Friday, November 4, 2022
I was touched by the beautiful imagery of the LORD calling to Israel as a child. Teaching him to walk and taking him into His arms. Here the LORD is also leading with kindness and bonded to His people in love. And I can just imagine a compassionate care taker releasing an animal from its burden-taking off the bridle and bit to allow the animal to freely eat and drink. The love and compassion of God are so evident in these passages. But Israel’s obstinance is also evident. These collections of poetry are calling out again to the people. Turn to God, do what is right and be saved. God desires for people to come to Him to be healed, forgiven and saved, but as we have seen over and over, the people continued to reject Him.
We are told what the result is, “Because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore, the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes (4:1-3a)”. It is disturbing that this scripture could be describing parts of our own country today. But the poetic words of the prophet Hosea still speak through this book. Telling us about the LORD’S perfect character and His justice. We still hear a main theme of not rejecting, but accepting and remaining faithful to our God. How horrible to become stubborn and self-willed against the Only True Living God. That is a place that we never want to occupy. Unfortunately, I know that we could name some individuals who have turned away and have chosen lives that are in complete opposition to God. But we want to be those that faithfully hold to God. Hosea 14 describes it this way, “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, and the righteous will walk in them, but transgressors will stumble in them (v.9)”. Hosea explains that someday the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God; they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness. It is incredible that we can know, walk with, and most of all be in a loving relationship with Him right now.
- How is your nation like Israel? How are they different from Israel? How are you like Israel? How are you different from Israel?
- How would you describe God as a parent?
- How will you respond as His child? When have you been rebelled against Him? What is His desire for You?