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My Prophet Hat: Exchanged the Glory of God

This series of articles is taken from one book of prophecy named Hosea after its author.

Most of us have had to take something back to the store to exchange. Perhaps you bought those 34-inch pants ambitiously thinking they would fit, and they didn’t. 38 here I come. Rarely does it work in the opposite direction. However, when we do exchange something we hope we will get something better in the exchange. We don’t often tell someone that we will exchange our $20,000 Nissan for a $80,000 BMW. Even trade! On the New York Stock Exchange, we expect our shares will be traded for a profit. When we are in the business of “this for that” we risk ending up on the short end of the stick. When someone has the best why would they settle for less? Perhaps it is because they do not appreciate what they have until they lose it. That is the story of our lives too often.

Hosea said, “The more priests there are, the more they sin against me. They have exchanged the glory of God for the disgrace of idols.” (Hosea 4:7) This is like trading a perfectly tasty ice cream cone for a Styrofoam cut out. This is like sitting at the play table with your two-year-old who serves up plastic vegetables and we pretend to eat and enjoy them. This same two-year-old won’t touch the real thing. Why does man often prefer the fake over the real? We are opting for virtual experiences these days. We exchange real, close and personal relationships for an online chat with a stranger that may not be Sally at all, but Willie. We exchange whole and natural food for chemical loaded “food.” We exchange online worship for in-person experience. We call all these exchanges trade-offs.

Hosea’s priests were guilty of the same thing as Paul’s Gentiles were. Speaking of the Gentiles Paul wrote, “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” (Romans 1:22-23) Let me translate. They were swapping the True and Living God out for an artificial bug. Today we are exchanging real intelligence for AI. Women and men are exchanging their natural beauty for photo-shopped beauty. Job seekers are exchanging their true work record for a padded and spun up resume that is more rhetoric than substance. Date-seekers are posting enhanced versions of what they wished they were to try to attract a partner who wants to believe in their illusionary mind that they qualify to date the perfect-in-every-way man or woman. We are becoming a nation of posers. What you see is not what you get. We are too often knock-offs of the real thing. So, in such a society why not fashion God into our already fake-fashioned images? We image the image of our best self and seek to worship a god who is just like me. If we are non-judgmental accepting everyone’s life choices as okay, then let’s worship that kind of God. Recently someone told me they really could get into following Jesus (the church not so much) since Jesus was all about love and turning the other cheek, until I told them that Jesus spoke more about hell than any person in the Bible. He wanted to exchange the real Jesus for a fake one he made up to fit who he wanted to be.

Our God is no return, no exchange, no refund, no money back, what you see is what you get. Take it or leave it. If you want to worship a bug then worship a bug, but don’t try to turn God into a bug. Don’t pretend that some lifeless thing has life. Don’t pretend that some evolutionary creature somehow has objective moral clarity. Don’t pretend that you, a creature, can refashion God, the Creator, into any shape you want. He shapes you; you do not shape Him. The nerve of these priests to treat God like modeling clay!

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