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“STREET CORNER OR PEW?” – Sept 27

September 27, 2013

“But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whoring on any passerby; your beauty became his.”  Ezekiel 16:15

When do our actions correlate more with the street corner than the pew?
When does one become a harlot? 

Consumerism characterizes my world.  We buy goods and services every day.  However, there is a demarcation where consumerism becomes unacceptable.  There is a level of consumerism that is completely expected and even encouraged:

English: A picture of the inside of a remodele...

English: A picture of the inside of a remodeled Walmart in Miami, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do our grocery shopping in a variety of locations.  No one has ever accused me of being unfaithful for shopping at Wal-mart and not Fred Meyer.

I buy gasoline on regular basis.  No one has ever accused me of infidelity for stopping at a gas station that is conveniently located along my travel route.

I like to try new restaurants.  My wife has never felt betrayed by my desire to eat someplace other than our dinner table.

This level of consumerism is acceptable because there is no expectation of faithfulness.  Costco was not offended when I tried Wal-mart toilet paper and returned after discovering that their quality did not satisfy.  I did not have to sulk back into their warehouse and offer an apology.  Trying different toilet paper didn’t make me a toilet paper whore.  Consumerism is acceptable when there is no expectation of faithfulness.

However, a person will encounter chastisement once they proclaim their faithfulness but still continue to practice consumerism.

Chevrolet

Chevrolet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For years, I endured all of my cousin’s jokes about the superiority of southern California in comparison to Idaho.  I have had a lot of fun reminding him of his unfaithfulness now that he has moved to Idaho.

This sort of consumerism is still socially acceptable.  A person can move to another state without the fear of being stigmatized as a whore.  They may not be liked, particularly if they are from California, but they won’t be thought of as a harlot.  Other than a period of good-hearted ribbing, no one takes offense to a person seeking a new favorite.  Consumerism is acceptable when there is no expectation of faithfulness and a personal relationship is not involved.

Our society begins to apply a social stigma when there is an expectation of faithfulness in an intimate personal relationship.  We risk the whore label when we continue with attitude of a consumer in search of satisfaction from any person or thing, in violation of a commitment to faithfulness.  This is most evident in our views of marriage.

English: A Catholic wedding ceremony in Milwau...I have committed to be one with my wife physically, emotionally, and relationally.  When I married my wife, I made a vow to her and entered into a covenant with her and she with me.  I became hers and she became mine.  We committed to each other that we would seek our relational satisfaction only in each other as we became one before the Lord.  Consumerism has no place in marriage.  The search for someone better ended when we said, “I do”.

Therefore, I violate my promise to her when I seek to have my relational desires satisfied outside of our marriage.

I will clearly play the whore if I were to go sleep with someone else.  However, our commitment to physical fidelity can also be violated via pornography, romance novels, and the relational ideal.

I can play the whore through a platonic relationship by desiring an intimacy that was intended to be with my wife.  Our commitment to emotional fidelity can be given away through family, kids, buddies, hobbies, work, and the general chaos of life.

God describes our relationship with Him as a marriage.  He has established a covenant relationship with us.  Interpersonal faithfulness is the fundamental characteristic of this covenant relationship .  There is no place for divine consumerism after we have said “I’m yours” to God.

God said to Israel:

I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine.  (Ezekiel 16:8b)

This is how God viewed Israel following the gods of other nations:

You played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied; yes, you played the whore with them, and still you were not satisfied.  You multiplied your whoring also with the trading land of Chaldea, and even with this you were not satisfied.  (Ezekiel 16:28-29)

God viewed Israel’s search for satisfaction outside of His covenant relationship as adultery.  I doubt if the Israelites considered their actions as adulterous.  They were just practicing consumerism.

God viewed their actions as adultery.

We live under the new covenant.  We are new creations in Christ.  We no longer need animal sacrifices for our sins because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  However, I  cannot find anywhere in the scriptures where the new covenant changed how God views sin.

I may not face the condemnation for my sin but my sin still has the stench of adultery.  Thankfully, I have never experienced the unfaithfulness of my spouse.  However, I can imagine the feelings of betrayal if my wife were to be unfaithful to me.

I hate the thought of my actions conveying that type of unfaithfulness to Christ.

Yet, I know that I have been unfaithful to my Lord.  I despise the fact that I have played the whore to the One who saved me.  I hate my unfaithfulness not because I am afraid that God is going to whack me.  I hate my unfaithfulness because it is such unloving behavior to show toward the One who has shown such great love to me .  Jesus said:

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  (John 14:15)

Let’s abandon our lives of divine consumerism.

May the actions of our lives communicate our love for God and not the desires of an unsatisfied whore.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for being faithful even in my unfaithfulness.  Thank you for forgiving me for seeking my satisfaction in the most unsatisfying places.  Lord, I want my actions to declare my love for you.  I want you to be glorified in all that I do and say.   Help me to be faithful to you in all of my thoughts, desires, hopes, and dreams.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

6 comments

  1. Thank you JD for such an excellent post about fidelity. That last line is something I will take to heart and seek to live up to. God’s peace be with you and yours.


    • Hey Clint – I am so happy that this post was meaningful. Thanks for your encouragement.
      God Bless!
      JD


  2. So very beautifully put. Thank-you!
    Carole


  3. Ahhh Brother JD….the Master is a friend to thee 🙂
    Shalom and grace to you in Yeshua (Jesus), the Faithful One…


  4. A well thought-out post, JD. I, too, “hate my unfaithfulness because it is such unloving behavior to show toward the One who has shown such great love to me.” What I need to do is foster the habit of renewing my mind continually– with worship, praise, gratitude, prayers for strength, etc. With you I long for the day when all I do brings glory to God!


  5. awesome point~ I wonder if many of us “whore” ourselves out to idols because we have not tasted our God’s goodness and have never allowed Him to lavish His love on us … but instead have been satisfied with the cheep imitations … Your prayer is my prayer tonight! Blessings to you!



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