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.

Humble Yourself, Listen and Learn

Humble Yourself, Listen and Learn

I have written about how the book of Proverbs is one of my favorite books if not my favorite book of the Bible.

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fool despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 3:7 – Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

I wrote down these two verses because they speak about something I feel strongly about, humility.

There is wisdom in the poetry of King Solomon that is unsurpassed in all works through the ages.

It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t believe in God, there is no denying the wisdom and life lessons in this book.  To pass it off as some mythical comic book hokum is foolishness and fits right into these two verses. Continue reading

What Has Been Will Be

What Has Been Will Be

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
    vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
    and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
    and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
    but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
    there they flow again.
All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has been already
    in the ages before us.
There is no remembrance of former things,
    nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be
    among those who come after.

My previous post, Vexation and Sorrow in Knowledge, dealt with King Solomon coming to the conclusion that setting your heart to understanding all of the things done by man is a sorrowful deal.  Here in these opening verses of Ecclesiastes, he tells us that all is vanity. Continue reading

A Time To Respond

A Time To Respond

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Those born in the 1950’s certainly recognize these verses as part of a Pete Seeger song made famous by The Byrds, Turn Turn Turn.  The song has been touted as an anti-war song.  King Solomon was not writing a song for the “peace movement” when composing these eight verses.  King Solomon was reminding us about the balance of the universe.  Continue reading

Solomon, Newton, Emerson and The Balance

Solomon, Newton, Emerson and The Balance

Proverbs 20:22

Do not say, “I will repay evil”;

Wait for the Lord and he will deliver you.

I read this proverb and thought about the balance of the universe.

King Solomon is telling us that evil will be repaid by the universe, there is no need to take matters into your own hands.  Especially since our response would be futile since we do not have control over the balance.  The balance is there, always has been and always will be. Continue reading

Humble Yourself, Listen and Learn

Humble Yourself, Listen and Learn

I have written about how the book of Proverbs is one of my favorite books if not my favorite book of the Bible.

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fool despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 3:7 – Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

I wrote down these two verses because they speak about something I feel strongly about, humility.

There is wisdom in the poetry of King Solomon that is unsurpassed in all works through the ages.

It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t believe in God, there is no denying the wisdom and life lessons in this book.  To pass it off as some mythical comic book hokum is foolishness and fits right into these two verses. Continue reading