Hosea Explains Wealth Ignorance Perfectly

When I was a kid I had a friend who had everything: trampoline, pool, all of the latest video game systems, you name it. He was spoiled, and he acted like it. He never seemed to express gratitude or even acknowledge the source of his possessions. Now that I’m a dad, I try to be hyper sensitive to the issue, attempting to ensure my kids appreciate what they have and the value of gratitude.

Seth Sawyers (CC)

We’ve all seen the heirs and heiresses frittering away their family’s wealth, spending untold amounts of money on needless frivolties. In fact they’ve become sources of entertainment for the world, featured in tabloids and reality television shows. Their root problem isn’t spending, but rather a lack of appreciation for the amount of hard work required to obtain the wealth.

But this problem isn’t new.

The prophet Hosea addressed the issue of wealth ignorance with the nation of Israel. Although God had blessed the nation, the people quickly turned away from Him, neglecting to acknowledge the source of those blessings. As Hosea said, "S
he [Israel] did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal" (Hos. 2:8). 

Not only were the Israelites unappreciative and ignorant, they used the very wealth granted by the true God to worship a false god! In the Christianized West, it’s rare to see someone outright worship a false god. Instead, we tend to worship ourselves as gods. Maybe this self-worship isn’t conscious, but it happens. If you spend your every waking moment concerned with your problems or with your happiness, if you spend every dollar that comes your way on yourself, then it’s likely you are engaged in self-worship.

But when you acknowledge the source of your resources—God almighty—it changes how you spend those things. Suddenly tithing doesn’t seem like a burden, but a privilege. Spending time in service, study, or worship is an honor because without God, you wouldn’t have any time at all.

Every blessing you have—no matter how hard you work—is a gift of God. You may have planted the seeds, but He provides the rain.

If you've struggled in the past with devoting time to prayer and reading the Word, you might find useful a guide I've put together called How to Establish a Habit of Daily Quiet Time with God. This is the step by step process I use almost every day. The guide is free; just tell me where to send it:

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