Devotion – Hosea 4

You will become what you worship.  I’m not talking about singing a few songs or saying prayer or two.  You and I were made to worship, and our hearts will exalt something to the place of supremacy.  What happens is that our lives will become an image of that which we place as supreme in our lives, and it will be transferred to those around us.

OK, so how many times does Hosea say “whore” (or harlot in some translations)?  You probably weren’t expecting that kind of language in the Bible.  Yet the Bible, doesn’t hide secrets of people, especially when they choose not to make God the center of life.  Until now, Hosea has been more of a story, but now Hosea is preaching.  He is fulfilling the role of a prophet, proclaiming to the people what God is saying, and it is not a pretty picture.  The image of prostitution is something close in his mind as he preaches, because he understands this type of betrayal.  Now, God tells him to use this image in his preaching as he seeks to show God’s people how they committed spiritual adultery.

In verse six, Hosea says the people have rejected knowledge.  This is so much more than skipping school.  They had God in their midst, but they choose to ignore Him.  People were created to worship God, to live life with Him at the center.  But they left God for idols.  They began praying to a piece of wood carved in their own image.  They began to worship by going to a tree and having a seance, or, even worse, by attending a cultic house of worship and sleeping with a temple prostitute.  At the heart of idol worship is the creation of a religion that lets a person worship themselves and their desires.  Think of it, they came up with a religious system that let them party and sleep with hot women.  They prayed to a piece of wood, and asked their “walking stick” to speak to them (v. 12).

But something happened that they didn’t expect.  This passage is written to the Hebrew men, primarily.  They were sleeping around and living this vile life, but they wanted a good Hebrew, God-fearing woman at home, and wanted good Hebrew, God-fearing daughters.  Their desire was to have it both ways.  Yet, they were finding that their daughters were turning into hookers, sleeping with other guys at a whim, and now, even their wives were hooking up with other guys (v.14).

When these men choose to reject God, and stop seeking knowledge of Him, they placed their sinful passions at the center of life.  They worshiped their wickedness, and it spiraled out of control.  They became the thing they worshiped.  You become what you worship.  They had become an image of the idolatry in their heart.  Then, that image was transferred to those closest to them, their wives and daughters also became whores.  How tragic!  The last line of verse 14 says, “And a people without understanding shall come to ruin.”  Never forget it, you become what you worship.

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