When the prophet Hosea described the terrible harvest reaped as a result of dethroning God from His lordship and turning to the arm of flesh, he addressed a people whom the Lord had carried in His arms for years.

God had blessed and prospered Israel, giving them houses they hadn't built and vineyards they hadn't planted. He had raised up godly men to speak as prophets and had given the people clear words of direction—and for years the people had proven God faithful. They listened to His counsel, never turning to the flesh. When God spoke to them, they obeyed. And they were miraculously delivered from powerful enemies.

But now an apostasy had come over Israel and the Lord accused them of being guilty of a terrible wickedness: "They have deeply corrupted themselves . . ." (Hosea 9:9). "All their princes are revolters" (verse 15).

What was this awful sin they had committed? Was it drunkenness, sexual perversion, covetousness, adultery, murder? No, God said their wickedness was turning away from His counsel, ignoring His word and obeying man instead: "God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto Him" (verse 17). In God's eyes, the greatest wickedness a believer could commit is to no longer be dependent on Him.

The Lord was telling Israel, "You no longer put your trust in Me. I'm no longer your guide, your source of wisdom; now you're turning to the wisdom of man. You are running back to Egypt for help, back to the very place from which I delivered you. You have rejected My word and turned from Me."

A great Puritan prophet once wrote: "Pure power is never anxious for cooperating. It just demands." In other words, God does not say to us, "You do your part and I'll do mine. Just check in with Me occasionally." No! God is pure, raw power and He demands that we follow Him, first and foremost, in all we do. We are to be wholly dependent on Him and anything short of this maligns His kingship over our lives.