Sin Altars

by D’Ann Davis

“Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning, they have become to him altars for sinning.” – Hosea 8:11

Matter of fact would be a good way to describe Hosea 8:11. In a verse that states the obvious, it is interesting how easily we can ignore its truth in our daily lives. The people of Ephraim, a tribe of Israel, had increased the altars they made to sin, and thus, unsurprisingly, they found themselves sinning.

We do this all the time in our daily lives, giving our flesh provision and then feeling we have been caught off guard when we fall into sin. We keep the contact information, visit that neighborhood, read that false doctrine, remove the filter from our computers, and then wonder why we cannot seem to overcome our fleshly battles. We are like our predecessors. Multiplying altars for sin in our lives, we sin.

Constant falls need not surprise us when this is our modus operandi. Frequent surrender to the flesh is to be expected when we leave the door open for sin, even if it is merely a toe in the door. Satan has a way of making a foothold out of a toe in the door. Thankfully though, we have a Savior who sought to save us from our half-hearted measures. In Him we find the grace to be freed from sin along with the thresholds that would lead to that sin. We have the grace to be above reproach. We have the power to overcome every obstacle between the Father and us. We have the freedom to choose Him in the matters of conscience and wisdom.

So in our fight for freedom, we can learn from the people of Ephraim. Remembering that making an altar for sin will lead to sin we can be better equipped to fight the good fight. Instead of worrying if we will have what it takes to overcome the temptation, when possible, we can simply remove the temptation. Matthew 5:6 tells us, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” When we want to do whatever is necessary to walk obediently before God, He will satisfy that desire and help us. So let us break down our altars for sinning and instead direct our hearts toward Christ, trusting that in Him, we can conquer both the temptation and what leads to it.

Dear Lord, please turn our hearts toward You and away from sin and the altars for sinning that will ultimately trip us up. Help us to find satisfaction in You and Your righteousness that we might walk in Your ways with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.