Thursday, June 9th, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 31)
Seduction In Church
So she caught him and kissed him;
'I have peace offerings with me;
Today I have paid my vows.
So I came out to meet you,
Diligently to seek your face,
And I have found you.
I have spread my bed with tapestry,
Colored coverings of Egyptian linen.
I have perfumed my bed
With myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
Come, let us take our fill of love until morning;
Let us delight ourselves with love.
For my husband is not at home;
He has gone on a long journey.'
Proverbs 7:13-19 (NKJV)
We've heard stories about pastors who strayed and fell into adultery's chokehold. But the bigger job has the greater test, and the higher place has the harder fall. Surely, we've failed certain tests of our own, and we're wise to empathize with anguish.
But churches face a slyer seduction: the sin of adultery with the world. If God's Word describes our relationship with Him as a bride to her chosen Groom,* then we can't sell our love like a harlot. 'And they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers, and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land' (1 Chronicles 5:25).**
The Book of Revelation denounces a symbolic, horrifying harlot, which some Bible commentators believe is a Christian church sold out to the world.*** 'No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money' (Matthew 6:24).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: I'm not a judge, but the case looks bad. Maybe you see things differently (I hope so in your personal church), but some of us are kissing the world: loving on its idols and prizes; defiling our own virginity; selling ourselves cheaply for trinkets.
In the Parables of the Talents and The Faithful and Evil Servant, the Master goes away on a trip.**** But they also highlight His return, that we must be about His business.***** Yes, we're ordered to work in this world, but not to fall into lust with it.
To Be Continued...
* 'For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ' (2 Corinthians 11:2).
* 'For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His Name' (Isaiah 54:5).
** Old Testament Verses denouncing God's people for selling their affections to pagan cultures and worldly idols: https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?search=played+the+harlot&version=NKJV&searchtype=all&resultspp=500
** Revelation Scriptures talking about the great harlot: https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?qs_version=NKJV&quicksearch=harlot&begin=73&end=73&limit=500&searchtype=all
*** Short article: What is the whore of Babylon / mystery Babylon? (especially read the concluding paragraph) http://www.gotquestions.org/whore-Babylon-mystery.html
**** Jesus is currently away on a trip, too.
***** The Parable of the Talents: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A14-30&version=NKJV
***** The Parable of the Faithful and Evil Servant: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke+12%3A35-48&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.