You can't depend on anyone else.
You have to do it yourself.
You're the only one who has what it takes to get it done.
God helps those who help themselves.
How often do you hear things like that?
How often are you the one saying or thinking them?
This thinking is epidemic in our society. It's how we are taught to live.
Even in Christian circles, we think we have to do it on our own - that we can't even depend on God, if we'll dare to actually admit that. We might talk about God being our strength, but the reality of our lives says otherwise. We actually depend on ourselves, not God.
It turns out that Israel and Judah had the same problem. I've been reading the prophets this summer and that comes up over and over again, and they had consequences for that decision.
"But you have planted wickedness,
you have reaped evil,
you have eaten the fruit of deception.
Because you have depended on your own strength
and on your many warriors,
the roar of battle will rise against your people,
so that your fortresses will be devestated."
Israel and Judah began to depend on themselves and they paid for that. They discovered that depending on themselves rather than God was a costly mistake.
It's a costly mistake we always make. When we choose to depend on ourselves rather than God, it leads to our destruction as well.
Our strength isn't enough. Our strength won't stand.
Only God's strength is enough. Only God's strength will stand.
When I read these verses in Hosea, I read a warning God put there for a reason. God wants to spare us the pain and anguish Israel and Judah went through. We can learn from their mistake and choose to depend on God rather than our own strength.
Who are you depending on?
Whose strength do you turn to first? God's? Or yours?