Reflection for Wednesday July 6th 2022

Jon Ellis

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Reflection Hosea 10 1-3, 7-8, 12 July 6

Hosea 10
1 ¶ How prosperous Israel is — a luxuriant vine loaded with fruit. But the richer the people get, the more pagan altars they build. The more bountiful their harvests, the more beautiful their sacred pillars.
2 The hearts of the people are fickle; they are guilty and must be punished. The LORD will break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars.
3 Then they will say, “We have no king because we didn’t fear the LORD. But even if we had a king, what could he do for us anyway?”
7 Samaria and its king will be cut off; they will float away like driftwood on an ocean wave.
8 And the pagan shrines of Aven, the place of Israel’s sin, will crumble. Thorns and thistles will grow up around their altars. They will beg the mountains, “Bury us!” and plead with the hills, “Fall on us!”
12 I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plough up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’

REFLECTION
Are we better off when we have lots of money? There have been Lottery winners who have not managed it well and lost all the money. Where others have used the money for good causes and enjoyed the benefit of being able to do that. It depends on their character before they won the lottery.
This time of high price rises, is going to be very challenging for some people. Those with no savings who need every penny they can get just pay for essentials, are in a very different position from those who have savings and are simply able to cut back on luxuries. The programmes on TV that mix families of the two groups, or ask wealthy people to try and live on the small amount that some people have, are an eye-opener for many.

Well, in Hosea Chapter 10, we read about people who are rich in money but do not appreciate that they need to thank God for this. They are taking for granted that their life should be like it is. They believe they are entitled to their wealth and position. When young people mimic their parents’ attitudes and statements, but they haven’t yet learnt how to express those subtly, they just sound arrogant.

The people that Hosea was talking to were like that. They could not see what they were doing wrong. Their life was fine. They were happy with the gods of other nations and didn’t see the need to thank the one true God. We can smile at the thought of people worshipping a bronze or golden statue. But we sit and worship the TV in the living room. I don’t spend much time using a mobile phone, but I spend a lot of time using a laptop. (Writing this for instance!) It seems a distant memory that in an emergency we had to find a telephone box. I got my first mobile phone because I was a driving instructor and I realised that if we broke down or had an accident, my pupils would wonder why I hadn’t got a mobile phone. And in those days, there were still large areas where there was no coverage. I remember later on how the North Devon Link Road had parts with no signal. I can’t imagine travelling a long distance now without the security of my mobile phone.

I have just mentioned the word, “security”. Why is my security in a mobile phone rather than in God? I know he will never let me down. Jesus is always by my side through his Holy Spirit. And yet I say my phone is my security. Hosea is still speaking to us now. He prophesies the impending doom from relying on worldly gods. The things we value too highly and put above God in our lives.

Hosea in verse 12: I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plough up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’

COLLECT Trinity 3
God our saviour,
look on this wounded world
in pity and in power;
hold us fast to your promises of peace
won for us by your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.