Words of Worth

“iDdicts and iDols”

January 28, 2017

Iddict: Someone who is addicted to any item of desire produced by Apple: iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iWatch.

 -Urban Dictionary

Phew! Since I am not an Apple product user I am safe from being an Iddict. Or, am I? Another definition of “Iddict”, according to the Urban Dictionary, includes addiction to anything that begins with the letter “i”. If so, I might be guilty of being addicted to 21st century renderings of Old Testament “iDols”.  According to the prophet Hosea, Israel and Hosea’s wife, Gomer, were guilty of idol worship (Hosea 4:2), mixing with foreign nations (Hosea 6:8), and demanding their own king (Hosea 8:4).  And for one red hot minute, I think I’m innocent of these “iDols” because really, when do I mix with foreign nations or demand my own king? Ah, maybe when I mix in with worldly ways and thinking, or maybe when I demand my own way.

Me thinks I am an Iddict after all and I need an intervention just like Gomer and Israel did. Maybe we can take a page out of Gomer’s backyard and apply it to our own.

When I was about 10 years old, I had an encounter with a rosebush thorn when I “demanded my own king”. I was trying to make my way to the backyard of my house by way of a path that my parents told me not to take.  Determined to have my way, I made the decision to squeeze between a trellis of rose bushes and our car to take a shortcut to the backyard. Only two steps into my disobedience, and with my back to the car and my face to the rosebush, a thorn pierced my right eye right on the edge of my iris.  I gave an award winning dramatic screaming performance to an audience of no one and covered the wounded eye with my hand, certain I was blind! By God’s mercy, I am not blind, but I do have red scar tissue on my eye that is a daily reminder of my disobedience and foolishness.

 

I thought of this trauma while reading Hosea 2: 5-6

5For she (Gomer) said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
    who give me my bread and my water,
    my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’
Therefore I (God) will hedge up her way with thorns,
    and I will build a wall against her,
    so that she cannot find her paths.

Gomer is an example of an Old Testament Iddict. She decided to have an affair and step out on her marriage to Hosea. She thought her lovers could give her something better than what Hosea had given her—food, clothing, and oil and drink which were pleasurable commodities of Gomer’s day (Hosea 2:5). However, God intervened by proclaiming He would hedge up her ways with thorns and build a wall against her. God was providing resistance to Gomer’s wayward decisions. Bad decisions lead to bad results. So God will block our way with thorns, which I am reminded of every day when I look into the mirror and see my right eye.

If you are an Iddict, as I am, you will at times seek satisfaction and identity in other people and things rather than being satisfied in your identity as God’s people. God will push against us out of protection and love for us. He throws the thorns and the walls up as a way of stopping us in our tracks when our “iddictions” lead us to choices, places, or people that will bring us pain or harm.

Sometimes our reaction to God’s resistance of our ways is anger and frustration. But God loves us too much to allow us to continue in sin and so He saves us from ourselves and our own bad decisions. How thankful I am when God saves me from my “self” and blocks my foolishness and disobedience and draws me back to Himself!

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