Idolatry

Idol worship in Hosea 8

v.5 ‘Throw out your calf-idol, O Samaria! My anger burns against them.
How long will they be incapable of purity?’

Israel’s idolatry has made righteousness impossible for them. They
can go to the temple and have their feasts and sacrifices, but it does
no good-the idols are still in place. I want to see what Jesus said
about idolatry…

4432 Pleonexia from pleion, more and echo, to have….term which
includes love of money, avarice, stealing, the longing of those who have
forsaken God to satisfy themselves by means of the lower objects of
nature.

—says my Hebrew Geek study bible.

Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly
nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which
is idolatry.

Matthew 6:5 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they
love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be
seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

These men practice idolatry by praying [really] to the people that
would see them in the streets. They may be saying ‘God, God’ but they
are only seeking the favor of their onlookers. Jesus says don’t do it
you big fakes! Pray in secret. Don’t seek the favor of men for being
eloquent or pious.

Matthew 7:22 “many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not
prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform
many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away
from me, you evildoers!”
These people were basing their relationship with Christ on magical
powers, not on intimacy and obedience with and to Him. The opposite
extreme would be those that Paul talked about in 2 Timothy 3.5 “having a
form of godliness but denying its power”

Once again it al comes back to relationship with THE MAN Jesus
Christ. Not about religious acts done in the sight of man, not about
miraculous powers to get people excited, not even about knowing the
Bible well. (John 5.39-40: the pharisees had even turned Bible study
into idolatry)

Let us draw close to Christ. Let us throw away our idols and our
greed. (I didn’t even go into all the stuff Jesus says about
greed.)Let’s even throw away our pre-conceptions about what religion
looks like, and simply befriend Jesus. That seems like the most
wonderful and meaningful way of life to me.

Everything is in Him and Through HIM

This study started in Hosea 8
Jeremiah 11:13
You have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah; and the altars you
have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the
streets of Jerusalem.

Israel was turned so far from the Lord. He was about to bring affliction
on them so they would either turn to their idols and see they were
worthless, or turn to Him and see His power.

Many are the vanities of hard work without God’s guidance.
Jer 12:13 “They will sow wheat but reap thorns; they will wear
themselves out but gain nothing. So bear the shame of your harvest
because of the Lord’s fierce anger.”
Hosea 8:4 “They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes
without my approval.” – approval is ‘yada’ in hebrew. to know,
intimately, to know well
Psalm 127:1-2 “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor
in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard
in vain.
“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-
for He grants sleep to those He loves.”
This is convicting after fruitless late nights surfing the internet
looking for a good place to buy a radiator. I hadn’t had a quiet time n
4 days. No still, quiet time with Him since Saturday. Last night I was
about to take my computer home to work on some projects, but all I could
feel like God was saying was “I want you to be with me, all of that can
wait.”
Matthew 6:31-33
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we
wear?’ for the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly
Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His
righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
So if given the option to stay up late making a bunch of money or
sleeping and waking up to have fellowship with God, the latter is the
one to choose. ‘But with that money we could feed the poor or build
great ministries.’ you may say, but without the Lord there would be no
harvest anyway. He KNOWS that we need to feed the poor, He Himself wants
to build great ministries MORE THAN WE DO! (wow. that almost seems hard
to believe)
But unless He Himself is the point, focus, and center of all we do,
it is all a complete waste of His and our time, money, and sacrifice.

Hosea 6:6

Hosea 6.6 | word study
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather
than burnt offerings.

* desire: to find pleasue in, to choose, strong attraction to
* mercy: hesed, mercy, compassion, what Rahab showed the spies, to treat
someone as if a previous relationship existed in which they were close
friends, although it is spontaneous.
* sacrifice: the slaughter of animals for sacrifice, the victim, the
meat, the offering
* acknowledgment: da’at (from yada) Often denotes knowledge gained from
the senses. technical know-how, discernment, contemplative perception of
a wise man, fear of the Lord is the beginning of da’at.
* burnt offerings: that which goes up in smoke, the offering that is
completely burned,

so, God wants us to be compassionate and merciful, treating people like
the are old friends, rather than a bunch of dead animals brought at
gifts to him. He is attracted to knowledge of Him that comes from
experiential meeting, with our senses, rather than a bunch of stuff that
will burn.

This is parallel to Hosea 5:6
They go with flocks and herds to seek the Lord, they will not find Him.

they are seeking after God with all of their religious sacrifices, just
like He asked for, right? So why will God hide? Doesn’t it say in
Jeremiah 29 something about “when you search for me, you will find me?”

Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek e and find me when you seek me with all
your heart.”

Seek Him with a bunch of religious sacrifices and works and so-called
good deeds and you’ll never find Him. God is not found in religious
acts. Seek Him with your heart. Offer to Him your very self. Quit buying
your way out of sin with cash in the offering plate, climb in. Put your
self in the offering and offer God your inmost being. Then He will be
found. Then He will get what He desires.

Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer
your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your
spiritual act of worship.