Ask students who grow up in the city “Where does milk come from?” and you can anticipate responses like “the grocery store” or “a milk jug.” The students who grow up on farms always get a good chuckle out of this. Doesn’t everyone know that milk comes from cows?
But, there is a real sense in which both those answers fall short. What’s really so funny about saying milk comes from the grocery store? For most of us it does. Sure there is a source that precedes the store. But if it’s funny to state a source that doesn’t go all the way back to the beginning, then it is just as funny to say milk comes from a cow. Where does milk come from? The right answer—the answer which we must know in our bones and must teach our children—is that milk comes from God. We read in Hosea 2:8 “For she [Israel] did not know That I [Yahweh] gave her grain, new wine, and oil, And multiplied her silver and gold—Which they prepared for Baal.”
Every blessing comes from God. And every blessing is only rightly used when it is offered up in thanks and used in the service of the giver.
When Hosea the prophet says “she [Israel] did not know” it isn’t because Israel wasn’t told the real source of her blessing—but rather that she forgot, she didn’t believe. And the moment Israel did that was the moment that her blessings began to be stripped from her. Where does milk come from? Getting the wrong answer here isn’t funny.
If you would like to have more of these thoughts unpacked from the command given by God in Deuteronomy 6:10-12, you can listen to the sermon “The Protestant Work Ethic” preached by Kenton Spratt on September 20, 2015 at Christ Church, Spokane.