Let’s read Deuteronomy 23:17-18, “None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a cult prostitute. You shall not bring the hire of a HARLOT or the wages of a DOG into the house of the LORD your God for any votive offering, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God” (NASB). This passage speaks of FEMALE and MALE PROSTITUTION (the “female” is called a “harlot” and the “male” a “dog”), which was common in many of the heathen “cult religions” throughout the Near East in that day. This kind of prostitution was practiced in their “heathen temples” and here God utterly condemns such practices in His “holy Temple,” though I’m sure God condemned this immorality wherever it was practiced. Verse 17 deals with the “act of prostitution” and verse 18 deals with the “money gained by prostitution.” In God’s holy eyes, it is just as bad to bring the money that was acquired by an act of prostitution into His temple as an offering to Him as it was to commit the act. One might be thinking, “Why would a prostitute (male or female) even want to enter God’s temple to offer a gift of money to Him?” One has said there may have been 2 reasons: 1) To try to make God less angry for their sin of prostitution; or 2) To hide from others the true source of their income. Whatever their reason was, God calls it an ABOMINATION (which means it was a “hateful and disgusting thing”) that He would never accept. Let me add that this act of approaching God with this offering would be the height of hypocrisy, for the one coming would be PRETENDING to be a pious worshiper while living in sin.

Is there a lesson for us today? Of course, there is the obvious lesson that we too should not be “giving money as an act of worship if it was acquired through prostitution.” But can we not see in this passage that “any money gained immorally or illegally is not acceptable to God?” I believe we can apply this broadly and thus if we are receiving money by making pornographic movies, stealing, selling drugs, extortion, or any other immoral or illegal practice, it is an “abomination to the Lord” and He would never accept it as a true act of worship. Again, one may be guilty of these practices and yet give to a Christian organization to “appease their conscience” or to “appear to be spiritual to others,” but God, who knows their heart, calls it an abomination and He most certainly rejects it. I just mentioned how “God knows the heart” and perhaps it would be good to close by quoting Jeremiah 17:9-10, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (NKJV).  (DO)  (499.3)