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I don’t remember when I first heard the word meretricious, but I remember looking it up and thinking, “there are so many ways Biblically to flesh this concept out.”
Here’s maybe a good place to start:
1 John 2:15-1715 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever
We desire the world because it is meretricious. It paints itself to portray beauty, but reveals itself in the morning after to be vapid.
How is it that sexy women are used to sell everything? To guys, to girls, from web URLs to shampoo. We buy sexy. Our money is where our mind is and we are persuaded often to place our dimes down on demonic desire. (alliteration up in this hizzy!)
2 Kings 9:3030 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it. And she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window.
Yeah, there’s a reason why Jezebel is a name synonymous with promiscuity and false fronts. But how often do we apply this to our “best foot forwards” we routinely engineer? How often do we cover up poop with potpourri? How often are we aiming for plausible excuses for our sin rather than calling them wickedness?
That is how many times the ESV finds the word “whore” in the Bible.
We would do well to pay attention to that which is meretricious around us lest we fall for its deception and end up deceived along with it.