Old Testament In a Year: October 10 – Hosea 12, 13, 14

Hosea 12, 13, 14
Focus Verse: But when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot Me. – Hosea 13:6

We are filled to overflowing by the gifts that God freely gives. Everything that we have comes from Him. Everything that we are is because of Him. But once we are filled with good gifts, we must be careful that we do not forget the Giver.

Thinking that our fullness is due to our own education or hard work instead of due to God’s goodness is an indication of a heart that is proud. It shows that our trust is in ourselves and not in God.

The reasons why we often forget God (e.g. life, wealth, relationships – which all come from Him) are the very reasons we should remember Him.

Old Testament In a Year: October 9 – Hosea 9, 10, 11

Hosea 9, 10, 11
Focus Verse: I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath. – Hosea 11:9

It is human nature for people to hold grudges for years, to remain angry for a lifetime at those who have offended them. But God is not a human. He is God.

Regardless of how many times people turn away from Him, how much they disrespect Him, or how they worship other things instead of Him, God cannot remain angry. It is not His nature to do so. With God, His love runs deeper than His anger, His compassion works greater than His destruction, and His grace outlasts His wrath – every time.

When humans punish, they almost always punish with the intent to destroy. But when God punishes, He punishes with the intent to improve a situation and to redeem a sinner.

God’s actions toward us are not based on our actions toward Him. He does not bring Himself down to our base standards, but holds Himself to a Divine standard. He does not turn from His promises. He does not turn from us.

Old Testament In a Year: October 8 – Hosea 5, 6, 7, 8

Hosea 5, 6, 7, 8
Focus Verse: 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. – Hosea 6:1

In the ESV, this focus verse appears under the title, “Israel and Judah Are Unrepentant.”

But how can they be unrepentant? Come, they say, let us return to the Lord.

At first glance, it would appear that they are ready to put away their sin and follow the Lord. They have experienced a change of heart. They are ready to do the right thing.

But at second glance, we see that Israel and Judah have not said they are putting away their sin. They merely said they are returning to the Lord because they no longer want to suffer the consequences of their sin. God has torn them, now they want Him to heal them; He has struck them down, now they want Him to bind them up.

We cannot return to God without first turning from sin.

Refusal to put away sin is a sign that our hearts remain unrepentant. Only after we have repented from sin, will God come to us “as the showers” and “as the spring rains.”

Old Testament In a Year: October 7 – Hosea 1, 2, 3, 4

Hosea 1, 2, 3, 4
Focus Verse: And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” – Hosea 3:1

To His only begotten Son, God said: Go, love a people who do not love Me. They are sinners and seek everything else but Me.

So, the Son came. He bought us, with His own life.

Now, you are Mine, God says. Do not return to your previous state. Do not return to sin. Love Me. Seek Me. You are My people and I am Your God.

Women of the Word: Lo-Ruhamah

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In a previous post, we discussed the life of Gomer. Gomer was a prostitute who became the wife of the faithful prophet Hosea. Hosea and Gomer had three children together: a boy named Jezreel, a girl named Lo-Ruhamah, and another boy called Lo-Ammi. The book of Hosea gives a fuller narration of what took place between Hosea and Gomer and how God used their story (in particular, Gomer’s unfaithfulness and the names of their children) to send messages regarding judgment and restoration to the people of Israel. The daughter, Lo-Ruhamah, is mentioned twice in Hosea’s book. Hosea 1:6 reads:

Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them.

And Hosea 1:8 reads:

After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son.

Gomer probably lacked natural love for her daughter. After all, she abandoned her family and returned to her old ways of promiscuity and immorality, before Hosea went searching for her and brought her back. However, Lo-Ruhamah was loved by her father. And we can be certain that she was loved by God, just as all of us are loved by God. Continue reading

1 Year In God’s Word: Day 283 — Hosea 12-14, Romans 16

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Hosea 12
Focus Verse: But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always. (6)

God’s constant call to wayward sons and daughters is ‘return to Me.’ And He desires for us to return to Him for all time, not temporarily. He desires for us to maintain love, maintain justice and wait on Him always.

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 281 — Hosea 5-8, Romans 15:1-13

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Hosea 5
Focus Verse: Then I will return to my lair until they have borne their guilt and seek my face—in their misery they will earnestly seek me. (15)

We shouldn’t let our sins push us into the business of misery before we seek God’s mercy.

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1 Year In God’s Word: Day 280 — Hosea 1-4, Romans 14

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Hosea 1
Focus Verse: Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them. (6)

Names matter. God has not called us “not loved”, but “Beloved.” Ephesians 1:6 says, “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Jesus the Christ Is God’s Beloved and because we are in Christ, we have also become God’s Beloved. It is not based on anything we have done or will do. It is all based on what Christ has done for us.

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