A Spirit of Harlotry
The Prophet Hosea
Hosea, known as an Old Testament minor prophet (for the length of his book in the Bible), railed against a spirit of harlotry (or prostitution) in Israel. Hosea preached that the Lord God desired to shield and save His people, but they rejected Him. Instead, the children of God prostituted themselves to false gods and fleshly desires.
Hosea called the people of Israel to sanctification, more than simple sacrifice.
“[The Lord says,]
‘For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.’”
How different are we, in truth, from the wayward sons and daughters of ancient Israel? To what gods (or goods) do we sell ourselves out? What lures our hearts away from honoring the only true God? How might the Lord be calling us out, so that we might focus on His holiness and follow only Him?
A spirit of harlotry captures our land.
It bids us to sell ourselves for harmful hand.
We willingly offer our most precious parts –
In vile prostitution, surrender our hearts.
The glow of the gold and aroma so sweet
Of delicate beverage and costly meat,
Along with the practices of upward climb,
Recapture our interest, devotion and time.
We open our garments so willing and free,
Seduced in a flash for an instant of glee.
Ignoring injustice, no room for remorse,
We fan pesky flies, but strike not at the source.
The eagle is faltering; glory grows ill,
As hungry consumers pursue pleasures still.
We sow to the storm, but complain of the gale,
Then bow to the strong and surrender the frail.
We moan to our Maker and beg for a cure.
Perhaps all our boasting’s a bit premature.
For why should the Greatest of all intervene,
If we’ve shut Him out with our rulings obscene?
And yet, He extends still His gentlest of pleas
And offers sweet mercy beyond all degrees.
As fruit in the desert, a treasure awaits
For all who will bow at humility’s gates.
The spirit of harlotry captures our land.
Perhaps we’ve still time, if we’ll but understand.
Our hearts and our home-front may yet be restored.
We’ve only to honor the most holy Lord.
c2009 by Linda Ann Nickerson
Public Domain Artwork
Will you pray with me?
You who hold our hearts
With Your tender care,
Draw us ever closer.
May all distractions
As we look to You.
Surely, You desire to restore,
And yet, communally,
we reject Your wisdom.
You offer to shelter and protect us,
And yet we turn our backs
As a people.
Turn our hearts, Lord.
Make us, once again,
One people, under God.