Places to Avoid
We have a Texas penitentiary over the hill from Midlothian and over the years a good friend has led teams of believers there on a weekly basis. We’ve also done many Weekends of Champions with Bill Glass Ministries, not only in this prison but in many others throughout Texas. But it’ s the steady, weekly teaching from the Word and also from life experience my friend and his team bring to the inmates about finances, job skills, and interpersonal relationship dynamics that prepare them for their release and re-entry into society.
One of the issues about the release from prison and the probation period is that the men he works with usually have to return to the very places where they got in trouble. They reconnect with their old gang, get enticed into the same criminal activity, and end right back in prison. There are places where temptation and evil lurk, and it’s not just those with prison records who need to stay away.
In the 8thcentury BC, Gilead and Gilgal were two of those evil places, and Hosea used them to also remind his audience of lessons they needed to learn from their history.
“If Gilead is wicked, certainly they are worthless! In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls, even their altars will be like heaps of rocks on the furrows of a field.” Hosea 12:11
We learned in Hosea 6:8 that Gilead was a city of violent wicked men—men whose very footprints were stained with the blood. In Hosea 4:15 Hosea warned Judah to stay away from Gilgal where they offered idolatrous immoral sacrifices. In 9:15 the LORD stressed that he hated the wickedness being done at Gigal and he would drive the people from the land. Murderous violence and immorality lurks deceptively under the robe of incense and religious ritual in these places. Hosea warned those who truly followed the LORD to stay away from both places.
May we heed Hosea’s warning and stay away from certain locations where it’s simply too easy to get into trouble.
LORD, raise up parents who skillfully teach their kids about the places in their culture they need to avoid. Help them tell concrete stories that prove how dangerous it can be to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Help us to do more than just talk. Help us model for them a godliness that avoids the “Gilead’s” where we could easily fall into temptation.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!