SCRIPTURE: Hosea 11:2 (TM)
But when others called him, he ran off and left me. He worshiped the popular sex gods, he played at religion with toy gods.
STORY written by Ray & Anne Ortlund:
Toad baked some cookies. "These cookies smell very good," said Toad. He ate one. "And they taste even better," he said. Toad ran to Frog's house. "Frog, Frog," cried Toad, "taste these cookies that I have made."
Frog ate one of the cookies, "These are the best cookies I have ever eaten!" said Frog.
Frog and Toad ate many cookies, one after another. "You know, Toad," said Frog, with his mouth full, "I think we should stop eating. We will soon be sick."
"You are right," said Toad. "Let us eat one last cookie, and then we will stop." Frog and Toad ate one last cookie. There were many cookies left in the bowl.
"Frog," said Toad, "let us eat one very last cookie, and then we will stop." Frog and Toad ate one very last cookie.
"We must stop eating!" cried Toad as he ate another.
"Yes," said Frog, reaching for a cookie, "we need willpower."
"What is willpower?" asked Toad.
"Willpower is trying hard not to do something you really want to do," said Frog.
"You mean like trying hard not to eat all these cookies?" asked Toad.
"Right," said Frog.
Frog put the cookies in a box. "There," he said. "Now we will not eat any more cookies."
"But we can open the box," said Toad.
"That is true," said Grog.
Frog tied some string around the box. "There," he said. "Now we will not eat any more cookies."
"But we can cut the string and open the box." said Toad.
"That is true," said Frog. Frog got a ladder. He put the box up on a high shelf.
"There," said Frog. "Now we will not eat any more cookies."
"But we can climb the ladder and take the box down from the shelf and cut the string and open the box," said Toad.
"That is true," said Frog.
Frog climbed the ladder and took the box down from the shelf. He cut the string and opened the box. Frog took the box outside. He shouted in a loud voice. "Hey, birds, here are cookies!" Birds came from everywhere. They picked up all the cookies in their beaks and flew away.
"Now we have no more cookies to eat," said Toad sadly.
"Not even one."
"Yes," said Frog, "but we have lots and lots of willpower."
"You may keep it all, Frog," said Toad. "I am going home now to bake a cake."
Temptation is a nasty business. The popular gods of the natives of Israel tempted the Hebrew children. Just some cookies tempted Frog and Toad. Temptations are easy to succumb to and much harder to fight.
We are tempted at every turn in this old world to leave our commitment to God and follow the easier path of the “sex” gods that surround us. When I read “sex” gods I read anything that feels good and demands our attention drawing us away from our first love, God.
And boy, can I relate to the struggle of Frog and Toad because I dearly love my Chocolate Chip Cookies… not one or two, but a dozen or more at one sitting especially with a big glass of cold milk! Even better is just to have the uncooked dough sitting in the refrigerator so I can take a big spoon full any old time. Not good. I cannot fight that temptation. Chocolate Chip Cookies are my “sex” gods.
Actually, anything chocolate could be classified as a “sex” god for me. The conclusion is that it is better for me not to even have anything chocolate in the house. It is just too hard to fight. The temptation is too hard. No matter how hard and loud I sing, “Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin…” if it is in the house it will be consumed. End of story.
Temptation is a nasty business. The popular gods of our land are constantly calling us by name… revealing their pleasures for us to see, smell, feel. Temptations are hard to fight. The fight is not easy and there are no easy solutions, but fight we must or we will be running after the many “sex” gods that our society offers.
Help us Lord to fight the temptations the demand attention. Keep us faithful. Watch over us. Help us to focus on your Kingdom.