Unintended Idolatry; November 29, 2019

Hosea 2:8 “She has not acknowledged that I was the one
who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil,
who lavished on her the silver and gold–
which they used for Baal.”

We are so prone to forget the source of our blessings! Hosea’s wife Gomer was certainly a type and a parable of people in general. These days we don’t chase after Baal by name, but rather chase after the latest electronics and fashions and luxuries, often using silver and gold we don’t have (the magic of credit cards) to do so. When we fail to recognize that God alone is the source of everything good, (James 1:17) we get ourselves into a world of trouble. These days our idols are technology and pleasure, but we might as well call them Baal and Molech, because we sacrifice our wealth and our children to them. Organizations like Planned Parenthood get very upset when they are compared to Molech, but the sacrifice of infants has changed only in the external trappings, and not in principle. This seems like a very appropriate time to consider this, because in America, the day after Thanksgiving (the 4th Thursday of November) is called Black Friday, and is a peak of naked consumerism, as in, the worship of Baal. Just yesterday I posted an article by Lee Grady about all the things Americans take for granted that are luxuries in many parts of the world. Those things are not bad in themselves, but when we chase after them to the exclusion of God, forgetting that He is the source of all we need, we are no different than Gomer.

I am in the middle of a lesson on this very point, because I ended the day yesterday tied in knots over two pieces of electronics that weren’t behaving as I wanted them to. The very fact that I have them to be irritated with them is a sign of my level of luxury! Jesus didn’t tell us to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) just to keep us from worrying about our survival, but to orient our whole lives around what is genuinely important. I would never consider worshiping Baal directly, but I certainly allow things of all sorts to distract me from a clear focus on and devotion to my Creator and Lord. One factor in that is my own pride at being the techie, the geek who can make all the gadgets work. Pride always separates us from God. I need to be humble enough to focus of God whether the gadgets work or not!

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all the mess I was involved in yesterday. Thank You that Your solution is already provided. Help me recognize it in due time, and give You the thanks and praise You deserve, even before I see how things will turn out. Help me recognize and repent of my misplaced priorities so that I may indeed seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, for Your glory alone. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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