Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In the Pleasant Shade of Oaks, Poplars, and Terebinth Trees

The Minor Prophets Speak to Today

In the Pleasant Shade of the Oaks, Poplars, and Terebinth Trees

Hosea 4:13 NLT 

They offer sacrifices to idols on the mountaintops.
    They go up into the hills to burn incense
    in the pleasant shade of oaks, poplars, and terebinth trees.
“That is why your daughters turn to prostitution,
    and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
money  adrenaline  sensuality  sports  comfort  ease  power  fame  independence  escape
The Cultural Values that
 Have Made American Christians
unfaithful to their God.

The Message (MSG)

They Make a Picnic Out of Religion

Hosea 4:11-14 “Wine and whiskey
    leave my people in a stupor.
They ask questions of a dead tree,
    expect answers from a sturdy walking stick.
Drunk on sex, they can’t find their way home.
    They’ve replaced their God with their genitals.
They worship on the tops of mountains,
    make a picnic out of religion.
Under the oaks and elms on the hills
    they stretch out and take it easy.
Before you know it, your daughters are whores
    and the wives of your sons are sleeping around.
But I’m not going after your whoring daughters
    or the adulterous wives of your sons.
It’s the men who pick up the whores that I’m after, 
 a stupid people, ruined by whores!


It's not all about sex!

A review of last week's post lists the "pleasures" which have become our American idols. These are the pleasant trees we sit under and which have become the picnic spots which have become our replacements for the shadow of the Most High God.

In our American culture, the false worship of these has lead to the same result as when the Israelites adopted man made gods. Each idol has come to have a deep connection to "sexual liberation." In America the pursuit of money,  adrenaline,  sensuality,  sportscomfort,  ease,  power,  fame,  independence,  and escape have yielded the same fruit as unfaithfulness to God always does — a downward spiral to whoring daughters and adulterous wives.

Watch out American church! 
In our congregations these idols have replaced pursuing God and become the focus of our bible studies and many sermons. Already sexual decay has set in among us. In too many denominations our daughters and wives participate in the free sexuality of our culture. If we do not return to our God, there will be no difference between secular culture and church culture except our religious trinkets and forms of practice. 
It does not have to be so.

Photo Credits:
I love my Life: Oak Tree Picture 

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