November 13, 2014
Their heart is deceitful, and now they must bear their guilt. (Hosea 10:2)
Conclusion . . .
Many of us have concluded that prosperity and the absence of affliction is a direct result of our being blessed by God, and is a true indication that we are fully accepted and approved by Him. The corollary is that if we are undergoing trials and financial distress, then we must be outside the will of God, or steeped in sin. This was the argument used by Job’s friends for why he was suffering. If that were true, then Jesus was the greatest sinner of all, for who among men suffered more than He?
How much has the Western perception of blessings and wealth, trials and poverty been tainted? Are we not following suit with the Israelites, building more and more altars, embellishing and adorning them with the glitter of gold? How long will it be before the LORD smashes such?
Now is the time for us to seek Him while He may be found. Now is the time to forsake our sinful ways and return to the God of our salvation, to bow before Him in repentance for our foolishness, and seek His forgiveness. And now is the time to turn from the highways of deception and walk holy and righteous before Him.
As noted in Hosea 10:3-8, on the one hand, the people claimed that they had no king, while on the other, they expressed dismay regarding the removal of their idol. Since their leaders could not save them from the coming crisis, they turned to the power of their false god. However, just as quickly as they turned, they recognized its impotence to deliver them.
In one respect, the tragedy of Israel’s history is quickly summed up in those few verses. Rather than turn to the Holy One of Israel, who delivered them from the bondage of Egypt, the Israelites depended on the power of the flesh to deliver them; and, when that failed, they turned to manmade idols.
“How utterly foolish!” we may be tempted to say. However, in what do we place our faith and trust? Are we more comfortable with money in the bank, or being broke? Do we depend upon our government to look after us, or do we put our trust in God? If we say God, then do our actions align with our words? Though we may delude others, we cannot fool God.
The sooner we reconcile the truth of who we think we are with respect to who we actually are, the sooner we will experience and walk in the fullness of God.
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