Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Stinky Hearts and Circling Vultures

When the work of writing the Hosea study began, I didn't know how immense the effort would be, nor how many hours I'd spend over the next four months in studying and writing. As it turned out, I didn't know as much about Hosea as I initially thought I did.

To my surprise, I found that Hosea wasn't just a heartbroken husband. He was a writer who used numerous literary techniques throughout the book, including quite a few instances of agrarian imagery.

One of the word pictures Hosea painted was of a vulture circling the temple, drawn by the scent of death. It wasn't the scent of a rotting carcass that attracted the vulture. It was the stench of spiritual death in God's people.

The vulture analogy reminds us that we either emit an aroma of life or death. Of Christ or of the world. The aroma of Christ is a sweet-smelling incense to God. Not so the aroma of the world. 

We would do well to consider what kind of aroma our own life presents to our Lord. Do we offer the same sweet fragrance of Christ we once did? Has our faith diminished? Our obedience faltered? 

We seldom lose our faith all at once. Instead, we walk away from our Lord with one compromise at a time, usually in a slow meander of ever-increasing sin. The further we drift from Christ, the more we carry the scent of the world. 

Today, let's check our spiritual proximity to Christ. Are we as close as we once were? Are we as close to our Lord as we need to be?

If not, let's do what must be done. Admit our failure, ask for forgiveness, and open our Bibles. Let God speak to us through His Word and respond as He leads.

If we must emit a spiritual aroma, let's make sure it's the sweet aroma of Christ that draws people to Him.  

"For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;" 2 Corinthians 2:15 nasb
Here's a little extra vulture-info: 

Israel's vultures are a bit different from the ones we have in this country. They have Griffon Vultures. I wandered across a surprising article, and included it in the Hosea study because it was interesting. 

An Israeli Griffon Vulture was detained in Lebanon in early 2016 on charges of spying. I found this story fascinating. (The Vulture was eventually released.)


photo above courtesy of freeimages.com
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Miracle of Grace-Gifts
Here's the link to the prayer guide: The Prayer List 
Here's the link to my Global Outreach page: Leanna Hollis MD
#faith #sin