Text: Hosea 13 Theme: When we sin, God our Father feels the inner struggle between His mercy and justice. Key verses: “Now they sin more and more; they make idols for themselves from their silver…” (v. 2) “But I am the Lord you God…You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me. I cared for you in the desert, in the land of burning heat. When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied they became proud; then they forgot me. So I will come to them like a lion…I will attack them and rip them open.” (v. 4-8)Â “I will ransom them from the power of theÂ grave; I will redeem them from death.” (v. 14a)Â “The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground…” (v. 16) What God said to me: Son, notice the most striking thing about this chapter is the apparent eradic writing style, spontaneous and somewhat disorganized. For example, the chapter opens saying Ephraim died, but now “they sin more and more.” Where’s the logic in that? Moments later, in mid-sentence I go from saying “you” to saying “them,” yet I’m speaking of the same people. Perhaps most bizarre is how I switch from anger mode and speaking of destruction to speaking of ransoming and redeeming my people. Then without any conjuctionsÂ or changes in inflection I pick right back up with my judgment theme. What can you learn from this less-than-reasonable prose? I am pulling back the curtain, so to speak, and allowing you to see my deepest emotions. When it comes to my people – the children I love so dearly – I am torn inside. My thoughts run rampant and my very character is caught between my mercy and my justice. One moment I am ready to tear them to shreds; the next I think of saving them from the very death they deserve. For those who will seek me and seek for hidden treasures in my Word here in Hosea, I will show them a very intimate view of me. I am revealing that to you even at this moment. Be careful not to assume that I am in turmoil, mixed up and confused like you humans become so often. Keep in mind that my ways and thoughts are always above yours. However, I do feel deeply for those I love, and when they rebel, I do feel the terrible strain chatisement brings to a father. What I said to God: Holy Father, I admit I didn’t see such intimateÂ insightsÂ coming today when I first read this passage. Thank You so very much for entrusting me with this amazingÂ peek into Your nature and character. Because I too am a father, I understand now more than ever how You must feel every time I fail You – and Your people turn their back on You. Oh God,Â give us clean hands and pure hearts!
27. December 2006 Hosea 0