The wise ones in life talk about having balance. … .. having balance in life. This is a good reminder that life is not all one thing even though we often look at it as all one thing.
For example, if you like to ride your bike, it is not wise to get so consumed with bike riding that it takes over your life. It’s not all about bike riding. Substitute whatever you like to do in that “ride your bike” slot and the statement might become more real for you.
I think about this statement when I have a sewing project and a deadline for that project. I am driven. I want to complete all of the other tasks in remarkable time so I can get to my sewing project. I might even think that I don’t have to attend to the others tasks because it’s all about the sewing project. Even writing these last few lines makes me want to get to my sewing machine and finish the project I started a Spring or two ago.
It’s okay to set aside some time for a particular project, but when it becomes your every thing, or your only thing in life, your focus wanders away from the other pieces of your life.
Deep life happenings bring a journey inward to regain balance. Life is not all one thing. Not all good. Not all bad. Life is. God is.
4:11 “Wine and whiskey
leave my people in a stupor.
12 They ask questions of a dead tree,
expect answers from a sturdy walking stick.
Drunk on sex, they can’t find their way home.
They’ve replaced their God with their genitals.
13 They worship on the tops of mountains,
make a picnic out of religion.
Under the oaks and elms on the hills
they stretch out and take it easy.
Before you know it, your daughters are whores
and the wives of your sons are sleeping around.
14 But I’m not going after your whoring daughters
or the adulterous wives of your sons.
It’s the men who pick up the whores that I’m after,
the men who worship at the holy whorehouses—
a stupid people, ruined by whores!
15 “You’ve ruined your own life, Israel—
but don’t drag Judah down with you!
Don’t go to the sex shrine at Gilgal,
don’t go to that sin city Bethel,
Don’t go around saying ‘GOD bless you’ and not mean it,
taking God’s name in vain.
16 Israel is stubborn as a mule.
How can GOD lead him like a lamb to open pasture?
17 Ephraim is addicted to idols.
Let him go.
18 When the beer runs out,
it’s sex, sex, and more sex.
Bold and sordid debauchery—
how they love it!
19 The whirlwind has them in its clutches.
Their sex-worship leaves them finally impotent.
So, the words of the text today paint a crystal clear picture. Like Hosea’s wife Gomer, Israel had forsaken the true God and gone after idols. You will notice that God’s response was to Ephraim was to let him go.
What things have you learned about balance in your own life? When are you aware that you are way “too into” something? What things do you notice about friends or family members who seem like they’ve fixated on one thing in their life? In what ways did God bless you in the past week? In what ways have you felt close to God in the last week? Have a Day!!
In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you what they love about each of their family members
Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country:
Remember in Prayer: Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Carolyn & family, Dennis, Heidi, Barb, Sue, Michael Paul’s mother, Vivian
And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Edward, Doris, Angela
Prayer: Your love for us, O God, is amazing. We often take your love for granted. Help us in this day, in each conversation, in each glance into another’s eyes, to see you and to know you are with us. Help us exercise balance in our lives. Amen
Your E-Votional Servant
© 2016 Lucia Oerter
All rights reserved
The Message Bible – contemporary translation
A ministry at Pines Presbyterian Church, 12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX