Devotional of the week: Pride (7 in Hosea series)

“Israel’s arrogance testifies against him, but despite all this he does not return to the Lord his God or search for him” (Hosea 6:7—7:1-16).

7234943784_35355aeb60_zSome of the passages in the Old Testament make for challenging reading, and this is another. Again we see more of the sins of Israel and Judah as they continue in their pride and self-centered living. The priests and leaders are singled out in their unfaithfulness, for they descend even to ambush and murder. When people give themselves over to other gods and become hardened in their arrogance, they seemingly descend to any behavior that they can justify – even the snuffing out of a life.

The people are so puffed up and so removed from a relationship with God that they tell themselves that God neither sees their sins nor remembers them. Their lies and pride have rendered them “easily deceived and senseless” (7:11) as they depend on earthly rulers for protection. Yet the God who made them yearns to save and redeem them. But they plot evil against him.

We might wonder how this passage applies to us today. For we, if we’re following Christ, aim to stay far from the sins Hosea lists, such as adultery, wickedness, prostitution, arrogance, deception, rebellion, ridicule… Perhaps, however, we can ask God through his Holy Spirit to shine his light on our hearts and minds today. Might we be harboring some domains of self-sufficiency, where if pressed we’d have to admit that we think we are responsible for our desired outcomes? Put differently, do we truly depend on God in all areas of our life?

Join me in inviting the triune God to bring forth any and all areas of pride that could be festering within our souls, that we might repent and be cleansed of our sins. For all that we are and ever hope to be flows out of his loving character.

For reflection: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

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