December 2nd

Spirit of Harlotry 

11 "Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart.
        12My people ask counsel from their wooden idols,
        And their staff informs them.
        For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray,
        And they have played the harlot against their God.
        13They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops,
        And burn incense on the hills,
        Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,
        Because their shade is good.
        Therefore your daughters commit harlotry,
        And your brides commit adultery.

        14"I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry,
        Nor your brides when they commit adultery;
        For the men themselves go apart with harlots,
        And offer sacrifices with a ritual harlot.
        Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled.   

Hosea 4:11-14 NKJV 

In reading this passage from Hosea, I thought about the spiritual forces of evil behind pornography and sexual addiction.  Hosea’s mission was to bring God’s message of love and reconciliation to his people, who had been rebellious through idol worship and sexual sin, among others.  God used prostitution as a metaphor for the “spiritual adultery” that his people had been committing.    

One of the striking aspects of the people’s rebellion was the involvement of the “spirit of harlotry.”  The spirit of harlotry played a role in enslaving the people’s heart (11).  When the people consulted their idols, the spirit of harlotry caused them to stray from God (12).  The people’s lack of understanding regarding the evils of what they were practicing would eventually lead to their injury (14). 

I believe that evil spirits such as spirits of harlotry are also behind sexual addictions.  We know from this and other scriptures that there are different kinds of evil spirits that seem to specialize in various sins (Acts 16:16, Luke 13:11).  When we look at pornography, or visit a prostitute, or fornicate with a lover, or call a phone sex number, we open ourselves up to the influence of whatever evil spirits are behind that particular avenue.  While they can’t make us sin, they can certainly can promote and even orchestrate the temptations that come across our paths.  We can be sure that such spirits will work to enslave us to sinful desires, lead us astray from God and damage us as much as possible.   

The people in Hosea’s time were to be trampled because they did not understand the evil in their ways.  When we understand the evils involved with sexual addiction, we have the opportunity to choose rightly and no longer subject ourselves to the influence of evil spirits.  Granted, this is often a difficult task, as spirits of harlotry pander to our love of sexual pleasure.  Jesus gives us authority over all evil spirits and power to resist temptations through the Holy Spirit.  If we persistently exercise this authority and resistance, we will walk in freedom and no longer be under the influence of evil spirits. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God in heaven, Thank you for sending Jesus to die for my sins and to give me new life through the Holy Spirit.  I renounce giving any ground in my life to spirits of harlotry, sexual addiction or any other evil.  Specifically, I repent from the sins of ________________ (list).  Please forgive me, Lord, and cleanse me of these sins through the blood of Jesus.  I take authority over any evil spirits that have gained influence over me right now.  In the name of Jesus, I rebuke such spirits, bind them from influencing me and command them to leave me now. Go!  Lord God, please fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit and the power to resist the temptations of sin, especially in the areas I have been weak in.  Please help me to see the truth clearly and no longer be deceived by the enemy’s lies.  Thank you, Father!   I praise you and commit to living for you from this point forward.  In the mighty name of Jesus I pray, Amen.”