Archive for March 1st, 2017

Hosea 9

Hosea 9 has the prophet wailing against Israel who is exiled in judgment.  They are just entering the coming judgment, and haven’t quite figured out that some real change is on the way.  So Hosea warns them of the facts. “Do not rejoice….For you have played the harlot, forsaking your God”.  This is a serious issue and Hosea is setting the stage for what’s coming.  At the time Hosea brought this prophecy, things perhaps were not so bad in Israel. Maybe there was still plenty of fun and good times among the people. But he warns that they shouldn’t rejoice like other peoples, because judgment was on the way.

Sin always carries a price.  And what seems to be going well, is about to change.  Hosea lists out what lies ahead:

  • “They will not remain in the Lord’s land
  • They will not pour out drink offerings
  • Their sacrifices will not please Him
  • Their bread will be like mourners ‘ bread

They are going to be cast out of their homeland and at odds with the very God who has protected and provided for generations.  Sin carries a price and God is going to require them to pay it.  He doesn’t forget our sin.  There is always a day of reckoning.

The destruction is coming and Hosea makes it clear it will be severe.  “Weeds will take over their treasures of silver; thorns will be in their tentsThe days of punishment have come”.  The price is not just a little discomfort.  The price of sin is significant and life changing.  That’s why God sent His only Son to the Cross for us – because the cost of sin is so great.  It isn’t some little thing that just goes away over time.  “He will remember their iniquity, He will punish their sins”.  That was true in Hosea’s time – it’s still true today.  Sin carries a cost and we’ll pay it one way or another.

It’s why Jesus came – because the cost is so high.  God sent His Son to bear that cost if we’ll only receive Him as our Savior and Lord.  In Hosea’s time, the price was severe.  “They will bear no fruit….My God will cast them away because they have not listened to Him”.  For us it’s no different.  The cost today is eternal separation from God – a life spent in hell.  It’s a strong response by a loving God, but His nature requires it.  He gave us a free gift of grace through Christ that is ours for the taking.  But we have to take action.  We have to confess, repent and receive that gift.  He never forces it on us.  But without it, sin will cost us everything.  We too will be cast away.  It’s the reality of the price of sin!

Hosea 8

Hosea 8 continues the chasm between God and His people.  “They have transgressed My covenant  And rebelled against My law”.  The people are oblivious as they continue to cry out to God.  They are fooling themselves.  They say “My God, we of Israel know You”! when in fact they have not relationship or clue.  They’ve rebelled and become idolaters who are not sincere in their words.  They didn’t really know God.It will be the same way for many church-goers today.  They think they know God because of their time in the pew, but that won’t cut it when judgment day comes.

Hosea paints a picture of what’s really happening as they go down their path of sin.  “For they sow the wind and they reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads; It yields no grain”.  It seems to Israel that the judgement they receive is worse than the sin they committed. This isn’t true in the sense of God being worse to us than our sin deserves, but it is true in how judgment feels. This is usually because our sin is sown over a long period of time, but often reaped in a very intense period of judgment.  Sin always carries a price.

God is always in the restoration business.  “Now I will gather them up; and they will begin to diminish”.  But restoration doesn’t happen if sin is not dealt with.  In that case, God will deal with it.  It won’t be ignored.  God gives us many chances to get things write.  He has given us the written word just like He did for His children Israel.  “I wrote for him ten thousand precepts of My law, They are regarded as a strange thing”.  Most people treat the Bible very politely . . . When they get home, they lay it nicely on the bookshelf until next Sunday morning; then it comes out again for a little bit of a treat and goes along to church….maybe.

The hard truth is that when anyone, including God’s very own children, forget their maker, there is no place to hide.  “The Lord has taken no delight in them. Now He will remember their iniquity, and punish them for their sins”.  There’s no escape from the penalty of sin.  It won’t be ignored or overlooked.  We can sit here and wonder how God’s people could be so stupid as to fall into idolatry and let sin ruin their walk with God.  But the must look in the mirror and be sure we haven’t made something an idol in our life.  Anything that turns our heart from God is an idol.  It can be most anything that we don’t keep off the throne and in it’s rightful place.  God alone can sit on the throne of our life!

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