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Lance Ponder's picture

Seek but not find

Hos 5:5-7 The pride of Israel testifies to his face; Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in his guilt; Judah also shall stumble with them. With their flocks and herds they shall go to seek the Lord, but they will not find him; he has withdrawn from them. They have dealt faithlessly with the Lord; for they have borne alien children. Now the new moon shall devour them with their fields.
Thinking themselves wise for their prosperity and pleasures, Israel’s pride was obvious for all to see. Pride is when you think highly of yourself. When your opinion of yourself is high you tend to ignore your flaws and in so doing you become vulnerable and worse, blind to your own vulnerabilities. Pride, blind to vulnerabilities, results in a fall like a blind man unaware of a pit.
Although Israel broke away from Judah politically, the people still mingled sharing culture and heritage. Israel’s falling away from pure YHWH worship drew Judah down the same perilous road. Samaria fell in 722 BC and little more than a century later Babylon began the attacks that would eventually bring the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. When the attacks began there were religious movements, but in each case it was too little, too late.
This passage reminds me of Mt 7:21-23 where Jesus says some will call out to God but be rejected because their actions did not match their words. False doctrine, empty belief and pretension go hand in hand. Even the most seemingly noble actions may only be hypocritical whitewash covering the tomb of a dead soul.

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