“The Lord says, ‘O Israel, when I first found you, it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert. When I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season. But then they deserted me for Baal-peor, giving themselves to that shameful idol. Soon they became vile, as vile as the god they worshiped.’ ” (9:10)
Recently, my husband and I went wine tasting at a vineyard. We wandered around the property a little bit, and couldn’t help but get a closer look at the vines. They were heavy with grapes, it was harvest time and they couldn’t have been more plump. We plucked a couple right off the vine and popped them in our mouths. Have you ever had a grape like that? It was tender, breaking open as soon as it touched my teeth. And so juicy and delicious.
God compares Israel to enjoying refreshing, ripe grapes in the hot sun. They were a treat! Something life-giving and enjoyable. How did they get accused of being vile within the same sentence?
(I looked up some of the worship rituals of Baal and wow, vile is an understatement. My stomach is still in a knot and I don’t think I’ve read the word “defecate” so many times in a paragraph.)
Where do you fall on this spectrum right now? Does God consider your relationship with him enjoyable?
Or have you given yourself over to pagan “rituals and worship” of culture? Sometimes you have to step back and gain perspective on behavior that seems normal and okay. Maybe even things you participate in church.
Reflect on the way you worship today.