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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

10/27/11- Hosea 10:1-6 Wealth and forgetting God

1 Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased
the more altars he built; as his country improved, he improved his pillars.
2 Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt. The LORD will break down their altars,
and destroy their pillars.3 For now they will say: "We have no king, for we do not fear the LORD,
and a king — what could he do for us?" 4 They utter mere words;  with empty oaths they make covenants; so litigation springs up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field.
5 The inhabitants of Samaria tremble for the calf of Beth-aven. Its people shall mourn for it,
and its idolatrous priests shall wail over it, over its glory that has departed from it.
6 The thing itself shall be carried to Assyria as tribute to the great king.   Ephraim shall be put to shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol.

(Jeroboam encouraging the worship of the calf altar at Beth Aven)

Thoughts: What God is saying through Hosea is that the wealthier Israel got, the more they moved away from God.  The more material things we have, the more we are tempted to think we don't know God.  They used their wealth to build idolatrous altars to Baal and idolatrous pillars to Ashotreth the fertility gods.  The people are in a state of rebellion (against both god and king).  They claim allegiance to both, but they mean nothing.  The lack of loyalty and plethora of selfishness shows in a rash of lawsuits. But this is a prophecy that the idols will be torn down and the main calf at Beth-Aven will be taken to Assyria.  Part of God's punishment is to destroy the false worship and idols of the land. There is little doubt that America was one of the wealthiest nations in 2007 in the history of the world.  But there also is little doubt that the religious leaders were not taking the Bible seriously- rebelling against scriptural commands and in the name of tolerance eliminating teaching our children the importance of prayer in school, and refusing to say "Jesus" in public as if we were ashamed of Him.  Today our wealth is not what it was, but we refuse to come back to God.  There is a lack of repentance and a turning to God that is simply astonishing.  Hosea was saying if we refuse to repent, then God will take our idols away.  Our idols are our wealth, our manufacturing, our productivity, our enterpreneurial spirit.  Yesterday the President of the United States said some amazing words, that we had "lost our ambition, our imagination, the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge"  Where has it gone?  The energy that fueled our imagination, energy had been not to simply build up ourselves, but to glorify God- making a city set on a hill.

Prayer: When you have blessed me, Lord, help me to not forget you.  Help me to be thankful and focused, Lord.

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