"For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be mentioned by name no more." (Hosea 2:17)
"You shall have no other gods before me."
"You shall not make for yourself an idol."
"You're going to have to serve somebody."
Do you recognize those statements? The first two are the first two commandments which Moses brought to the Hebrew people from the peak of Mt. Sinai. Those Ten Commandments frame and shape the relationship between the people and their God, Yahweh, as well as one another. Put God first and beware of those sneaky idols that can creep into life and replace God before you know it. Worship God alone!
That third statement above is a lyric from the Bob Dylan song, "Gotta Serve Somebody." Dylan, with the insight of a philosopher/poet, recognizes a very basic fact of human nature: no matter how strong or weak you are, no matter how rich or poor you are, no matter what your lot in life, you will serve someone or something. As Dylan says, "It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you're going to have to serve somebody."
At the time of the prophet Hosea, Israel had lost sight of those first two commandments and had been serving other gods - "Baals" - making offerings and giving worship to these foreign idols. Through the prophet, God, the God of Israel, calls the people to repent and promises a new start.
Our world today is not lacking in Baals. There are the usual gods of wealth, power and fame, but let us add political parties, social media, and even our own selves as we raise our personal opinions to hard and fast facts and our own private thoughts become unassailable truths. No, our world today is not lacking in Baals at all.
And we are mistaken to believe that these other gods will serve us well; that somehow they will bring us security and happiness and peace. No, they do not serve us at all. We serve them and in return find only discord, strife, and suffering.
May God remove the Baals from our mouths, too. May we remember the commandments and put God first in our lives. May we, once again, serve God and rediscover God's many blessings. After all, you know you are going serve somebody.
Worship This Week
No in-person worship this week. Instead, join us:
Sunday, October 4, 10am on Facebook Live
This Week: God's Gift of Love
"Living the Heart of Christianity"
Mondays, 7pm via Zoom
This Week's Topic: Bible
If you are interested, request the link
Keep In Prayer:
Our shut-ins: Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne