What are we doing when we do not listen to our God-given leader, Jesus Christ? What are we doing when we worship other gods instead of the true God? We have “prostituted” ourselves (Judges 2:17).
Prostitutes live out of control and are desperate. They give themselves without getting any real pleasure or love in return. The use of the word “prostitute” here tells us that when we serve an idol, we come into an intense relationship with it and in which it uses us, but does not truly care for us. We become vulnerable to it, little more than a slave to it.
The image also tells us that God sees ALL sin–all idolatry–as “adultery.” A marriage is an exclusive, legal commitment, but it is not ONLY that. It involves deep, intimate selfless love. The Church is the bride of Christ!
This shows us why God responds to Israel with anger (2:20). His anger is not opposed to His love. It is the expression of it! His anger is that of the innocent, jilted lover; his love is that of the forgiving husband.