God LOVES His Daughters

23 And he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit; and if he repents not he shall be cast out. (D&C 42)
This verse comes included in a list of how to handle various sins & offenses in gathered Zion, in the revelation known as The Law of the Church.

This verse stood out to me powerfully because it was cheek-by-jowl with stealing, lying, murder and adultery. Those are considered "big" sins. Sins which, if the sinner is unrepentant, make the sinner worthy of being cast out of the community. And the Lord included looking upon a woman to lust after her in the list of things which are absolutely and utterly intolerable to Him.

I LOVE this. Love it!

Why?

Because this verse shows the Almighty God declaring that a woman's body belongs to her. That a woman's body is NOT the plaything of any man. That women's bodies are not to be USED. That women are MORE than something to be lusted at. MORE than something to be looked at. That women are more than their sexuality. That women are MORE than objects to satisfy men's sexual drives. It's not just "look but don't touch". It's "Don't you dare use my daughters for your own gratification".

As one who was harassed (and often frightened) by the openly lascivious stares of various boys and men, this scripture shows that not only does my God want to protect me from physical violence, but from emotional violence as well.

God, You are wonderful! I love seeing Your love for your children--and especially for women--come through in Your Word. I love knowing that You understand humankind, and want to protect Your children from ALL abuses. Thank You, Lord. I love you so much.

Out of Babylon

And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. (Revelation 18:4-8 NKJV)

Babylon has reaped the reward of her avarice. She took unto herself that which The Lord bestows upon them that love Him with all their hearts. She ignored the marriage covenant, committing all manner of sin with other nations. She amassed wealth and substance to the exclusion of others. She broke the bonds of Divine Love that set us free, and stands in her own power, and under heavy condemnation of the Most High. 

I want good things in my life. Comfort. Satisfying food. Health. Safety. Love. Fulfillment. I can rise up to wrest these things from the earth through my own intelligence and strength, or I can arise to them through utter devotion and love for my God. 

Babylon stole all that she gained--wealth, favor, power, the counterfeit of love--and as a result, she reaps the precise and utter opposite as recompense of her selfishness. Those who repent and follow Christ do the exact opposite of Babylon as they give and submit and serve and follow, and as a result the justice and equity of God fills them with all good things as a result. What "all good things" looks like might differ for each one....but God keeps His promises. He is faithful.

Most High Father, I praise You for the Goodness of Your Ways, for the justice and equity I can rest securely in, and I will praise Your Holy Name forever! In Jesus' glorious name, Amen. :-)

Oh Tyre, I Bid Thee Farewell

I will send you to the pit to join those who descended there long ago. Your city will lie in ruins, buried beneath the earth, like those in the pit who have entered the world of the dead. You will have no place of respect here in the land of the living. I will bring you to a terrible end, and you will exist no more. You will be looked for, but you will never again be found. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” (Ezekiel 26:20, 21 NLT)

This is the final part of Tyre's prophesied destruction. As I read through it, the difference between Tyrian self-sought glory and the glory that comes to those who seek God stood out crystal clear. Those who seek after and glorify The Lord will be splendid and have all they need physically. There will be no poor, peace will abound, and God Himself can dwell there. 

But in the places of those who seek their own wealth & fame, God is not welcome. And because they didn't seek Him and let Him provide for their needs, they were utterly destroyed. 

Which pattern do I predominantly follow in my life? Whose glory do I seek? Mine? The world's? Or my most utterly-complete, generous and ever-faithful Yahweh's?

Father Almighty, please open my eyes. I know I sometimes squeeze them shut, or train them on things of no worth, when I'm tired and feeling alone. Please come and comfort me with Your presence. Make the pull of Babylon evaporate, and let my eye be single to your glory. Comfort me and surround me with Your vivid, joyous peace that fills me with the completion of Your enabling love I pray, in the name of Your Holy Lamb. Amen.