Rainbow’s End

Hosea 13:5-6 “I cared for you in the desert, in the land of burning heat. When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they became satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me” (NIV).

Observation: God had miraculously delivered Israel from Egypt’s bondage, preserved them through the desert’s dangers, and prospered them in Canaan. With increasing comfort had come pride, resulting in their forgetting the Source of their every blessing.

Application: Hosea describes an awful cycle, yet one that can capture us all if we are not careful. The desert experience had been summed thus by Moses in Deuteronomy 8:15–16: “He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat” (NIV).

Canaan had been their promised land, their rainbow’s end. After generous provision for vast numbers of desert wanderers over forty long years, they arrived at their land of milk and honey. There they had it all: their dream home on the lake, bulging IRAs, overflowing pensions, and garages holding each owner’s whim. Canaan was a remarkable place indeed. Deuteronomy 32:15 says that Israel “grew fat and kicked; filled with food, he became heavy and sleek. He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior” (NIV).

If ever passages held a mirror for a modern nation’s reflected gaze, these do. But more than Israel must here see themselves; like Snow White’s nemesis, I must confess that my own heart’s desire has too often been to peer into the magical mirror of a deceitful heart and hear that I am, indeed, the fairest in the land.

Matthew Henry’s commentary describes my dilemma perfectly when he said that when worldly prosperity feeds men’s pride it makes them forget God; they remember Him only when they want Him. The truth of that convicting statement feels like a heavy weight I must struggle against. The solution is not to pray for impoverishment, for even in that I can become prideful. Rather, it is to acknowledge daily my reliance upon Him and to so moderate my lifestyle that “more than enough” becomes a source of generosity rather than hoarding. I must live ready to step into His magnificent presence at any moment.

Prayer: Father, You are the Source of every good thing in my life. Keep me mindful of Your faithful provision. Cause my heart to become settled on the question, “How much is enough?”

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