I’ve been reading Hosea for the last couple of weeks and it’s been both extremely fascinating and extremely troubling. And it’s been both for the same reason:
It gives us a eery glimpse into the dangers of abundance.
Hosea 10:1-2 give us a picture of what happened to Israel:
Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; as his country improved, he improved his pillars. Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt. The Lord will break down their altars and destroy their pillars.
God gave Israel great wealth and prosperity. And it seduced them. They had their fill—more than their fill—and they became comfortable.
They started to say for themselves, “We have no king, for we do not fear the Lord; and a king—what could he do for us?” (Hosea 10:3)
They became proud and they forgot the Lord (c.f. Deut 8:14).
And God tore them down.
He humiliated them, taking a great nation and making them a laughing stock. He tore down their pillars, destroyed their kingdom and sent them into exile.
Because God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
The great danger of abundance for us today is complacency and pride. That we’ll rely on our own abilities to provide for our needs, rather than on God who actually does provide it through the abilities He has given us.
That we’ll stop seeing the wealth He gives us as a gift to be stewarded and used for His purposes and begin building kingdoms for ourselves.
Wealth is good. Abundance is good.
But I can’t help wondering if having them shouldn’t make us a bit uncomfortable?