As stated in a recent article God illustrated marriage between husband and wife as a permanent relationship by comparing His relationship with Israel.
“I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in loving kindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD.” Hosea 2:19-20
But there will always be the influence of Satan attempting to deceive the bride who was/is more susceptible to being deceived. It began with Eve.
“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. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted…” 2 Corinthians 11:2-3
Eve desired to have something for self fulfillment and gratification that God did not provide.
“…the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise…” Genesis 3:6
She in fact told the Serpent God had revealed that she would die if she ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan’s counter:
“…You will not surely die…” Genesis 3:4
Remember how Satan’s emissary was described.
“Now the serpent was more cunning (subtle) than any beast of the field…” Genesis 3:1
The Hebrew base for ‘cunning’ and ‘subtle’ has several synonyms including deceive and lie.
The New Testament reaffirmed mankind’s temptation for those things which on the surface brings self gratification.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world…For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it…” 1 John 2:15-17
The Biblical teaching of marriage and the temptation of the bride continued with Hosea’s wife Gomer who analogically represented Israel.
“ For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water…’” Hosea 2:5b
But Gomer had been deceived.
“She will chase (pursue) her lovers…Yes, she will seek them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better for me than now.’ For she did not know that I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold…” Hosea 2:7-8
“…For the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the LORD” Hosea 1:2b
The Hebrew base for ‘harlotry’ is also translated as adultery, whoredom, apostasy, departure, forsakenness, or to succumb to satanic deception.
As a husband’s jealousy is aroused when his wife strays from his protective umbrella, so is God’s jealousy over Israel.
“They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger…‘They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; they have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols…’” Deuteronomy 32:16, 21
Therefore, harlotry, i.e. spiritual adultery, which is departing from God and His word, is the result of deception by the enemy. The zenith of such folly is described as the ‘Mother of Harlots’ and will be dealt with appropriately at the end of the current age. It is the culmination of apostasy and pinnacle of deception. Many who call themselves Christians will depart from their profession and sell out to the world.
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith giving heed to deceiving spirits…” 1 Timothy 4:1
After the true bride of Christ is taken to the marriage supper of the Lamb the counterfeit, i.e. the harlot, will emerge and prevail for a very short time.
“Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth are made drunk with the wine of her fornication…” Revelation 17:2
Her demise will be sudden and permanent.
To be continued.