Wednesday

American Idols
Tuesday night is small group night for me and my family.  One of the highlights of my week is getting together with the other families in our small group and studying God's word together.  We have been working our way through the book of Hosea for the past 3 weeks now and last night we looked at chapters 5 and 6.  As I studied these chapters in preparation for small group, two things occurred to me.

The first was that the list of grievances God has against Israel in these chapters looks eerily similar to what I imagine His grievances are against our society today.  God's primary problem with Israel is that they have abandoned their worship of Yahweh to run after idols.  In the time period of Hosea, Israel has taken up worshiping graven images of cows (you would think they would not have made this mistake again).  Our society today is perhaps the most prolific producer of idols in history.  We have placed everything from self-esteem, college football, the American dream, and even "good" things like social justice and church growth in front of our affection for God.  Not only do we produce and worship idols but we make it socially acceptable (and sometimes socially expected) to do so.

The second thought I had was that for the most part, we are blind to the fact that we do these things.  We seem to be incapable of realizing that we are just as much the adulterous people that Israel was.  We are told very clearly in James 4:4 that to befriend the ways of the world is to hate God, and yet we constantly rationalize and justify our dalliances with the world as though it were some thing of small consequence.  If Israel is called a harlot and a wife of whoredom, why do we think that somehow we will escape the same judgment for committing the same offenses against our God?  We somehow have bought into the idea that if a practice is culturally accepted or encouraged then God won't regard it as sin, or at least not as a serious sin.  At some point for too many, the bible has ceased to be the sole arbiter of wright and wrong, of what constitutes sin and what doesn't.

My prayer, for myself as much as for anyone, is that God would keep us humble, and that He show us the idols we have erected in our lives so that, empowered by His grace, we might cast them down and love and serve Him with all of our hearts.

I married my beautiful bride Katherine back in May of 1998. Since then, we have been blessed with 4 wonderful kids (three girls and a boy). We have lived here in Rome since 1993 when Katherine and I met as freshmen at Berry College. I teach Math at one of the elementary schools here in town. Thanks for stopping by.

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