As I read today’s passage I find myself looking around at the way we live today. It seems to me that these words, meant for Israel nearly three thousand years ago, are still extremely applicable in our own society, in our own time. I am am particularly struck by the line that mentions that even the animals, birds and fish are disappearing. We have over fished our seas and over exploited the resources of our planet to the point that we have lost many whole species forever, with many more currently under immediate threat of extinction. It is as if our land truly were in mourning. There is nothing adequate to fill the spiritual void left in peoples live by the absence of God. I think we can complain that the church has indeed stumbled, in broad daylight, from one scandal to another over the past century. When the people see their priests falling under the weight of their own sins, and the priests themselves seem to refuse to know God, it is not at all surprising that people would leave the church in their droves. And so it follows, that with no church to trust, and no God to turn to, the blessings of God seem in short supply. Which in turn, might go some way to explaining the precarious state of the planet as we inhabit today.
Hosea 4:1-7 NLT
Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel! The Lord has brought charges against you, saying: “There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. You make vows and break them; you kill and steal and commit adultery. There is violence everywhere— one murder after another. That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away. Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea are disappearing. “Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame! My complaint, you priests, is with you. So you will stumble in broad daylight, and your false prophets will fall with you in the night. And I will destroy Israel, your mother. My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognise you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children. The more priests there are, the more they sin against me. They have exchanged the glory of God for the shame of idols.
I have put a lot of thought recently, into training for ministry of some kind. However, as we can read in today’s passage, priests have a lot to answer for in general, but also specifically, regarding the poor state of the nation of the nation. The Lord holds them squarely responsible for the bad example they have set the people who look to them for guidance. It seems that their apparent forgetfulness of God’s laws is bad enough, but more than that, they all seem to be in it together. He says “The more there are, the more they sin against me” (vs.7). My goal to study more, wait until my personal life in better before even choosing which type of ministry would be best. I definitely want to avoid just jumping on the bandwagon.
Hosea 4:1-5:15, 2 John 1:1-13, Psalms 125 1:5, Proverbs 29:1-11