A Priceless Commodity - The One Year Through the Bible Devotional

A Priceless Commodity

17“No Israelite, whether man or woman, may become a temple prostitute. 18When you are bringing an offering to fulfill a vow, you must not bring to the house of the LORD your God any offering from the earnings of a prostitute, whether a man or a woman, for both are detestable to the LORD your God. . . . 21When you make a vow to the LORD your God, be prompt in fulfilling whatever you promised him. For the LORD your God demands that you promptly fulfill all your vows, or you will be guilty of sin. 22However, it is not a sin to refrain from making a vow. 23But once you have voluntarily made a vow, be careful to fulfill your promise to the LORD your God.”

Deuteronomy 23:17-18, 21-23

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It’s called the world’s oldest profession because it’s been around for a long, long time indeed. Many people reason, therefore, that if prostitution is so persistent, that if it has survived this long, what’s wrong with it?

The answer is here, among many other laws that God gives to his people at this crucial time in their history. They are receiving God’s laws on human relationships, and one of the top areas of God’s concern is the sexual one. It’s too important to ignore.

Other laws in this section cover community responsibility; practical benefits in God’s laws; kindness to the poor; discipline; and remembering what God has done.

Read Deuteronomy 21:1–26:19

Prostitution was not overlooked in God’s law—it was strictly forbidden (Deuteronomy 23:17-18). Almost every other religion known to the Israelites included prostitution as a part of its worship services. But prostitution makes a mockery of God’s original idea for sex, treating it as an isolated physical experience rather than an act of commitment to another person. Outside of marriage, sex destroys relationships. Within marriage, if approached with the right attitude, it can be a relationship builder. God frequently had to warn the people against the practice of extramarital sex. Today we still need to hear his warnings; young people need to be reminded about the dangers of premarital sex, and adults need to be reminded about the importance of sexual fidelity.

Don’t be taken in by the cheapening of sex through self-indulgent, recreational sexual encounters portrayed in television shows, movies, books, music, and magazines. Sex was God’s idea. He created it for procreation, for expressing love, and for enjoyment within marriage. Celebrate your sexuality God’s way!

From the Book: