Hosea 13:1 (KJV)
When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died.
Several companion passages come to mind:
Proverbs 16:18 (KJV)
Pride goeth before destruction, and
Luke 14:11 (KJV)
For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
What seems interesting is what might be called the pride of Hosea’s passage – “when he offended in Baal…” Cambridge Bible Notes claims that this is not the worship of the Phoenician god, but of ascribing to Jehovah the worship of the false gods of the northern regions. They had not technically abandoned the God of Israel; they had merely begun to worship Him the way the pagans had worshipped their false gods.
The destructive pride of Ephraim assumed that God could be pleased with a contemporary form of worship – one that was more like what the culture and norms of the location were used to.
Does this not seem to be the nature of worship these days?
- Missionaries often make Christianity fit in with the culture of the land
- Americans conform their services to the music, dress and visual preferences of the people they hope to attract.
It is pride that assumes God will accept it as genuine worship.
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Hosea 13:1 Worshiping the World’s Way
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