I’m on the Ashley Madison list. Well, not really, but I’m on God’s Ashley Madison list. I am, you are, we all are. The Bible will often point to adultery and marital unfaithfulness as a picture of idolatry and our unfaithfulness to God. So, for example, God asks His prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute to demonstrate how God continued to call His people back to Himself even through their unfaithfulness.
At first blush, this association of adultery and idolatry seems strange. But think of what motivated many of the people who paid money to a website to help them cheat on their spouse. Many were looking for excitement, or fulfillment or even affirmation or love from someone else. Most, because they no longer felt that from the one who, in their mind, was supposed to fulfill that role for them.
And this is where we see the parallel of adultery and idolatry. You se, idolatry is not simply bowing before blocks of wood or stone carved as beasts or men – idolatry is seeking in created things what can only ultimately be found in God. As both our Creator and our Saviour, God alone can ultimately provide purpose, fulfillment, acceptance, love and even excitement. These are things our souls crave. And we can find them in bits and pieces in other people and in other places but the full brunt of them can only be found in God through Christ. So, for instance, if I think it is my wife’s job to “complete” me, to give me purpose or complete fulfillment, not only will she fail and let me down, but the weight of that will destroy her. Perhaps reeling from that I find fulfillment in something more destructive, or perhaps not. But either way, I’m signing up on Ashley Madison, I’m cheating (as it were) on God by looking to find things that only He can provide and that is only His right to provide in other places. And this is ultimately destructive to us.