Whose earnings?


Do not rejoice, O Israel, with exultation like the nations! For you have played the harlot, forsaking your God. You have loved harlots’ earnings on every threshing floor.
(Hosea 9:1 NASB)



In 1 Timothy we are reminded that the "love of money is the root of all evil." Sadly when it comes to money, or to the material, it becomes easy for us to be drawn away from our "first love." God had promised the Israelites everything and yet they were willing to throw it all away for the lust of earnings. They were willing to sacrifice to foreign idols in the hopes of getting something in return. Most every home had a threshing floor, the place in which they would bring in the crops and prepare them for use. The people remained unfaithful to their faithful God and instead of worshiping him where he required, or fulfilling the sacrifices as he desired -- they began to worship the foreign gods right in their own homes -- on their own threshing floors. God required that they bring a tithe to him -- and the people complained about this, while at the same time they would offer up the first fruits of their labors to the foreign gods on their threshing floors. Somehow they could not make the connection and they loved the "harlots'" earnings.



I'm wondering if we are able to make the connection today? What might we be sacrificing on the threshing floor of our daily lives instead of worshiping the true God? Let me touch on a ouchy subject -- but what about our recreation and our big kid toys? Do we give time and attention to them and then complain about what God might want from us -- because we really don't have enough left for him? In this way we are loving the "harlots'" earnings -- the things the world has to offer and we keep giving them more and more in the ordinary places of life, all the while ignoring the Temple and the worship of God. It all happens so easily and innocently but one day we wake up and we are like the Israelites. We have traveled far away from God and we are surrounded by the things that we have accumulated but in the midst of those things, we can no longer find God. He is long gone while we have "made love" with the things of this world.

Our relationship with God is designed to be an intimate relationship of fidelity; it takes sacrifice and self-discipline just as any kind of relationship that is of any value does! When we remain faithful in an intimate relationship with our Creator, we get to feast on the earnings which come from him. Those earnings and good for us -- they are pure and will not create any type of corruption. They may seem innocent to the world, but they are so much better for us, but if we succomb to the earnings of the world, the end result will result in separation from our beloved. To whose earnings are we being drawn?



Lord, please place your hedge of protection around us and our relationship with you. Amen.


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