Desire: Yesterday was Election Day. The lines were long and the expectations were high, but what were we really voting for? What did we really want as we casted our votes? The prophecy of Hosea asks us, “What do your hearts desire?” This is an important question because our desires are the root causes of everything we do. For we always do what we most want to do. As Jonathan Edwards once wrote, “Free moral agents always act according to the strongest inclination they have at the moment of choice” . So what are our strongest inclinations?
Adultery: Throughout the Bible (and especially in Hosea), the Lord uses adultery to depict Israel’s turning from Him to love other gods. Adultery and idolatry go together because idolatry is spiritual adultery. Thus, through her idolatry, Israel committed spiritual adultery. And her adultery was heinous. She killed humans and kissed idols: “Now they sin more and more; they make idols for themselves from their silver … They offer human sacrifice and kiss the calf-idols” . The root of their sin was arrogance: “But I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; but when they grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me” .
Jesus: Today, the Spirit unifies the people of God under the new covenant. When we are born again by the Spirit, the Lord begins to change our hearts and desires. We cherish our idols – like money, sex and power – less and less as we cherish the Lord more and more. For God saved us by offering His Son as a human sacrifice. He bore the sins of all those who repent and believe in him. He was sacrificed so that we would never have to be.
Prayer: Lord, Although you designed community to be a wonderful expression of your love for your people, we recognize that community can also be a place where private sins turn into public sins. Together, we fail to remember what you have done for us and, as a result, our desires lead us to kiss idols. Save us from ourselves by the blood of Christ. For besides him there is no savior. Cause our hearts to desire him more and more. Amen.