Beware what ‘gods’ you choose for you will surely become like them (5b). Look at the life of someone who has lived for drugs, or alcohol, or sexual promiscuity, or some other ‘idol.’ See what they become. Ask yourself if their idolatry does anything good for them. Our ‘’worthless’’ idols have lying spirits behind them. They deceive us. They persuade us that they have things of worth to offer; but in the end they destroy.
In this case a corrupt, rebellious and backslidden religious leadership had encouraged the people down the road of idolatry. So many of the people in the pulpits were not prayerful, and in fact did not know God (8). There is nothing new about such a situation where we find it today – and we do. We cannot over emphasise how serious a situation it is where leaders in the church do not know the Lord; do not love Him and honour Him and preach His truth.
As I read today’s passage it seems to me that the major sin at the core of it is ingratitude. Thankfulness is really important in everyday life. It oils the wheels in social interactions. As children, it was drummed into many of us to always say ‘thank you’. We knew it was non-negotiable. It was impressed upon us. After Christmas and birthdays we had to write ‘thank you’ notes. There was no choice in the matter. I perceive the danger of a generation rising up that feels entitled and is generally reticent (or ignorant?) when it comes to expressing thanks. Of course, this is not true of all. It may not be even true of many. But I think I can detect a change in the air regarding basic good manners. We even find it in the church (where it should not be found!) It’s important that we don’t become like the unthankful lepers.
Of course, much more serious than a lack of appreciation towards each other, is a lack of gratitude towards God. That was the big sin here. God had been so good to His people, but they acted in a most ungrateful manner.
Take time to thank God today for your blessings; thank Him for all He’s done for you.
But don’t forget to thank His people too. Is there someone you should show appreciation to in some way?
Prayer: Help me, dear Lord, to cultivate an ‘’attitude of gratitude’’.