A punch in the gut

Hosea 2:8  She does not recognize that it is I who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil. I lavished silver and gold on her, which they used for Baal. 

Here’s the picture:  A man loves his wife so much that he wants to show her.  One payday, he hands her two $100 bills and tells her to spoil herself.  He grins at the smile on her face as she receives his gift.  He can’t wait to see what she is going to do and buy.  But his wife doesn’t buy any new clothes; she doesn’t spoil herself with a day at the spa.  Instead, she uses the money to go out on a date with another man.  What!?!

This is how God felt about the nation of Israel.  He treated her like a good husband would treat his wife.  He lavished blessings on her, took care of her, and provided for her.  It says here that He gave her grain, new wine, and oil.  He even lavished silver and gold on her.  However, she didn’t even acknowledge that all of this was from Him.  She didn’t return to Him in praise.  She took His gifts and ran away to another lover.

You see, Israel took what God had given them and used the resources to worship other gods.  They took His gold and honored Baal.  What a punch in the gut!  Is this how you thank the very one who is meeting all your needs?  It shouldn’t be!  And even today, we receive God’s blessings and provision and squander them away.  We turn to things that satisfy the flesh and in turn serve them with our hearts.  We give over our devotion to created things rather than living a life devoted to the creator.  If we would just learn a lesson from these words to Israel, we might just start turning all our worship toward the Lord.  We might even stop punching Him in the gut.