Reading through the prophetic books of the Old Testament can be very eye opening. How many times have we heard the saying, “The past always repeats itself,” and shook our heads in agreement, but not learned from it? The Bible provides the perfect opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past. The book of Hosea is no exception. In this book, God speaks through His prophet, Hosea, to warn Israel of their coming punishment. Hosea describes how the Israelites abandoned God’s ways and worshiped other gods despite Jehovah’s constant attempts to rebuke them. Today I am struck by these words:
“Its people (Israel) don’t realize I am watching them. Their sinful deeds are all around them. I see them all! The people make the king glad with their wickedness. The princes laugh about the people’s many lies. They are all adulterers, … and no one cries out for help. My people of Israel mingle with godless foreigners, picking up their evil ways. Now they have become as worthless as a half-baked cake!” (Hosea 7:2-3,7-8, NLT)
There is a lesson to be learned here. America has become a godless nation. I don’t think that statement is going to shock anyone. God and prayer have been banned from our schools. Adultery, deception and lawlessness is so rampant that you cannot watch the evening news without seeing evidence of it. Even many of our leaders are being found guilty of improper behavior; yet, we all shrug our shoulders saying, “who doesn’t do that now a days?” We must not forget that God sees everything. More importantly, we must be careful of how we respond to our cultural surroundings.
I want to take a lesson from the book of Hosea. I want to be sure that I am not “mingling” with those who do evil so as to “pick up their evil ways.” I don’t want to be “as worthless as a half-baked cake!” Does that mean that I am supposed to go and live in a commune somewhere away from all of civilization? No. That is not what God called anyone to do! Christ commissioned us in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples. You cannot do that if you are not in the world.
So how can we “mingle with (the) godless” and NOT “pick up their evil ways?”
Leave a comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts!