The DEEP

The Trap

Pride

Hosea 5:1-5 (ESV)

Hear this, O priests!
   Pay attention, O house of Israel!
Give ear, O house of the king!
   For the judgment is for you;
for you have been a snare at Mizpah
   and a net spread upon Tabor.
And the revolters have gone deep into slaughter,
   but I will discipline all of them.

I know Ephraim,
   and Israel is not hidden from me;
for now, O Ephraim, you have played the whore;
   Israel is defiled.
Their deeds do not permit them
   to return to their God.
For the spirit of whoredom is within them,
   and they know not the LORD.
The pride of Israel testifies to his face;
   Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in his guilt;
   Judah also shall stumble with them.

Israel’s infidelity trickles down, from the top (O priests), to the bottom (the revolters). But who are the revolters?

No one seems sure, though they must be revolting against the good. There’s also a lot of speculation over what it means for the revolters to have gone deep into slaughter. Whatever it is, it must be very evil. Some think it means child sacrifice.

But God makes it clear that his punishment will also range from top to bottom.

I will discipline all of them.

This is all rooted in the ultimate sin—pride.

The pride of Israel testifies to his face;
   Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in his guilt;
   Judah also shall stumble with them.

Yikes. Even Judah will be sucked into this nightmare.


No matter what goes wrong, everything always seems to trace back to pride. CS Lewis called pride “The Great Sin.” “It was through pride that the devil became the devil.”

Just think how insidious pride is. There’s no safe haven where pride can’t get in. No matter how good things are, no matter what you’ve achieved, you can always be proud of that.

And that pride is a greater sin than the failures you managed to avoid. Is there any way to avoid this trap?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. — Proverbs 3:5–6 (ESV)


All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

The Job book is on Amazon and is eligible for Amazon Prime. The Kindle edition will be out soon.

https://www.amazon.com/Higher-Purposes-Lesson-God-Job/dp/1684719534

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.