Being Happy with Happiness

Why is that so difficult?

Hosea 8:1–6 (NKJV)

“Set the trumpet to your mouth!
He shall come like an eagle against the house of the 
Because they have transgressed My covenant
And rebelled against My law.
Israel will cry to Me,
‘My God, we know You!’
Israel has rejected the good;
The enemy will pursue him.

“They set up kings, but not by Me;
They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them.
From their silver and gold
They made idols for themselves—
That they might be cut off.
Your calf is rejected, O Samaria!
My anger is aroused against them—
How long until they attain to innocence?
For from Israel is even this:
A workman made it, and it is not God;
But the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.”

Time out. They made another calf-idol?

Of all the stupid things Israel might do, making another calf-idol is the one that has to be out of the question. They’ve done a lot of dumb stuff, but this is their signature “do not do this” thing. It’s like Japan bombing Pearl Harbor again. No way.

Yet, here they are being cut off for the idols they made. How can this be?

If you’re clinging to the hope that they didn’t actually do this—that “your calf is rejected” is just a figure of speech—give it up. 1 Kings 12:28 details how they made two gold calf idols.

The whole book of Hosea is a portrait of the lunacy of sin. The whole Old Testament is a portrait of the lunacy of sin. We’re seeing jaw-dropping stuff happen again and again because that’s the point.

Israel has rejected the good;

It’s like they don’t want to be happy.

Why do people so often seem to want to push their self-destruct button? When everything’s going good, we can’t seem to leave well enough alone. Lots of literature follows this theme. Here’s one.

There’s something going on here that lies at the heart of how sin ruins lives. It’s all rooted in how sin began—refusing to let God be god. Happiness, by itself, seems to make people stir-crazy.

We’re not happy with just being happy if we can’t control it.

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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.