My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staff gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore.
(KJV – …they have gone a whoring from under their God.)
They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is good.
I’ve been reading in the book of Hosea this week. Hosea is full of powerful, shocking imagery. This particular text interests me because it says that the people of God have left His shade for a lesser but more physically relatable worldly covering.
This is the essence of false, man-made religious practice in all its forms — including “Christian” forms: trading real, spiritual relationship and discipline for another kind of comfort that appeals to the senses, style preferences, or religious feeling and sentiment. Malleable, flexible, “reasonable” human devotion to those things we can see and feel WILL provide us a genuine sense of comfort and shelter for a time, and yet they can be as far from knowing God and walking in His ways as the starry hosts are from the dirt of earth.
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee… — Luke 1:35
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. — Psalm 91:1-2