Monday, 5 January 2015

The spirit of Harlotry feeds on Idolatry

It should be obvious that the spirit of harlotry is one that thrives on lust. However, the question that remains is how to discern it. The Bible constantly refers to the spirit of harlotry in regards to Israel's rebellion against God by turning to pagan idols (Hosea) and failing to be merciful, just and walking humbly with God (Micah).

The spirit of harlotry is not necessarily one that feeds on sexual lusts. It can be one that feeds on the mind full of egotism. Idolatry and sexual immorality are inextricably linked - they cannot be separated from the other. Whenever there is a nation in the Bible that is committing idolatry, that idolatry is manifested as sexual immorality. Sexual immorality is itself idolatry. 

The adulterous woman in Proverbs in described as folly. A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing (Proverbs 9:13). The world thinks that adultery is wise because it is foolish in rejecting the wisdom of God. It is like the men who reject the calls of the woman named Wisdom in Proverbs 1:20-33. It hates knowledge (Proverbs 1:22) and because of this, it chooses not to fear God (Proverbs 1:29). 

The foolish man in Proverbs 7 and 9 pursues that which is worthless. Likewise, in Isaiah 44:9-11, idols are regarded as worthless: 

All who make idols are nothingand the things they treasure are worthless.
Those who would speak up for them are blindthey are ignorant, to their own shame.
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit nothing?
11 People who do that will be put to shame; such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand; they will be brought down to terror and shame.

The Bible in Proverbs and Isaiah make it clear that whoever is blind and ignorant, like the simple man seduced by the adulterous woman and like the Israelites who make idols, will be brought to one's shame. 

The shame that comes from sexual immorality and idolatry comes from the guilt of knowing that one has done something wrong - the failure to seek after God. To fail to seek after God is to break the First Commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3). God hates idolatry of any kind. Anyone who does not seek after God is under the spirit of idolatry.

Harlotry is idolatry, and idolatry leads to all kinds of sins as Proverbs shows. This is because idolatry is a failure to seek, and therefore fear God. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). Therefore, whoever does not fear God has no wisdom and is only able to seek Folly, who epitomises all idolatry.