Thursday, July 17, 2014

What do I love?

This thought is more philosophical than my brain normally handles.  And I can't get over the feeling that some famous quote somewhere already said this, and so my brilliant idea for the day is rendered...well... not so brilliant.

Regardless, here's my thought for the day:

I read this verse in Hosea today:
"they came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame,
and they became as detestable as that which they loved."  
Hosea 9:10b

Now I realize that Hosea is not in general a highly encouraging book - although if you can get past all the death and destruction God promises to His people for leaving Him, His revelation of His unfailing love for His sinful, rebellious, purposely-running-in-the-wrong-direction people is jaw dropping.

But this verse in particular seems pretty depressing.

I don't know what Baal-peor is for sure, but it seems bad.  Shame.  Detestable.

However, it started me thinking.

We image that which we truly love.

Just stop and think about that for a minute.  I did.

We image that which we truly love.

Not only that.

We are slaves to that which we truly love.  

These Israelites spent so much time at Baal-peor that they imaged the detestable things happening there.  They didn't mean to.  It wasn't their goal walking in.  Subtly, seductively, Baal-peor became what they loved.  And it smeared its shame on their souls until it came oozing out of every thought, every action, every intention of their hearts.

This is slavery.  Baal-peor controlled them.

This challenged me this morning.  I want to say I love the LORD my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my might (Deut. 6:5), but do I image Him?  Do I do what He has asked me to do as if I have no other choice?

What have I let into my soul?
Have I spent so much time looking at Pinterest and Facebook that I crave that thing those people over there have?
Have I so attached my emotions to the well-being of a character on my favorite tv show that I am consumed by what might happen next week?
Is the outcome of my son's baseball game the thing I can't stop talking about?
Am I constantly self-promoting?
Do I see the pretty things in Target and plot how to fit them into the budget?
Can I not walk away from my job long enough to engage my family?

Whatever my issues are.  As soon as I devote my heart to anything besides Jesus, it boils down to one thing.



This was the sin of Baal-peor.  The Israelites devoted themselves to something other than their God.  And they forfeited their access to grace and love and mercy and joy.  Their idolatry reaped for them a harvest of unimaginable devastation.

So what am I imaging to the world around me?

What other things are trying to sneak their way into my heart?

Destroy my love for anything but You, Jesus!

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