Thursday, May 04, 2006

An Unwise Exchange

The book of Hosea details the unfaithfulness of the nation of Israel and describes the punishment of God. All the while, God’s faithfully loves the Israelites despite their rejection of the one true God.

Hosea 4:7 states, “The more the priests increased, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful.”

This verse paints the picture of the Israelites, and I believe serves as a warning for us today.

Despite more spiritual leaders (priests), the Israelites sinned even more. They exchanged the glory of God and the worship of the one and only God for something else. They gave up the best and pursue disgrace. They gave up first class to travel by foot. They gave up true riches for poverty and shame.

Where do we exchange the glory of God for something far less? How does this passage apply to us today?

This week I saw the headline of an article that said Internet use can lead to self-destructive behavior. The article focused on one particular self-destructive behavior, but I see how it leads to many. Hours spent surfing can lead to a neglect of important relationships. Sitting in front of a computer for countless hours can result in poor physical health. The ever present temptation to view inappropriate images can lead down a slippery slope into more and more sin. Joining exclusive Internet groups (like MySpace) can lead to gossip and compromise. The Internet is one arena where we have the potential to either glorify God or exchange his glory for a disgraceful lie.

What are other areas? Here are a few: athletics, musical gifts, friends, money, music, friends, movies, cars, girl friends or boy friends, sleep, etc… Is there any area in your life that you have exchanged the glory of God for something less? Is there any aspect of your life where you pursue something or someone to the neglect of God?

If you are like me, you will easily identify multiple areas of compromise? Due to our natural sinful nature, we will worship ourselves, our possessions, or our friends when we should be worshiping God. The first step in change is to confess to God our sin and experience his wonderful forgiveness and power to change. Then talk about this with someone wiser and more godly than you – a parent, pastor, or godly friend. Explain your situation and ask for help.

Let’s commit today to hold fast to the glory of our God. Let’s strive to pursue him first and foremost. Let’s aim to never exchange his glory for something or someone else.

1 comment :

Randy Signer said...

Hey, I'm Randy Signer & I really like your article about the unwise exchange; I can fell into that trap; can you write a Part 2? I may connect you to my site; can you connect me to yours, please???