“After doing a little research,” she explained to me, “I discovered that 10,000 women work the streets of Las Vegas.”
I was astounded.
Although it has been hit by the recession of late, prostitution points to a longing all of us share. In fact, a friend of mine who used to frequent prostitutes once told me, “When I used to solicit prostitutes, what I valued more than sex was the opportunity to be held by someone.”
Like me, you may have never solicited the services of a woman (or man) of the evening, but you may have sought acceptance or fulfillment through a job, a relationship, or a possession.
Nevertheless, in many ways it resemble prostitution.
Join me today to learn more about quitting the world’s oldest profession.
INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS
1 Chronicles 5:18-6:81. You’ll notice that the chapter about the Levites is exceptionally long. The Chronicler was trying to emphasize the importance of the centrality of worship in everyday life. Remember, this was written after the people of Judah returned from exile in Babylon. So, they were reexamining where they had gone wrong and how they could avoid history from repeating itself.
Acts 26:1-32. Paul deeply believed in the power of his message. While on trial, he used the opportunity to try to convince King Agrippa that Jesus, the messiah, had risen from the dead. He thought nothing of self-preservation. We can learn from Paul, who repeatedly shared his story about his encounter with Jesus. This was the third time in the book of Acts that we read this story (also in chapters 9 and 22). People can argue philosophy and theology, but no one can argue an encounter with Jesus.
While respectful of the king, Paul was surprisingly direct!
Most interesting of all, Paul could have been released had he not appealed to Caesar. Without a doubt, he hoped that his appeal would give him an opportunity to share his story with the most powerful man in the world.
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THE WORD MADE FRESH
As the Chronicler recounts the settlement of the half-tribe of Manasseh, he adds this editorial comment:
But they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers and prostituted themselves to the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them (1 Chronicles 5:25).
God created you to enjoy a relationship of intimacy with him. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, God wired you for relationship.
Think about it: the Trinity comprises a relationship of three—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is a God of relationship. In turn, we were formed in the image of the relational God, created for not just any kind of relationship, but a relationship of intimacy that can only be compared to the sexual union shared between a husband and wife. It’s a relationship that is protected by a commitment to fidelity, deepened by taking the risk of vulnerability, and grounded in a pledge of covenant love.
Prostitution offers none of these. It is neither faithful, vulnerable, nor committed.
Prostitution thinks only of itself and what it can get out of the other person. Covenant love finds life by giving itself away.
In the same way, God longs for the give and take of healthy intimacy. All too often, though, we opt for the “take” part in a relationship, thinking only of ourselves and forfeiting intimacy with God in the process.
Friends, rather than settle for the shallowness of idolatry, I invite you to choose the better, more satisfying way.
- What spoke to you in today’s reading?
- In what ways do people prostitute themselves to the gods of this age?
- What prevents you from drawing closer to God in intimacy?
- What has helped you draw closer in intimacy with God?
What does intimacy with God look like in your life?
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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado.