Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I wouldn't stand too close to that wall

The Word for today:
Hosea 9, 10
mark this: Hosea 10:1/MSG
Israel was once a lush vine, bountiful in grapes. The more lavish the harvest, the more promiscuous the worship. The more money they got, the more they squandered on gods-in-their-own-image. 
I have a confession to make: I sometimes cheer against the stock market.
Not always, and not without regrets, but it sometimes seems to me that the greater our material blessings have been, the further and further we've gotten from God. Our laws have wandered shockingly far from his laws. We now flaunt our evil.
I, like you, have vested interests in those markets. My "retirement" funds are, so they tell me, in a computer somewhere on Wall Street. I've got kids who will live their lives amidst the economy I'm cheering against. I've got friends who are living paycheck to paycheck, and many others who are out of work.
But for all of that, there's still something deep inside that wants to see the two great, iconic American idols--the '$'' and the 'I'-- fall down.
The '$' and the 'I' are deeply entwined. The almighty dollar and the almighty self work hand in hand to keep each other propped up:
The more money they got, the more they squandered on gods-in-their-own-image. (Hosea 10:1/MSG)
Despite what the TV preachers might tell you, the Bible does not teach a prosperity gospel: Job was blessed with deprivation, while the rich young ruler's wealth kept him from following Jesus. (1)
Psalm 106:15 bluntly states that God can judge a nation by inflicting prosperity upon it:
He gave them exactly what they asked for-- but along with it they got an empty heart.
The twin pillars--$ and I--that hold up the American Temple once seemed impossible to topple. But certainly they don't seem that way anymore. So I wouldn't stand too close to that wall--the one with the handwriting on it.
(1) Mark 10:17-22

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