Sunday, July 20, 2008

Defying God

July 20: Hosea 1-7


2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.”
Hosea 1:2

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
15 And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.


16 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17 For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. 18 And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. 19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.
Hosea 2:14-20

1 Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel,
for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land.
There is no faithfulness or steadfast love,
and no knowledge of God in the land;
2 there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery;
they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
3 Therefore the land mourns,
and all who dwell in it languish,
and also the beasts of the field
and the birds of the heavens,
and even the fish of the sea are taken away.
Hosea 4:1-3

1 “Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
3 Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”
Hosea 6:1-3

Defying God

Often times God used the prophets as living examples of the message He was sending to the people. This is the case with Hosea. God commanded Hosea to take a prostitute for a wife to illustrate the adultery of the nations of Israel and Judah, which prostituted themselves before the Baals of the land. As we continue through this book, we find that Hosea's prostitute wife was with him at times, but she also left him and continued her prostitution.

It is hard for us to picture God using a prophet to graphically display the Israelites' prostitution to them. But, Hosea is also used by God to show his incredible love for His people by having Hosea take her back and love her even after she had left him.

Just as in our day, we are constantly reminded of God's justice, but also His mercy, so we see this displayed in the book of Hosea.

18 And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. 19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.
Hosea 2:18-20

Even while Israel was sinning against God, He promised His faithful rescue of His people.

Hosea 6:1-3 again proclaims God's mercy to His people.

1 “Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
3 Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Does anything sound familiar to you in this passage? Look at verse 2:

2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him
.

We might have missed that prophecy of Christ's death and resurrection, but it surely must have come to mind to the religious leaders of Christ's day after His resurrection. Israelite children were schooled in the Old Testament Scriptures from the time they were quite young, so they would have been familiar with this prophecy from Hosea.

God has chosen to weave prophecy throughout the major and minor prophets of the Old Testament, so unless one puts them together, we can easily miss their significance.

Today, we live in a time when that prophecy was fulfilled almost 2000 years ago, and yet we still find that most of the world rejects Jesus Christ as the only Savior, as well as our only link to God the Father.

Pray today, that you will not find yourself defying God! It was a long time between Hosea's prophecy and its fulfillment, and then an even longer time until now. Just as that prophecy was fulfilled, so will every other Biblical prophecy be fulfilled.

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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