As we reviewed the lessons from Maliyali, this past week we finished up the Old Testament and began the New Testament. As the OT closes, and we enter the NT,I really like how the Maliyali team described the religious situation in Israel. Now, instead of worshipping idols and false or foreign Gods, Israel had taken God’s law and made an idol out of it. Instead of the law revealing their sin and pointing them to God, the law had become their god. They no longer worshipped God out of love for all he had done for them in loving them and providing for them and rescuing them from sin. Instead they followed their own thinking. They developed a system of religion that enabled them to follow their own thinking instead of God’s. And instead of becoming humble repentant sinners, they became proud holders of the truth, while not living by it.
In the book of Hosea, God asks the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute in order to show a picture of how Israel was acting toward him. Here’s some verses that stuck out to me, in light of these thoughts.
- Hos 3:1 And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.
- Hos 4:1 There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land;
- Hos 6:4 Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away.
- Hos 6:6 I want you to show love not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings
What a contrast between what David says in Psalm 119:162-176.
- Instead of pursuing his own thinking, David loved the Word of God and pursued understanding. (Ps 119:162 I rejoice in your word like one who discovers great treasure)
- He longed to live in such a way that would enable him to praise God. (Ps 119:175 Let me live so I can praise you and may your regulations help me.)
- He lived out God’s desire in Hos 6:6 I want you to show love not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than i want burnt offerings.
David lived this way because he believed this was the safest place to live. Just like a child who comes to trust his parents instructions, Eph 6:1-3 says those who live that way will find that “things will go well they will live a long life.” David said, Ps 119:165 “Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble.”
As I think about how to frame these lessons, I really want to be able to paint a picture of what happened to Israel, and help them to see that their religious “faith” is the same. It has become a god / an idol that has replaced worship of the true God.