Why Unloved Children?
One of my close friends just had another grandson. The pictures on Instagram of this cutie make me want to reach down, gather him in my arms, and give the little guy some love. When I experience this tenderness toward kids, I immediately think of how Jesus scolded his disciples when they didn’t let children come to him and then how he took them up in his lap and blessed them. That’s why when the LORD says that he’s not going to love certain children in our passage in Hosea today, it jars me.
How can the loving Father of our Lord Jesus Christ ever declare that he won’t show love to certain children?
“And toward her children I will not compassionately love them. They are children of immorality. Their mother has acted promiscuously. She conceived them in disgrace; for she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, the ones who give to me my food and water, my wool and linen, my olive oil and my drink.” Hosea 2:4-5
In the 8thcentury a good husband bountifully provided his wife with food and drink, clothes, and luxuries. The Lord was the perfect husband to Israel, but she believed a lie. She thought her material security and prosperity was the gift of Baal, the Canaanite storm god. In this idolatrous cult fertility and material prosperity—good crops, lots of food and wine, and wool and flax to make clothes—was believed to come from Baal and his consort Astarte.
In order to make these gods have sex in the deadness of winter in the heavens, their worshipers would have sex in the Baal temples on earth. This immoral idolatry blatantly broke the first, second, and seventh commandment. The Israelites Hosea was speaking to were intimately involved in following after these idols and if they believe Baal and Astarte are the sources of their prosperity, then the true God will withdraw His care and blessing.
This belief that sex equals life and material prosperity is produced by our own efforts with no connection to God’s moral laws is not just an 8thCentury BC belief. It’s a strong, seductive lie today.
LORD, use Hosea’s exposure of the deceitfulness and treachery of the belief that sex equals life and material things can be used for selfish purposes instead of being received as gifts from you to keep me from falling into this same deadly foolishness.
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