“I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes.” Hosea 13:14 NKJV
Let us start today with the GLORIOUS REDEMPTION OF GRACE!!! Because today’s reading takes us on a whirlwind of emotions. Have you ever loved someone so broken, they thought they loved you back, but what they offered you was nothing shy of toxic – they betrayed your heart and sore they had no idea and swear they aren’t wrong.
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is from the book of Hosea chapters 8-14 (embedded below the image below for your convenience). And as we spoke of yesterday, God had instructed Hosea to marry a woman he wasn’t equally yoked with. This is NOT something God does regularly – actually it is the only recorded case of this being God’s will. As Israel betrayed God, and Hosea’s wife betrayed him – God and Hosea both hurt, wept, cried out in anger and sadness and all the emotions – so many complicated and messy emotions.
We are created in God’s image with all of his messy emotions. God did not have to wait until he became man (in Jesus) to experience this… but he DID need Israel to wake up and understand that He has feeling and He was hurting! So He used Hosea as an object lesson – man could relate to another hurting man (at least humans used to be able to do this, I am not sure we know how to relate to each other’s pain anymore). But we can relate to our own pain, our own experiences with rejection, our own struggles with being cheated on, betrayed or otherwise replaced. So we know how Hosea feels… and God speaking through Hosea, we can also understand. We are angry and want to pour out the wrath of hell on them, sometimes, while other times we just want to hold them one more time and say “I love you” and hope it makes some sort of magical difference in our situation. And after we read the ups and downs of all the emotions – God shows us Jesus on the cross/death/resurrection – more over the transforming work of grace! Grace of overcoming the power of the grave and my redemption. Your redemption. Brilliant and glorious in the opening verse today!
But God’s promises are always exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think so he goes on to say:
“4 “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; He shall grow like the lily, And lengthen his roots like Lebanon. 6 His branches shall spread; His beauty shall be like an olive tree, And his fragrance like Lebanon. 7 Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; They shall be revived like grain, And grow like a vine. Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.” Hosea 14:4-7
Healing – backsliding need healing. Think about that when you see the next backslider come home. They are carrying wounds they need to heal. Offer comfort.
Also realize we all need healing when we first come to Christ. In our modern world of medicine – we lack understanding of healing. If a modern doctor cannot fix it we assume it cannot be fixed is the mind set of our world. But God says there is a lot more to heal than our modern age recognizes and God is going to heal it. Only God can heal it. Man cannot heal and refuses to even acknowledge the existence of so many of the things we need healing from. It is promised though.
So maybe it is time to seek God’s heart like David and understand like Hosea – the many complicated emotions of God and in developing our relationship with Him, maybe we should sit and cry with Him for the broken. For those who hurt us. For those we in our own broken state have hurt. Maybe it is time to shed our pretention, at least alone in prayer with God and ask to feel what He feels – then spend time with Him feeling it. Get to know God on a very personal and intimate level.
“9 Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right; The righteous walk in them, But transgressors stumble in them.” Hosea 14:9
God hurts – like we have hurt. He gets it. This must be why He promises to always be close to the brokenhearted. Because it is a feeling He know too well and know we all need comfort in that moment.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: James 4:7
NKJV – “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
NAS – “Submit therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
ESV – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
NLT – “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
NIV – “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Hosea 8-14 NKJV
The Apostasy of Israel
8 “Set the [a]trumpet to your mouth!
He shall come like an eagle against the house of the Lord,
Because they have transgressed My covenant
And rebelled against My law.
2 Israel will cry to Me,
‘My God, we know You!’
3 Israel has rejected the good;
The enemy will pursue him.
4 “They set up kings, but not by Me;
They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them.
From their silver and gold
They made idols for themselves—
That they might be cut off.
5 Your [b]calf [c]is rejected, O Samaria!
My anger is aroused against them—
How long until they attain to innocence?
6 For from Israel is even this:
A workman made it, and it is not God;
But the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.
7 “They sow the wind,
And reap the whirlwind.
The stalk has no bud;
It shall never produce meal.
If it should produce,
Aliens would swallow it up.
8 Israel is swallowed up;
Now they are among the Gentiles
Like a vessel in which is no pleasure.
9 For they have gone up to Assyria,
Like a wild donkey alone by itself;
Ephraim has hired lovers.
10 Yes, though they have hired among the nations,
Now I will gather them;
And they shall [d]sorrow a little,
Because of the [e]burden of the king of princes.
11 “Because Ephraim has made many altars for sin,
They have become for him altars for sinning.
12 I have written for him the great things of My law,
But they were considered a strange thing.
13 For the sacrifices of My offerings they sacrifice flesh and eat it,
But the Lord does not accept them.
Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.
They shall return to Egypt.
Judgment of Israel’s Sin
9 Do not rejoice, O Israel, with joy like other peoples,
For you have played the harlot against your God.
You have made love for hire on every threshing floor.
2 The threshing floor and the winepress
Shall not feed them,
And the new wine shall fail in her.
3 They shall not dwell in the Lord’s land,
But Ephraim shall return to Egypt,
And shall eat unclean things in Assyria.
4 They shall not offer wine offerings to the Lord,
Nor shall their sacrifices be pleasing to Him.
It shall be like bread of mourners to them;
All who eat it shall be defiled.
For their bread shall be for their own life;
It shall not come into the house of the Lord.
5 What will you do in the appointed day,
And in the day of the feast of the Lord?
6 For indeed they are gone because of destruction.
Egypt shall gather them up;
Memphis shall bury them.
Nettles shall possess their valuables of silver;
Thorns shall be in their tents.
7 The days of punishment have come;
The days of recompense have come.
The prophet is a fool,
The spiritual man is insane,
Because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity.
8 The watchman of Ephraim is with my God;
But the prophet is a [h]fowler’s snare in all his ways—
Enmity in the house of his God.
9 They are deeply corrupted,
As in the days of Gibeah.
He will remember their iniquity;
He will punish their sins.
10 “I found Israel
Like grapes in the wilderness;
I saw your fathers
As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season.
But they went to Baal Peor,
And [i]separated themselves to that shame;
They became an abomination like the thing they loved.
11 As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird—
No birth, no pregnancy, and no conception!
12 Though they bring up their children,
Yet I will bereave them to the last man.
Yes, woe to them when I depart from them!
13 Just as I saw Ephraim like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place,
So Ephraim will bring out his children to the murderer.”
14 Give them, O Lord—
What will You give?
Give them a miscarrying womb
And dry breasts!
15 “All their wickedness is in Gilgal,
For there I hated them.
Because of the evil of their deeds
I will drive them from My house;
I will love them no more.
All their princes are rebellious.
16 Ephraim is stricken,
Their root is dried up;
They shall bear no fruit.
Yes, were they to bear children,
I would kill the darlings of their womb.”
17 My God will cast them away,
Because they did not obey Him;
And they shall be wanderers among the nations.
Israel’s Sin and Captivity
10 Israel empties his vine;
He brings forth fruit for himself.
According to the multitude of his fruit
He has increased the altars;
According to the bounty of his land
They have embellished his sacred pillars.
2 Their heart is divided;[j]
Now they are held guilty.
He will break down their altars;
He will ruin their sacred pillars.
3 For now they say,
“We have no king,
Because we did not fear the Lord.
And as for a king, what would he do for us?”
4 They have spoken words,
Swearing falsely in making a covenant.
Thus judgment springs up like hemlock in the furrows of the field.
5 The inhabitants of Samaria fear
Because of the calf[k] of Beth Aven.
For its people mourn for it,
And [l]its priests shriek for it—
Because its glory has departed from it.
6 The idol also shall be carried to Assyria
As a present for King Jareb.
Ephraim shall receive shame,
And Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.
7 As for Samaria, her king is cut off
Like a twig on the water.
8 Also the high places of [m]Aven, the sin of Israel,
Shall be destroyed.
The thorn and thistle shall grow on their altars;
They shall say to the mountains, “Cover us!”
And to the hills, “Fall on us!”
9 “O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah;
There they stood.
The battle in Gibeah against the children of [n]iniquity
Did not [o]overtake them.
10 When it is My desire, I will chasten them.
Peoples shall be gathered against them
When I bind them [p]for their two transgressions.
11 Ephraim is a trained heifer
That loves to thresh grain;
But I harnessed her fair neck,
I will make Ephraim [q]pull a plow.
Judah shall plow;
Jacob shall break his clods.”
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness;
Reap in mercy;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
13 You have plowed wickedness;
You have reaped iniquity.
You have eaten the fruit of lies,
Because you trusted in your own way,
In the multitude of your mighty men.
14 Therefore tumult shall arise among your people,
And all your fortresses shall be plundered
As Shalman plundered Beth Arbel in the day of battle—
A mother dashed in pieces upon her children.
15 Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
Because of your great wickedness.
At dawn the king of Israel
Shall be cut off utterly.
God’s Continuing Love for Israel
3 “I taught Ephraim to walk,
Taking them by [u]their arms;
But they did not know that I healed them.
4 I drew them with [v]gentle cords,
With bands of love,
And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their [w]neck.
I stooped and fed them.
5 “He shall not return to the land of Egypt;
But the Assyrian shall be his king,
Because they refused to repent.
6 And the sword shall slash in his cities,
Devour his districts,
And consume them,
Because of their own counsels.
7 My people are bent on backsliding from Me.
Though [x]they call [y]to the Most High,
None at all exalt Him.
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I set you like Zeboiim?
My heart [z]churns within Me;
My sympathy is stirred.
9 I will not execute the fierceness of My anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim.
For I am God, and not man,
The Holy One in your midst;
And I will not [aa]come with terror.
10 “They shall walk after the Lord.
He will roar like a lion.
When He roars,
Then His sons shall come trembling from the west;
11 They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt,
Like a dove from the land of Assyria.
And I will let them dwell in their houses,”
Says the Lord.
God’s Charge Against Ephraim
12 “Ephraim has encircled Me with lies,
And the house of Israel with deceit;
But Judah still walks with God,
Even with the [ab]Holy One who is faithful.
Ephraim’s Sins Rebuked by God
2 “The Lord also brings a [ae]charge against Judah,
And will punish Jacob according to his ways;
According to his deeds He will recompense him.
3 He took his brother by the heel in the womb,
And in his strength he struggled with God.
4 Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed;
He wept, and sought favor from Him.
He found Him in Bethel,
And there He spoke to us—
5 That is, the Lord God of hosts.
The Lord is His memorable name.
6 So you, by the help of your God, return;
Observe mercy and justice,
And wait on your God continually.
7 “A cunning [af]Canaanite!
Deceitful scales are in his hand;
He loves to oppress.
8 And Ephraim said,
‘Surely I have become rich,
I have found wealth for myself;
In all my labors
They shall find in me no iniquity that is sin.’
9 “But I am the Lord your God,
Ever since the land of Egypt;
I will again make you dwell in tents,
As in the days of the appointed feast.
10 I have also spoken by the prophets,
And have multiplied visions;
I have given [ag]symbols [ah]through the witness of the prophets.”
11 Though Gilead has idols—
Surely they are [ai]vanity—
Though they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal,
Indeed their altars shall be heaps in the furrows of the field.
12 Jacob fled to the country of Syria;
Israel served for a spouse,
And for a wife he tended sheep.
13 By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt,
And by a prophet he was preserved.
14 Ephraim provoked Him to anger most bitterly;
Therefore his Lord will leave the guilt of his bloodshed upon him,
And return his reproach upon him.
Relentless Judgment on Israel
13 When Ephraim spoke, trembling,
He exalted himself in Israel;
But when he offended through Baal worship, he died.
2 Now they sin more and more,
And have made for themselves molded images,
Idols of their silver, according to their skill;
All of it is the work of craftsmen.
They say of them,
“Let [aj]the men who sacrifice [ak]kiss the calves!”
3 Therefore they shall be like the morning cloud
And like the early dew that passes away,
Like chaff blown off from a threshing floor
And like smoke from a chimney.
4 “Yet I am the Lord your God
Ever since the land of Egypt,
And you shall know no God but Me;
For there is no savior besides Me.
5 I [al]knew you in the wilderness,
In the land of [am]great drought.
6 When they had pasture, they were filled;
They were filled and their heart was exalted;
Therefore they forgot Me.
7 “So I will be to them like a lion;
Like a leopard by the road I will lurk;
8 I will meet them like a bear deprived of her cubs;
I will tear open their rib cage,
And there I will devour them like a lion.
The [an]wild beast shall tear them.
9 “O Israel, [ao]you are destroyed,
But [ap]your help is from Me.
10 [aq]I will be your King;
Where is any other,
That he may save you in all your cities?
And your judges to whom you said,
‘Give me a king and princes’?
11 I gave you a king in My anger,
And took him away in My wrath.
12 “The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up;
His sin is stored up.
13 The sorrows of a woman in childbirth shall come upon him.
He is an unwise son,
For he should not stay long where children are born.
15 Though he is fruitful among his brethren,
An east wind shall come;
The wind of the Lord shall come up from the wilderness.
Then his spring shall become dry,
And his fountain shall be dried up.
He shall plunder the treasury of every desirable prize.
16 Samaria [aw]is held guilty,
For she has rebelled against her God.
They shall fall by the sword,
Their infants shall be dashed in pieces,
And their women with child ripped open.
Israel Restored at Last
14 O Israel, return to the Lord your God,
For you have stumbled because of your iniquity;
2 Take words with you,
And return to the Lord.
Say to Him,
“Take away all iniquity;
Receive us graciously,
For we will offer the sacrifices[ax] of our lips.
3 Assyria shall not save us,
We will not ride on horses,
Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.’
For in You the fatherless finds mercy.”
4 “I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from him.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
He shall [ay]grow like the lily,
And [az]lengthen his roots like Lebanon.
6 His branches shall [ba]spread;
His beauty shall be like an olive tree,
And his fragrance like Lebanon.
7 Those who dwell under his shadow shall return;
They shall be revived like grain,
And [bb]grow like a vine.
Their [bc]scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 “Ephraim shall say, ‘What have I to do anymore with idols?’
I have heard and observed him.
I am like a green cypress tree;
Your fruit is found in Me.”
9 Who is wise?
Let him understand these things.
Who is prudent?
Let him know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right;
The righteous walk in them,
But transgressors stumble in them.
- Hosea 8:1 ram’s horn, Heb. shophar
- Hosea 8:5 Golden calf image
- Hosea 8:5 Or has rejected you
- Hosea 8:10 Or begin to diminish
- Hosea 8:10 Or oracle or proclamation
- Hosea 8:14 Or palaces
- Hosea 8:14 Or citadels
- Hosea 9:8 One who catches birds in a trap or snare
- Hosea 9:10 Or dedicated
- Hosea 10:2 Divided in loyalty
- Hosea 10:5 Lit. calves, images
- Hosea 10:5 idolatrous priests
- Hosea 10:8 Lit. Idolatry or Wickedness
- Hosea 10:9 So with many Heb. mss., LXX, Vg.; MT unruliness
- Hosea 10:9 Or overcome
- Hosea 10:10 Or in their two habitations
- Hosea 10:11 Lit. to ride
- Hosea 11:1 Or youth
- Hosea 11:2 So with MT, Vg.; LXX Just as I called them; Tg. interprets as I sent prophets to a thousand of them.
- Hosea 11:2 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX from My face
- Hosea 11:3 Some Heb. mss., LXX, Syr., Vg. My arms
- Hosea 11:4 Lit. cords of a man
- Hosea 11:4 Lit. jaws
- Hosea 11:7 The prophets
- Hosea 11:7 Or upward
- Hosea 11:8 Lit. turns over
- Hosea 11:9 Or enter a city
- Hosea 11:12 Or holy ones
- Hosea 12:1 ruin
- Hosea 12:1 Or treaty
- Hosea 12:2 A legal complaint
- Hosea 12:7 Or merchant
- Hosea 12:10 Or parables
- Hosea 12:10 Lit. by the hand
- Hosea 12:11 worthless
- Hosea 13:2 Or those who offer human sacrifice
- Hosea 13:2 Worship with kisses
- Hosea 13:5 Cared for you
- Hosea 13:5 Lit. droughts
- Hosea 13:8 Lit. beast of the field
- Hosea 13:9 Lit. it or he destroyed you
- Hosea 13:9 Lit. in your help
- Hosea 13:10 LXX, Syr., Tg., Vg. Where is your king?
- Hosea 13:14 Lit. hand
- Hosea 13:14 Or Sheol
- Hosea 13:14 LXX where is your punishment?
- Hosea 13:14 Or Sheol
- Hosea 13:14 LXX where is your sting?
- Hosea 13:16 LXX shall be disfigured
- Hosea 14:2 Lit. bull calves; LXX fruit
- Hosea 14:5 Lit. bud or sprout
- Hosea 14:5 Lit. strike
- Hosea 14:6 Lit. go
- Hosea 14:7 Lit. bud or sprout
- Hosea 14:7 Lit. remembrance