Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 19, 2014

Playing the Harlot: The History of Israel

Today’s devotion comes from Deuteronomy 22:13-30.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+22&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“20 “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, 21 then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house;  thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

22 “If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman;  thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.

23 “If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife.  Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.”  Deuteronomy 22:20-23.

——————–

The history of Israel can be summarized as Israel playing the harlot (chasing after other gods) and angering God, despite what God did for Israel;  God punishing Israel;  and yet, nevertheless, God showing astonishing forgiveness and grace alone to Israel despite her harlotry.  

“The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers;  and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them.”  Deuteronomy 31:16.

 

“1 God says, “If a husband divorces his wife
And she goes from him
And belongs to another man,
Will he still return to her?
Will not that land be completely polluted?
But you are a harlot with many lovers;
Yet you turn to Me,” declares the Lord.
2 “Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see;
Where have you not been violated?
By the roads you have sat for them
Like an Arab in the desert,
And you have polluted a land
With your harlotry and with your wickedness.
3 “Therefore the showers have been withheld,
And there has been no spring rain.
Yet you had a harlot’s forehead;
You refused to be ashamed.
4 “Have you not just now called to Me,
‘My Father, You are the friend of my youth?
5 ‘Will He be angry forever?
Will He be indignant to the end?’
Behold, you have spoken
And have done evil things,
And you have had your way.”

6 Then the Lord said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what faithless Israel did?  She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there.  7 I thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’;  but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it.  8 And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also.  9 Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.  10 Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,” declares the Lord.”  Jeremiah 3:1-10.

 

“1 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem, “Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite, your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.  4 As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing;  you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths.  5 No eye looked with pity on you to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you.   Rather you were thrown out into the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born.

6 “When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’  Yes, I said to you while you were in your blood, ‘Live!’  7 I made you numerous like plants of the field.  Then you grew up, became tall and reached the age for fine ornaments;  your breasts were formed and your hair had grown.  Yet you were naked and bare.

8 “Then I passed by you and saw you, and behold, you were at the time for love;  so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness . I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine,” declares the Lord God.  9 “Then I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil.  10 I also clothed you with embroidered cloth and put sandals of porpoise skin on your feet; and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk.  11 I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck.  12 I also put a ring in your nostril, earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.  13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth.  You ate fine flour, honey and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty.  14 Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,” declares the Lord God.

15 “But you trusted in your beauty and played the harlot because of your fame, and you poured out your harlotries on every passer-by who might be willing.  16 You took some of your clothes, made for yourself high places of various colors and played the harlot on them, which should never come about nor happen.  17 You also took your beautiful jewels made of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself male images that you might play the harlot with them.  18 Then you took your embroidered cloth and covered them, and offered My oil and My incense before them.  19 Also My bread which I gave you, fine flour, oil and honey with which I fed you, you would offer before them for a soothing aroma; so it happened,” declares the Lord God.  20 “Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to idols to be devoured.  Were your harlotries so small a matter?  21 You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire.  22 Besides all your abominations and harlotries you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare and squirming in your blood.

23 “Then it came about after all your wickedness (‘Woe, woe to you!’ declares the Lord God), 24 that you built yourself a shrine and made yourself a high place in every square.  25 You built yourself a high place at the top of every street and made your beauty abominable, and you spread your legs to every passer-by to multiply your harlotry.   You also played the harlot with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, and multiplied your harlotry to make Me angry.  27 Behold now, I have stretched out My hand against you and diminished your rations. And I delivered you up to the desire of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who are ashamed of your lewd conduct. 28 Moreover, you played the harlot with the Assyrians because you were not satisfied;  you played the harlot with them and still were not satisfied.  29 You also multiplied your harlotry with the land of merchants, Chaldea, yet even with this you were not satisfied.”’”

30 “How languishing is your heart,” declares the Lord God, “while you do all these things, the actions of a bold-faced harlot.  31 When you built your shrine at the beginning of every street and made your high place in every square, in disdaining money, you were not like a harlot.  32 You adulteress wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband!  33 Men give gifts to all harlots, but you give your gifts to all your lovers to bribe them to come to you from every direction for your harlotries.  34 Thus you are different from those women in your harlotries, in that no one plays the harlot as you do, because you give money and no money is given you; thus you are different.”

35 Therefore, O harlot, hear the word of the Lord.  36 Thus says the Lord God, “Because your lewdness was poured out and your nakedness uncovered through your harlotries with your lovers and with all your detestable idols, and because of the blood of your sons which you gave to idols, 37 therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, even all those whom you loved and all those whom you hated.  So I will gather them against you from every direction and expose your nakedness to them that they may see all your nakedness.  38 Thus I will judge you like women who commit adultery or shed blood are judged; and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy.  39 I will also give you into the hands of your lovers, and they will tear down your shrines, demolish your high places, strip you of your clothing, take away your jewels, and will leave you naked and bare.  40 They will incite a crowd against you and they will stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords.  41 They will burn your houses with fire and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women.  Then I will stop you from playing the harlot, and you will also no longer pay your lovers.  42 So I will calm My fury against you and My jealousy will depart from you, and I will be pacified and angry no more.  43 Because you have not remembered the days of your youth but have enraged Me by all these things, behold, I in turn will bring your conduct down on your own head,” declares the Lord God, “so that you will not commit this lewdness on top of all your other abominations.”  Ezekiel 16:1-43.

 

“60 “Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. 61 Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both your older and your younger; and I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your covenant. 62 Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, 63 so that you may remember and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation, when I have forgiven you for all that you have done,” the Lord God declares.”  Ezekiel 16:60-63.

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