5 Israel’s pride is a witness against him;
both Israel and Ephraim stagger because of their guilt;
Judah staggers with them.
6 With their sheep and their cattle they will go
to seek the Lord,
but they will not find him;
he has withdrawn from them.
7 They have acted faithlessly against the Lord;
for their children have produced illegitimate children.
Now the new moon will devour them along with their fields. Hosea 5:5-7, CEB
As I’ve said throughout the month, some aspects of God’s will are difficult to discern whereas others are not. In many ways I think the Old Testament can be more valuable in helping us discern God’s will in a general sense than the new. Throughout the OT we see time and again the kinds of things God expects for His people in terms of their relationship to each other and the world. In some ways, these expectations are no different for us today.
Primarily in this passage we see the danger of idolatry. I hear people talk about idolatry today in very individualistic terms. They ask questions like, “What is it that you are putting ahead of God?” The answers to these questions are often things like “television” or “work” or “money”, etc. But in Israel’s case, they were finding ways to idolize things as a group. I suspect we do the same. If we examined our values as “Americans” closely, we might find that idolatry is a strength of ours.
I wonder if we started thinking a little larger, started thinking about values and goals and such that we have as an entire culture, how that would impact our understanding of God’s will and how we lived it out. Sometimes I think it might be helpful to think larger than just the little things I do that I put before God and think about some larger issues that our country participates in that probably contradict God’s will. The value of human life is one issue that comes to mind.
Maybe I’m just babbling today, I don’t know.