09/19/16 Prosperity

READING: Hosea 8-14

The Lord has been really good to Pam and me. He has blessed us immensely. We have never been hungry, nor have we worried about shelter or clothing. By any of the world’s standards, we are prosperous. To be honest, though, that prosperity makes me a little nervous. 

You see, the Hebrews allowed their prosperity to hinder their relationship with God at times — a theme that echoes through today’s reading. They trusted in their palaces and their fortresses when they had “forgotten their maker” (Hos 8:14). As Israel’s fruit increased, she instead turned her prosperity into pagan altars (Hos 10:1). In fact, the people of God believed that their wealth would somehow allow them to get away with their sin: “Ephraim boasts, ‘I am very rich; I have become wealthy. With all my wealth they will not find in me any iniquity or sin” (Hos 12:8). More specifically, they forgot the very God who had provided for them; their satisfaction led to their demise: “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me” (Hos 13:6). 

There is so much here that gives me pause. It’s apparently easy to be grateful to God when He first provides for us, but then grow accustomed to His blessing. Sometimes we think we can buy our way out of just about anything, including coming face-to-face with our sin. In our desperate moments, we seek God with all our being; in our satisfied moments, though, we forget Him with equal abandon. We trust in our stuff rather than the One who makes the stuff possible. 

On the other hand, the wise man realizes these things, and the discerning man understands that the ways of the Lord are always right (Hos 14:9). The righteous walk as God intends. 


  • Be grateful for your blessings, but hold them loosely.    
  • On a scale of 1-10 (with 1=not close and 10=very close), rate how close you are to becoming satisfied with life and inadvertently forgetting God in the process.      

PRAYER: “God, make me a wise and discerning person today. Let me never forget You.”     



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