Jon Brown

READ : Hosea 10

You have trusted in your power . . . (v. 13)

The dominant accusation throughout Hosea’s prophecy has been that the Israelites are idolatrous; they have placed their trust in something other than the living God. Their idolatry is like adultery against the one who calls them his own. The accusation finds expression in a single sentence in verse 13, “you have trusted in your power and in the multitude of your warriors . . . .”

The God who called them into being as a people, delivered them from slavery in Egypt, provided for them in the wilderness, and considers them his very own children, has been replaced in the hearts and minds of the Israelites by Assyrian strength and Egyptian resources. Idolatry.

I can’t read this verse without sensing that Hosea is no longer speaking only to the Israelites, but to me too. The finger of accusation has been turned and pointed in a more personal direction. How often are we guilty of trusting in temporal provision and worldly protection rather than in the Lord who gives those things?

Idolatry does not require a golden calf or a wooden statue; it can be much more subtle and thereby maybe even more dangerous. I find Hosea’s accusation to be a wake-up call alerting me to the dangers of subtle idolatries that exist in my own life. How about you?


One and only God, deliver us from evil and from idolatry. Amen.