…over and oveR and ovER and oVER and OVER AGAIN!
The children of Israel sin…
Hosea shows the love of God for His children, Israel. He also makes it clear just how far Israel strayed from God, from His commandments, laws and ways. I am reminded how much God loves me even though I strayed from Him again and again throughout my lifetime, especially in those years before knowing Christ as my Lord and Savior. I did not come to know Jesus until I was 45 years old. YET…no matter how often, how far, how deep the bride of Christ meanders from the Truth, the Way, the Life, God continually draws us back to Him.
Oh, God, please forgive me for the ways that I, too, stray from You, from Your Word. Thank You for loving me despite my faults, despite my sin.
And it shall be like people, like priest;
I will punish them for their ways
and repay them for their deeds. They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
they shall play the whore, but not multiply,
because they have forsaken the LORD
to cherish whoredom, wine, and new wine,
which take away the understanding. Hosea 4:9-11
I will return again to My place,
until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face,
and in their distress earnestly seek Me. Hosea 5:15
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with Me. Hosea 6:6-7
Although I trained and strengthened their arms,
yet they devise evil against Me. They return, but not upward;
they are like a treacherous bow; their princes shall fall by the sword
because of the insolence of their tongue. This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt. Hosea 7:16
For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.
The standing grain has no heads; it shall yield no flour;
if it were to yield, strangers would devour it. Israel is swallowed up;
already they are among the nations as a useless vessel. Hosea 8:7-8
But they came to Baal-peor
and consecrated themselves to the thing of shame,
and became detestable like the thing they loved. Hosea 9:10b
You have plowed iniquity;
you have reaped injustice;
you have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your own way
and in the multitude of your warriors, therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed,
as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle;
mothers were dashed in pieces with their children. Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel, because of your great evil. At dawn the king of Israel
shall be utterly cut off. Hosea 10:13-15
…a useless vessel….detestable…utterly cut off… Israel has shown itself weak in the sight of the Lord. He loves them, yet He turns His back upon them until they choose to return to Him wholly. I know God has wondered over me year-upon-year as I lived for myself, dependent on no one but me. I thought all was fine. Upon looking back at my life, I truly was lost. I did not know Jesus Christ. I worshiped false idols, betrayed the One Who created me, looked to my own self for the answers. In the Scriptures from Hosea here, do you see God’s love woven into the lives of His children? into their hearts? how He draws them back even when disciplining? God is so merciful. Even when we stray, He wants us to draw near to Him.
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:8-10
Father God, I pray that I humbly follow Your ways, Your commandments, Your path for my life. Thank You, Lord, for loving me when I did not. Thank You for guiding my path so that I would meet Jesus. God You are so beautiful. You care for me in the worst of times, the best times, and all the in between times. You are stern, yet gentle. You care so much about the bride of Christ, Your children, that You must discipline us so that we can come to our knees, seeking Your forgiveness. I am so thankful that You sent Your Son, Jesus the Christ to take my sins to the Cross for eternity. You drew me to You and rained Your forgiveness, love, and peace over me. I am grateful and love You for always. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Graphic: Hosea 4:6 – http://stepintothestory.ca
Graphic: Hosea 5:6 – https://biblepic.com/hosea/5-6.htm
Graphic: Hosea 7:10 – https://www.pinterest.com/cinnersaved/hosea/
Graphic: Hosea 8:7 – https://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/898-hosea-8/
Graphic: Hosea 9:10a – https://calvarydayton.com/sermons/hosea-09_01-11/