Men, we need more frank conversation about sexual temptation.
The prophets frequently compare Israel’s idolatry to sexual adultery in quite graphic terms. Ezekiel chapter 23 is one such comparison. God was quite enraged at his people for turning to Egypt for help rather than calling on him. How would you feel if your son or daughter went to those that hated you for counsel rather than coming to you?
Ezekiel tells us how God felt,
1) Yahweh's word came again to me, saying, 2) "Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother. 3) They played the prostitute in Egypt. They played the prostitute in their youth. Their breasts were fondled there, and their youthful nipples were caressed there. 4) Their names were Oholah the elder, and Oholibah her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem Oholibah."Ezekiel 23:1-4 (WEB).
God tells us that Samaria and Jerusalem are nothing less than harlots because they left him to engage in prostitution with Egypt. We could all nod our hands in somber agreement, acknowledging that we have chosen idols in favor of God at some point in our lives. Yet God is not content with a simple nodding of the head and so escalates his symbolism in order to revolt our minds, wretch our stomachs, and break our hearts.
God says through Ezekiel,
There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.Ezekiel 23:20 (NIV)
One does not know whether to weep or close the book in disgust over this imagery. We should close the book in disgust. I would say that on a good day, but friends we do not live in good days.
Instead we live in the days when the unscrupulous send unsolicited emails to us with graphic pictures hawking the means for a man to get a penis like that of a donkey and emissions like that of a horse. God used this symbolism in Ezekiel 23 specifically in order to cause us to disgust our idolatry. Yet now mankind has evolved to the superior place of mass marketing the disgusting symbolism from the 5th century BC as reality in the 21st century AD! My email box is inundated with this trash. What kind of mongers have we become?
We are approaching the depths of Sodom and Gomorrah who craved homosexual relations with the very angels that escorted Lot from the city before it was destroyed. Friends, when we divorce physical pleasure from relational intimacy and marriage commitment we become nothing more than animals with animal genitalia and animal emissions. The beautiful partnership of pleasure and commitment found in marriage is nearly destroyed in our present generation. I expand on this theme at length in my article, The Image of God in Man, Part 2.
I saw a bumper sticker on a car years ago that brazenly stated, "Porn is Better than Marriage." Men, there is no safe haven from the depths to which our culture has plummeted. Emails and bumper stickers of this depravity are invading our lives and families. The only consolation is that little effort is needed to expose evil as evil and good as good. The distance between good and evil has become so vast it reads in bold print. The peril is that we are all tempted in many ways and a foot slipped off the edge in today’s world leads to a chasm deeper than ever before.
The Scriptures warn that this world will go from "bad to worse." Yet Jesus can also help us to avoid sexual sin and protect the sanctity of human sexuality. And if we ourselves fall to the depths of our own generation’s crimes Jesus still remains the same gracious savior to all mankind. Lord, save us.
PS. Please don't misunderstand and think that I lobby for another powerless law from Washington DC. This matter needs the conviction of a law written on our hearts with ink flowing from the veins of Christ. This matter needs a sermon rooted in the gospel of grace that proclaims his love will never quit for his chosen ones, even if we prostitute ourselves.