Psalm: 50
Old Testament: Isaiah 9:18-10:4
New Testament: 2 Peter 2:10-16

Bold and willful, they are not afraid to slander the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not bring against them a slanderous judgment from the Lord. These people, however, are like irrational animals, mere creatures of instinct, born to be caught and killed. They slander what they do not understand, and when those creatures are destroyed, they also will be destroyed, suffering the penalty for doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their dissipation while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! They have left the straight road and have gone astray, following the road of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of doing wrong, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

It’s not too often I include the entire lection in a post but this is just too good to pass up. 😀

I have to admit that when I read passages like this…..the Bible-geek in me rejoices.. There’s something about watching Peter and other apostles laying the smack-down on sin that is both entertaining and intriguing. The images are at once vivid and violent, while at the same time, very pointed in their focus and message to the reader.

But why is lust such a bad thing for the Biblical writers? What is it that makes this sin especially heinous and worthy of so much attention???

Part of the reason is its connection with notions of covenant in the Old Testament. Lusting or desiring after people, posessions, or false gods draws Israel away from YHWH. It draws them away from promises they have made….it leads them to leave the very Source which gives them life and success.

Lust is also one of the easiest sins to fall into (and I’m speaking from experience here :P). We live in a culture that teaches us to desire a new product every day. A society that takes its cue from Gordon Gekko that “greed is good.”

Lust is also prevalent in our relationships. Of course–for those of us who are single–sexual lust can often take the front seat in our lives. I know I’m certainly not immune from it :P… need only look at the Starbucks saga to realize the grief that lust can cause.

Lust is more insidious than that though…..and affects those in committed partnerships too.

There are plenty of times when we want our significant other to change. To give us more attention, or to show a greater interest in the things we enjoy. In extreme cases, we expect our loved ones to fundamentally change who they are. 😦

Advent is a time of self-examination and preparation. So what are some of the things you lust after? What is drawing you away from God and pushing you towards something else??? Does lust really do the body and soul good??? It seems the Bible provides us with a clear “no” to that question. +