Wednesday, May 09, 2018

The amnesia of self-sufficiency

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Hosea 11-14; Psalm 124

TO CHEW ON: "When they had pasture, they were filled;
They were filled and their heart was exalted;
Therefore they forgot me." Hosea 13:6

Forgetting who one's source of supply is and becoming self-reliant and self-satisfied is a state that Bible writers talk about again and again. Here Hosea names it as one of the reasons for Israel's spiritual prostitution.

We find warnings against God-forgetful self-sufficiency throughout the Bible. Let's examine a few to see what conditions predispose to such an attitude.

1. Plenty of food. Forgetting God is often linked with having enough and more than enough to eat; fatness, even obesity - Deuteronomy 32:15; Psalm 17:10; Isaiah 10:16; Jeremiah 5:28; Jeremiah 50:11; Ezekiel 16:49.

2. Full of their own ways - Proverbs 14:14.

3. Spiritual dullards and lethargic. Isaiah talks about people with dull hearts, heavy ears, shut eyes - Isaiah 6:10. Jeremiah speaks of spiritual ease and lethargy - Jeremiah 48:11.

4. Pride, idleness, and ignoring the needs of the poor - Ezekiel 16:49.

5. Preoccupation with the superficial things of life - Luke 6:25.

6. And perhaps the most sobering condition of all, there is no awareness of one's own need - Revelation 3:17.

In our technologically advanced, wealthy society we are more prone than ever to forget that God is our source of supply. Often in the Bible, God's remedy for this was to send trouble so that the people would again remember Him and renew their allegiance to Him.

Though we may feel immune from the troubles of Bible-time people, even for us it really takes very little to feel our vulnerability. A storm wiping out our dwelling, a lost job, a deathly illness, a computer virus, even a few days with no electricity show us how susceptible we are to things beyond our control.

Let's take to heart Hosea's words to Israel, whatever state we find ourselves in.
"O Israel (or insert your name here___________)
You are (or 'easily can be') destroyed.
But your help is from Me.
I will be your King
Where is any other
That He may save you in all your cities?"
- Hosea 13:9-10.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to always remember that I need You — no matter how well, or poorly, things are going. Amen.

PSALM TO PRAY: Psalm 124

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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