I recently saw part of an episode of The Sopranos. I wouldn’t normally watch a show like that because I don’t see any entertainment value in the lives of people who are so desperately far from God. But something that struck me about the show is how religion is woven through their lives, even in the midst of their crime, anger, hatred and promiscuity. In the episode I saw, a character went to confession and the priest offered him absolution. When another character died, the family turned to their priest for comfort.
It made me think of this passage. The women of Israel loved their families so much, they were willing to do anything to ensure their happiness – even abandon the worship of God for false gods. Like the women in the TV show, they refused to see the evil around them, as long as they had plenty to eat, were well off and had no troubles. They didn’t care that their worship was abhorrent to God. In fact, they gave credit for the good times to the goddess they worshipped. The men were involved too. They supported what their wives were doing.
Women tend to protect their families at all costs, but men participate. For many of us, family comes first and God had better come along or be left behind.
It makes me wonder what kind of sin my family tolerates. Have we corrupted the worship of the Lord in any way? Are we assuming our prosperity comes from something we do, instead of from the God who blesses us?
When things go well, I think it’s because I’m doing right, so I keep doing it. I don’t question what I’m doing. When things go badly, I think it’s because I’m not doing right, so I go back to what I did when things went well.
But that's wrong thinking. The good things are blessings from Him, not a result of my actions, no matter how religious. And the suffering is also under His control and I can’t make it go away by the way I worship.
God told the Israelites that He knew about their false worship and the other disgusting things they were doing. He was the One who sent the troubles to them as a punishment. He knows about my wrong thinking too.
God wants me to worship Him in truth and trust Him for the rest.