We become what we worship. This is a biblical principle and we see it displayed in this passage. God is bringing up Israel’s history of idolatry. I love the words used to describe their beginning, “grapes in the desert.” They started well. They were refreshing to God. Out of the entire world, they were a special people dedicated to worshipping Yahweh. But that changed. Israel abandoned their call and worshipped pagan gods of the nations around them. The poetic wording of Hosea describing this event should not be missed, “(they) became as vile as the thing they loved.”Throughout the Bible, God presents pagan idols as gods with no power – gods without ears, gods without eyes. Those who worship such things eventually become like them. They cannot see or understand, they become blind to the one true God. Their gods are evil beings (most with a demonic force behind them) and thus, in worshipping them, they become evil.
1 john 2:15 tells us that the world has a philosophy comprised of three all-consuming passions: pleasure, greed, and pride. These are the gods of American culture. Our society is filled with people who give their lives for more comfort, for more toys, and for more prestige. That is the bottom line for many of us because we think these things will make us happy. America loves pleasure. Why is it that the pornography industry makes more money than the NFL, NBA and MLB combined? We love greed – always thinking the next purchase will somehow add worth or enjoyment to who we are. We love pride to the point of becoming obsessed with what people say about us or who we can manipulate to do our will. The common denominator in these three things is extreme narcissism. Right and wrong are subjugated to whether or not it benefits us. We, not Yahweh, become the center of our universe.Seeking pleasure, greed and pride is antithetical to the kingdom of God. Jesus promises that at some point in time, we will be asked to step out of our comfort zone. At some time, we will be asked to give up some or all of our possessions. At some time, we will be asked to purposefully reject a position of power and embrace the role of a servant.
The beauty of this principle is that it works in a positive way as well. Yahweh is good. He is merciful and righteous. He is beautiful and majestic, benevolent and kind. When we worship Him, we become like Him. As we love Him above all else, His ways become our ways, His thoughts our thoughts. In listening to the all-wise one, we become wise. In loving the all-good, we become good.Humanity was made in the image of God. As we embrace the Son of God, we fulfill our calling to reflect the glory and character of God in our world. So let’s check our hearts. Take time to ask God to reveal to us what we truly love. If it’s not Him, let’s repent. Because we become what we worship.