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It is written:
Psalm 115:8-Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them.
Psalm 135:18-Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them.
When Hosea wrote to the people of Israel, they were pretty misguided.
There were some who worshipped the god known as Baal.
Who was this?
“In later days Baal, in his incarnation as Baalshamen, or Baal Shamim, was identified with the god Zeus, head of the Greek pantheon. An ancient Nabatean text says this: …they regarded as god the lord of heaven, calling him Beelsamen, which is in the Phoenician language “lord of heaven,” and in Greek “Zeus.” 2 Syriac writers referred to Baalshamin as Zeus Olympios. Both gods appeared as idols standing in the same position, with arms lifted up and ready to hurl a thunderbolt to the earth. Zeus was presented as Zeus Belus, and Jupiter as Jupiter Belus, which could be translated respectively as “Zeus Baal” and “Jupiter Baal.”” (Jonathan Cahn, The Return of the Gods, 33 (Kindle Edition); Lake Mary, FL: FrontLine)
It is in this context that Hosea says something very interesting:
Hosea 9:10-I found Israel Like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor, And separated themselves to that shame; They became an abomination like the thing they loved.
Notice that last phrase in the verse, “they became an abomination like the thing they loved.” Notice how this is rendered in the Easy To Read Version:
Hosea 9:10 (ERV)-At the time I, the Lord, found Israel, they were like fresh grapes in the desert. They were like the first figs on a fig tree at the beginning of the season. But when they came to Baal Peor, they changed. So I had to cut them off like rotten fruit. They became like the terrible things that they loved.
There is a direct correlation between what people worshipped, and what the people became.
“It shook the structure of the covenant to its very foundations and for a reason that Hosea explains: the character of the one whom we worship rubs off on us. The abominable imposter who purported to love Israel (the Heb. verb form for love is active not passive; thus, as Andersen has noted [p. 536], it is the Baal’s love for them not theirs for Baal that is featured) has infected them with his detestable qualities (for the Heb. word siqqûṣ , cf. Jer. 4:1; 7:30; 13:27; 32:34; Ezek. 5:11; 7:20; 11:21; 20:30; 37:23). The Hebrew language is hard-pressed to come up with a more degrading term to describe the depths to which Israel’s initial and continued contact with Baal had lowered them.” (David Allan Hubbard, TOTC Hosea (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries), 2708-2713 (Kindle Edition); Nottingham, England; Inter-Varsity Press)
We will inevitably take on the characteristics of that which we love.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
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