O Israel, stay away from idols. I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me. – Hosea 14:8
God delivered another message of hope and reconciliation to the northern kingdom of Israel because they were the children of Jacob and were the chosen people of God, despite their rebellion and spiritual prostitution. He loved them greatly and wanted to keep a remnant of believers unto himself. Thus, he destroyed the vast majority of Israel but kept back those who would love him and worship him in spirit and in truth. God told Israel that he is the one who answered their prayers and cared for them. He is the one who provided them with the necessities of life and blessings he bestowed upon them.
God warned Israel to remain pure before him by staying away from idols. He is the Provider, he is the One who answers prayer, and he is the One who gives us what we need and want. What I hear God speaking to me today is this. When idols have a place in our lives, then he has taken a back seat. He no longer is considered by us as our Provider and Savior. He has been relegated to second fiddle. The truth is that God will not share his glory with another. If we make him second chair, then he will separate himself from us for the time being. He won’t leave us or abandon us, but he will resist the proud and give grace to the humble.
When we turn to God and trust and rely on him solely, we acknowledge his providence. When we obey him, he blesses us. When we look to him first above all else, he supplies our every need. We shouldn’t and don’t have to worry about what tomorrow brings. He will give us the food, clothing, and shelter we need in this life WHEN we seek him first. His word is true and can be trusted. If God said it would happen, it will happen. It might not always been when we expect, but it will happen. That was the problem Israel had in the past. They forgot to keep trusting God for their provision. They turned their hearts toward idols to provide for them, but they instead reaped God’s wrath and were sent into exile.
It’s best to learn to trust God and lean on him for what we need in life! It doesn’t get any simpler than that!
Father, I am still learning to this today to seek first you and your kingdom. I can’t provide everything I need in this life. I used to enjoy all the finer things of life and had no earthly wants. However, I’ve made some decisions in the not so distant past that has caused a change in life and resulted in me not enjoying those blessings that I once had. I am truly sorry for mishandling the past. I can’t change it, but I have learned from it. I have worried about the future because I lost sight of where I was going and who was my Provider. However, I have been coming back home to you and relying upon you to provide the basics of life. I don’t have the power to save myself or even provide the things life requires. I have to trust in you. Help me to find the way to seeking you and your kingdom above all else, again. In Jesus’ name, Amen.