From Hosea 8-14
The judgment continues amid the occasional ray of hope. The LORD must judge wrongdoing, call for repentance, and he will restore in faithfulness to his covenant promises and love. Todays reading starts with an affirmation of the LORD’s love for his son. Does God feel emotions? Which ones?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
11.1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. (Hos 11.1)
Its sad to realise Israel did not live up to his calling, rather abandoned the LORD.
2 The more they were called,
the more they went away;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
4 I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them. (Hos 11.2-4)
Despite their waywardness, the LORD persisted with Israel, teaching them, caring for them, healing them. But they did not know it was the LORD.
5 They shall not return to the land of Egypt, but Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me.
6 The sword shall rage against their cities, consume the bars of their gates,
and devour them because of their own counsels.
7 My people are bent on turning away from me, and though they call out to the Most High, he shall not raise them up at all. (Hos 11.5-7)
Because they continued to reject the LORD, he sent them into exile. But not back to Egypt, from where they came. Then the LORD opens his heart up.
8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender. (Hos 11.8)
Amidst the just anger and wrath of the LORD at Israel’s evil and sin, lies a caring, loving heart. The LORD has conflicting emotions. Justice and love, wrath and compassion. Which one will win out? If you are the LORD’s, know he has this compassion and love for you as well.
9 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. (Hos 11.9)
So the LORD promises not to destroy Ephraim (one of the tribes) and Israel completely.He will discipline them, not destroy them. A father disciplines his children because he loves them (Heb 12.5-11).
Story of Israel
The LORD did not destroy Israel and Ephraim as he promised. He did send them into exile. There were some who remained faithful, Daniel and his friends as we have read. Then the LORD restored the Jews to the promised land, but still under foreign rule. They were still slaves, had the LORD forgiven them yet?
Story of Jesus
Peter talks about the forgiveness given to Israel when he shares the gospel to the Jewish council. Have a look;
30 “The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. [the gospel message]
31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, [the gospel proves Jesus is the Christ]
to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. [the effect of the gospel]
32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5.30-32)
Jesus died, was buried, was raised on the third day and appeared to many, proving he is the Christ. Those who believe Jesus is the Christ repent and receive forgiveness of sins. Christians are witnesses to these things. The LORD did not give Ephraim and Israel up, he sent Jesus for them.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.