I was reading through the last few chapters in Hosea this morning. I don’t really know a lot about the prophets, but I figured Hosea was a good place to start learning. I read chapters 12,13,& 14 today.
My understanding of the book is basically this – God has trust issues. He longs for us to trust only in him.
I think it is easy for us to sidestep some key passages as if they don’t apply to us. For example, Hosea 14:3 says, “Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount war-horses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made…” Now wouldn’t it be easy to make an assumption of the text here, that “we don’t make idols with our hands and call them ‘Our gods’ But is Hosea being literal here? Look at what precedes this sentence, “Assyria cannot save us, we will not mount war-horses.”
Could it be that Hosea is referring – NOT to a literal idol made with hands, like a shrine or golden calf – but to a nation-state, built on human ideals, causes, and reasons? I say this because of the bold appeal by Hosea for God’s people to repent of their sins and proclaim “Assyria cannot save us!”
Lee Camp has a chapter in his book Mere Discipleship called “Why Disciples don’t make Good Americans, or Germans, or Frenchmen.” I think there is some truth in this – While God has established authorities, principalities, and powers for this world, He has also given them a sphere in which to operate. Jesus makes this clear in his conversation with Potius Pilate in John 18:10-11.
Pilate says, “Don’t you realize that I have power over you to either crucify you or set you free?”
Jesus replies, “You would have no power… were it not given you from above.”
Talk about getting put in your place! And I say that to reinforce my belief that we respect and honor the authority given the government from above, but we put no trust in it to rescue us or this world from ANYTHING.
People are looking to politics, and always have, to save the world. They look to the nation-state for help. “If we just bombed this country or kill all the terrorists…” or, “If we’d just enforce this policy or that one…”
Then what? The terrorists children will remember who killed their fathers? The policies of a state bring salvation and hope to the lost? NO! Our only hope is in God.
So I offer this prophetic voice to American Christians who look to and trust the political powers of this world to bring about real change – “Turn away from your sins and look to God. Trust in Him alone! America cannot save us! We will not mount war-horses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made.”
God has trust issues. He takes issue with every worshiper of His who serves another master – with every believer who trusts ‘Our gods’