Selfish Expectations

Selfish Expectations

Hosea 13:5-6

It was I who knew you in the wilderness,
    in the land of drought;
but when they had grazed, they became full,
    they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
    therefore they forgot me.

These two verses touch on a number of themes. There is the balance of the universe, times of  little and times of plenty.  And the subject of how we tend to pray like crazy when things go wrong, but when times are good, we don’t give thanks or realize what we have.  But today these verses brought to mind the arrogance of man.

The arrogance of man, the pride and selfishness to believe that we are the universe.  The arrogance of our expectations.  If the outcome doesn’t fit our expectations then all that happens throughout the universe are just random acts that have no rhyme or reason.  So we believe that we are not responsible for the consequences of our actions.

Verse 5:

It was I who knew you in the wilderness,
    in the land of drought;

The Jews were lead out Egypt by God.  They wandered in the wilderness, and even though they were presented with miracles, they turned away from God.  During their times of hardship some thought it might be better to return to slavery. At least they would be given just enough food and shelter to survive.

Their arrogance and expectations not being met, made them willing to sacrifice their freedom for the comfort of the known.  The Jews were willing to abandon God just to be taken care of by an oppressor, even though it would be a sorrowful existence.  They were willing to abandon God because they did not like the consequences of their actions.

God wasn’t meeting their expectations.  The Jews must have thought; when we signed up for this freedom we didn’t think it would be this hard and require such a commitment.  To the Jews, slavery was better than dealing with hard times in order to get to the good times.  Their expectations were not being met and so God was to blame.

Their fortunes did turn around.  The good came after sticking it out for forty years.  But did they realize that through their work and the consequences of their actions, that the balance of the universe came into play?  Did they remember what brought them to the land of milk and honey?

No, they abandoned God in the good times.  Why think of God and give thanks for your blessings when you are not in want?

Verse 6:

but when they had grazed, they became full,

they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;

therefore they forgot me.

When things are bad we like to blame someone else, but when things are good we credit ourselves, admire our work and abandon God.  At that point we feel we have no need for God.  This is our arrogance and selfish expectations.  We fail to see the balance, the bad that will get us to the good, and the good that will take us to the bad.

What God has given us through prayer, thoughtful, honest contemplation and an open heart, is the ability to deal with and survive both the good and the bad, as we seek God and the path of righteousness.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Just A Feel Good Word

Just A Feel Good Word

Lamentations 3:34-39

To crush underfoot
all the prisoners of the earth,
to deny a man justice
in the presence of the Most High,
to subvert a man in his lawsuit,
the Lord does not approve.

Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
Why should a living man complain,
a man, about the punishment of his sins?

When I read these verses, I am reminded of the arrogance of man and so is Jeremiah who wrote these lamentations for Israel.  I am reminded of the arrogance of people who assume that all justice is defined as they see it.  I am talking about the arrogance of  those who think that punishment is to be doled out to their own sense of revenge.  The assumption that they are the sole proprietors of making the determination of the punishment to fit the crime.  People believe they are the center of the universe and therefore the balance is of their doing and it is to be to their satisfaction.  But we are only a mere sub atomic particle in the infinity of space.

Justice is very subjective.  Continue reading

The Arrogance Of Man

The Arrogance Of Man

Job 40:2

“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?

He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

Job and his friends are trying to find the answer to why Job, a very righteous man, has suffered horrific losses.  He lost all his wealth and possessions, his family has been killed, except his wife, and his body is covered in boils and sores.

Jobs friends are convinced it must be retribution from God for a great sin or sins.  Job is steadfast in his declaration of innocence and righteousness, and he is correct.  Job is convinced it is some horrible trick being played on him by God.  Throughout the Book of Job the men are professing to know why God has done this to Job.

Job’s friends proclaiming their knowledge of God demonstrates the arrogance of man. Continue reading

Power, Corruption, Sin, Truth

Power, Corruption, Sin, Truth

Jeremiah 26:10-11

When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the Lord and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the Lord. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”

What has Jeremiah said or done to make the officials of Judah want to have him perish?  Well, let’s look back at Jeremiah 26:4-6: Continue reading

They Deal With It.

They Deal With It.

Isaiah 1:2-3

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;

for the Lord has spoken:

“Children have I reared and brought up,

but they have rebelled against me.

The ox knows its owner,

and the donkey its master’s crib,

but Israel does not know,

my people do not understand.”

Isaiah was a prophet in the Old Testament who lived his life 700 years before the birth of Christ.  Isaiah is regarded as one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament because of his foretelling of Christ.  The best know prophesy from Isaiah would be 7:14:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 1:2-3 attracted me because of it’s reference to people rebelling against God because of their arrogance.  Isaiah writes that the people, who have been given this gift of life, now rebel against God.  God has given life to man, brought Israel out of bondage, removed those intent on destroying Israel, given them judges and kings.  God has given them all of this and prosperity and yet they turn to idols and false gods. Continue reading

The Trap Of Arrogance

The Trap Of Arrogance

Psalm 73:1-3

Truly God is good to Israel,

to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,

my steps had nearly slipped.

For I was envious of the arrogant

when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

This post is really about the entire 73rd Psalm but I thought its essence was captured in the first three verses.  As I read through the Book of Psalms, which is preceded by the Book of Job, I begin to realize how the lessons of Job were learned and written about by King David. Continue reading

The Arrogance Of Man

The Arrogance Of Man

Job 40:2

“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?

He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

Job and his friends are trying to find the answer to why Job, a very righteous man, has suffered horrific losses.  He lost all his wealth and possessions, his family has been killed, except his wife, and his body is covered in boils and sores.

Jobs friends are convinced it must be retribution from God for a great sin or sins.  Job is steadfast in his declaration of innocence and righteousness, and he is correct.  Job is convinced it is some horrible trick being played on him by God.  Throughout the Book of Job the men are professing to know why God has done this to Job.

Job’s friends proclaiming their knowledge of God demonstrates the arrogance of man. Continue reading