The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. 1 Samuel 2:7
READ: Hosea 4:17, 5:9
17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.
9 Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be.
Ephraim was once God's preference and a symbol of divine blessing. Genesis 48:20 says Jacob blessed Ephraim thus:
"....In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.”
David also went on to describe Ephraim as "the strength of mine head" (Psalm 108:8). Indeed, Ephraim was a beneficiary of divine blessings. How then did he now become an object of ridicule later on? The answer is in Hosea 4:17: Ephraim joined himself to idols.
Idolatry is the act of preferring any other thing to the Almighty God- anything, whether it is your culture, race, idea or achievement. Idolatry could also be an insatiable craving for material things of this world (1 John 2:15-17). When you begin to have an excessive desire for children, cars, degrees or anything else to the point that they become ' untouchables' to the One who gave you power to acquire them in the first place, then you are guilty of idolatry. This was the exact undoing of King Nebuchadnezzar as we see in Daniel3:3.
Years ago, a certain young man in my village would carry his bicycle on his head when he got to a muddy road, just to avoid the wheels becoming messy from the mud! He made an idol of the bicycle.
Idolatry is one of the arch-enemies of divine blessings. In Exodus 20:3, God warned the children of Israel against idolatry saying, "Thou shall have no other gods before me". However, when they became comfortable in the promised land, they joined themselves with the heathens to worship other gods. For this reason, they suffered servitude under neighboring kingdoms (Ezekiel 23:5-12). A nation that hitherto had been enjoying divine blessings became slaves all over again because of idolatry. This was what Ephraim did and his divine blessings became a curse as we see in Hosea 5:9.
The word of the Lord has come to you today: beware of idolatry! Put God first in all you think, say or do and you will not be a victim. Your blessings shall not be reversed in Jesus' name.
Father, please help me pull down every strange altar I have consciously or unconsciously erected to compete with You in my life, Home, business or ministry, in the mighty name of Jesus.