Tuesday’s Reflection on Tamar
Tuesday’s reading in our book focused on what prostitution looked like in biblical times. One thing suggested by the authors, to explain Judah’s willingness to sleep with a prostitute, was that he was bringing his sheep to be shorn and sleeping with a “sacred” prostitute could “ensure a good crop of wool.”
Before you go any further in this reading click the link below to gain further insight into what it meant to be a “sacred” prostitute in biblical times.
Prostitution in any of its forms is not of God, but as we all know God can take this messy subject and turn it into a message for His honor and glory.
The author’s also shared another take on the word prostitution and how it was used in the Old Testament Bible.
“Prostitution was the imagery used often by the biblical prophets to describe Israel’s waywardness, their proneness to follow false gods. Whenever the Israelites turned from the true God to false gods, they “prostituted” themselves. It is a strong picture, but an accurate one, of turning away from the God who truly loved them and was willing to care for them and watch over them, if only they would remain true to Him.”
Proof of this claim from the Bible…
13 Again and again the Lord had sent his prophets and seers to warn both Israel and Judah: “Turn from all your evil ways. Obey my commands and decrees—the entire law that I commanded your ancestors to obey, and that I gave you through my servants the prophets.”
14 But the Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors who had refused to believe in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they despised all his warnings. They worshiped worthless idols, so they became worthless themselves. They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord’s command not to imitate them.
16 They rejected all the commands of the Lord their God and made two calves from metal. They set up an Asherah pole and worshiped Baal and all the forces of heaven. 2 Kings 17:13-16
2 “But now bring charges against Israel—your mother—
for she is no longer my wife,
and I am no longer her husband.
Tell her to remove the prostitute’s makeup from her face
and the clothing that exposes her breasts.
3 Otherwise, I will strip her as naked
as she was on the day she was born.
I will leave her to die of thirst,
as in a dry and barren wilderness.
4 And I will not love her children,
for they were conceived in prostitution.
5 Their mother is a shameless prostitute
and became pregnant in a shameful way.
She said, ‘I’ll run after other lovers
and sell myself to them for food and water,
for clothing of wool and linen,
and for olive oil and drinks.’
6 “For this reason I will fence her in with thorn bushes.
I will block her path with a wall
to make her lose her way.
7 When she runs after her lovers,
she won’t be able to catch them.
She will search for them
but not find them.
Then she will think,
‘I might as well return to my husband,
for I was better off with him than I am now.’
8 She doesn’t realize it was I who gave her everything she has—
the grain, the new wine, the olive oil;
I even gave her silver and gold.
But she gave all my gifts to Baal. Hosea 2:2-8
If there has ever been a time in our life when we turned our backs on God or when we put something above our love for God…we have prostituted ourselves. When we fill our minds and our hearts with things that are not of God we are prostituting ourselves. Anytime we conform to the ways and beliefs in this world we are prostituting ourselves. We may live in this world, but we are not of this world.
We were made for something more…we were made to praise and worship God, and no one else! We were made to bring honor and glory to Him using our mind, heart, soul and body…only through and for God!!
Keeping our bodies holy for Him should be one of our most important goals.