A friend and I were emailing about the Cross today and he wrote, “I had an atheist get angry with me one time and tell me… ‘At least I don’t worship a stick!'”
Which of course reminded me of my reading today where God tells Hosea:
My people ask wooden idols for advice;
they ask those sticks of wood to advise them!
Like prostitutes, they have chased after other gods
and have left their own God. Hosea 4:12 NCV
Wow. I never made the connection before. All through the Old Testament, God talks about how Israel and Judah committed adultery with their wooden idols, their sticks.
They couldn’t control the One True God, so they turned to sticks they thought they could control to get crops, to win battles, to meet their needs.
They worshiped sticks.
And so do we when we look for love in all the wrong places, when we stop trusting God and turn to idols to serve us, to meet our alleged needs. Like Adam and Eve worshiped the stick that bore the forbidden fruit.
We worship sticks when we serve “the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 1: 25b ESV)
We commit adultery against God when we become the hub of our personal universe, replacing Him in His rightful place at the center.
So God made a plan to help us get rid of our sticks. And here’s the connection I never made —
God’s plan included The Big Stick.
Not the stick that punishes us, but the stick that punished Him.
Now we can worship The Stick. The Stick of God’s redemption. The Cross. Not the Cross itself, but the God who punished His Son on The Stick to redeem His sons from slavery to sticks.
As John says in tonight’s reading:
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4: 10 ESV
God atoned for our treasonous sin of stick-worship by sending His Son to die on The Big Stick.
Today’s Readings: Hosea 3:1 – 4:19, Psalm 138:6-8, Proverbs 29:18, 1 John 4:1-21. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).