Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December 5: Hosea 1 – 3; Psalm 124; Proverbs 29:5-8; 1 John 5


            Hosea: The Lord spoke to Hosea during the reigns of Judah’s kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. It was also when Jeroboam reigned in Israel.
            Hosea was told to take a prostitute as a wife and have children because the land was whoring by forsaking the Lord. Hosea took Gomer and they had a boy. The Lord told him to name the boy Jezreel because the Lord would punish Jehu for his killing spree at Jezreel and he will end the house of Israel at Jezreel.
            Gomer had a girl and the Lord told him to name her No Mercy because he would not have mercy on Israel but would have mercy on Judah. He would save them, but it wouldn’t be by their ability.
            Next, she had a boy and he was called Not My People because the Lord said they were not his people and he isn’t their God. However, in the future they will be his people and they will be called the children of the living God. Both Israel and Judah will be gathered together under one leader.
            The Lord told Hosea to prophecy to his brothers that they are his people and his sisters that they have received mercy. He is to plead with Israel to repent of her whoring before the Lord punishes her and takes away the land. He will not have mercy on the people for Israel has gone after lovers other than the Lord. They think that other gods provide their needs, so the Lord will blind her and she will purse the other gods but not find them. Then she will return to the Lord. She didn’t understand that the Lord provided for her food and riches that she then offered to Baal.
            Therefore, the Lord will take back all that provisions and her lewdness will be exposed. No one will rescue her. Her fun times will be stopped as he wipes out her crops with wild animals. She will be punished for making feasts to Baal.
            There will be a time when he will turn it around and romance her and give her hope. She will call the Lord her Husband and not Baal. He will remove from her the desire to worship others. Animals will live in peace with her and war will be no more. She will belong to the Lord forever as a bride in righteousness, justice, steadfast love, and mercy. He will restore all the prosperity and No Mercy will be have mercy. No People will be God’s people.
            The Lord told Hosea to go and show his love to Gomer who had run off. It was to show that he loves Israel who has turned to other Gods. Hosea paid the price to buy Gomer back and told her she must live with him and no other man and he will be faithful. The people of Israel will be many days without the sacrificial system or kings or household gods. After that, they will seek the Lord, David their king, and come to the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.
            Psalm: David acknowledges and asks all Israel to join with him in declaring that they would be lost to their enemies if the Lord had not been on their side and saved them. He praises the Lord who helped them escape from their enemies. Their help in in the name of the Lord who is the creator of all.
            Proverbs: The one who flatters another is only doing it to trap him. Sins enslaves evil people, but a righteous person’s freedom enables him to sing and have joy. A poor person has rights and righteous people know that. Wicked people don’t know that. Those that pour out ridicule can cause riots while a wise man will produce calm and not anger.
            1 John: When you are born of God, you will believe Jesus is the Christ and you will love the Father because he loves all he has birthed. Obeying his commands and overcoming the world by faith are signs of being his children. His commands are not a burden.
            Jesus came by water and blood and the Spirit testifies about this because he is the Spirit of truth. If we listen to people, then we should listen to God’s testimony for it is greater. He has told us that whoever believes in Jesus will agree and know this in his heart.
            If anyone doesn’t agree, then they make God a liar because they haven’t believed God. The testimony is that God has given is eternal life in Jesus. If we have Jesus, we have eternal life and if we don’t have Jesus then we don’t have eternal life.
            John is writing this to us so that when we believe in Jesus we will know we have eternal life. We will have confidence to ask for things according to his will, he will hear us, and he will provide what we asked.
            We should pray for those who sin so that his sin won’t lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death, but we shouldn’t pray for that one, but all wrongdoing is sin.
            We also know that if we’re born of God we will not continue to sin. Jesus keeps us safe and Satan can’t harm us. Even though we are children of God, the rest of the world is under Satan’s control. Jesus has come and given us understanding so that we know him and are in him. Jesus is true God and give us eternal life. So, keep away from idols.

What Stood Out

            Hosea: “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’” (Hos 3:1).
            Psalm: “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps 124:8).
            Proverbs: “Scoffers set a city aflame, but the wise turn away wrath” (Prov 29:8).
            1 John: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12 NIV).


            Hosea: The Lord called upon his prophets to do some odd things as visual representations of his messages to this people. I certainly wouldn’t want to have been one of them. Hosea was told to marry a prostitute and have children with her. That didn’t seem too bad except for the names of two of the kids. But when Gomer ran away and ended up enslaved to another man, the Lord told Hosea to go and buy her back. I can’t imagine that.
            Because I can’t imagine that, it is exactly the shock I need to see how horrible it is to have other gods other than the Lord and exactly how much he loves me to wade into my ugly filthy life and redeem me for himself by the costly blood of Jesus.
            Lest we think we aren’t as bad as Gomer or as bad as Israel, whom she represented, we need to look at what Israel was doing. The Lord provided for all their abundance and then they used that abundance to worship other gods. This is exactly what we do. When we lavish all our abundance on ourselves and ignore our responsibility to others and the Lord, we are doing the same thing. Their gods were made out of stone, wood, and metal. Ours aren’t much different when you look around at our possessions. However, those things aren’t our real gods because we use them to honor the god that we put in place of the Lord. We honor ourselves with this stuff over and above whatever we give to the Lord. The same can be said of the way we use our time and other resources. They all point out that we worship ourselves.
            The good news is that through Jesus we can turn it all around. Even better is the news that there will come a time when these things are no longer a temptation to drag us away from him. We should start practicing for that day now.
            Psalm: We need to take some time every day to acknowledge that the Lord is our help. There isn’t anything that we can do without him. We may not see it, but every breath that we take is only because the Lord wills it and makes sure it happens. We shouldn’t have to have a near miss car accident to make us realize that. We don’t have any idea of what could have happened to us each day if the Lord wasn’t watching over us. The maker of heaven and earth is the one who is still in control of every event in the universe. We should take time to praise him for this every day.
            Proverbs: We are seeing a lot of scoffers stirring up problems in our country. It comes from both sides, but the issues are ignoring the truth and using exaggeration or sensationalism to fan the flames. It seems that this is slowly subduing but there aren’t any public figures who are making a sincere effort to turn away wrath. The call is for us be peacemakers. We don’t need to repeat the rumors or even pass along sarcastic jokes that ridicule others. We can pray for those who are causing problems and let the Lord deal with them.
            1 John: With all of what John has said about people who practice sin or don’t; obey Jesus or don’t; love their brothers or don’t, it can get a bit unnerving trying to decide if we’re really saved or not. After all, we have times when we sin. We have times when we disobey Jesus. We have times when we don’t love our brothers and actually hate them. Yet we believe that Jesus is the Son of God (meaning he is God), that he came in the flesh (meaning he is human), and that he paid the penalty for our sins.
            In 1 John 3:10-13, John simplifies it when he tells us that if we have Jesus, we have eternal life. He also says that when we believe, we have the Holy Spirit’s testimony in our hearts. So, we have head knowledge and we have heart knowledge. All this leads John to tells us that this is to let us know we have eternal life.


             I want to be more obedient to the Lord Jesus, not so that I can know I have eternal life. I already know that. But I don’t want to cause him heartache that he must have whenever any of his children put other things ahead of him. That means my selfish endeavors, putting me before him, putting anything before him. That is spiritual adultery and I want to stay away from that.

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