman who sells her body to men for sex.  Israel had sold out to false gods and it sure seems it is usually for sex as idolatry leads ever to fornication.  The prophetic pattern against sin is always in this order: idolatry, then immorality.  False gods demand exorbitant fees, and as they are demons (see 1 Corinthians 10:20) , we sell our soul to them,  the faustian ‘bargain‘, and so lose our soul.  Israel was losing her soul as were the Christians in Corinth.  The devil’s best stratagem is not necessarily and initially direct appeals to the flesh but appeals to spirituality and the so-called refinements of sophisticated spirituality.   This is great cover up  which eventually leads to lusts of the flesh, e.g. divorce and remarriage, same-sex marriage,”hooking-up”, orgies and drugs, pornography. We have seen this with churches one by one falling like dominos. 

The Lord first warned about the high places.  Israel bought into a lie, but the one true God can not be bought. He is truth as He is love.  Here we can see the utter reality of the Lord:  He can not be bought or need we to sell our souls to Him!  The false gods always want us to sell out our bodies and souls like a whore for the price of our freedom in Christ. He found and saved Israel, not Israel by herself at all.  He bought them and brought them with cords of love, Hosea 11:

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim* to walk;
    I took them up by their arms,
    but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of kindness,
    with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
    and I bent down to them and fed them.

 *Israel

And as the Lord spoke His Word through Jeremiah:

“‘Return, faithless Israel,
declares the Lord.
I will not look on you in anger,
    for I am merciful,
declares the Lord;
I will not be angry forever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt,
    that you rebelled against the Lord your God
and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree,
    and that you have not obeyed my voice,
declares the Lord.

Return, faithless ChurchThe Book of Life_No Words.  

 

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