In Today's Scripture Reading:
Israel's sin rebuked and captivity foretold; Israel's immediate ruin but ultimate blessing
The northern kingdom of Israel did not return to the Lord their God, nor seek Him. . . . Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria (Hosea 7:10-11) for national security rather than trust the Lord according to His Word.
Israel's leaders had gone up to Assyria. . . . Israel hath forgotten his Maker. . . . They have deeply corrupted themselves. . . . their glory shall fly away like a bird. . . . they shall be wanderers among the nations (8:9,14; 9:9, 11,17). The Lord gave a heartrending plea for Israel to return to Him before they were destroyed: It is time to seek the Lord (10:12). Feel God's heartbreak as He says: I drew them with . . . bands of love (11:4). He lovingly pleaded: O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity (sin) (14:1).
Israel had foolishly put its trust in heathen nations and false gods (5:13; 7:11; 8:9-10) and in its own ability to manipulate peace and security (12:8), rather than in the One who is the only true source of peace and security. Still, we see the willingness of the Lord to show mercy, as He always does to any repentant sinner, when He said: I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely (14:4). The final words of the prophet Hosea before the Israelites were conquered and carried away by the Assyrians are a reminder to all of us: The ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein (14:9).
When we repent, turn from our sins, receive Jesus as our Savior, and let the indwelling Holy Spirit control our lives, we are freed from the power of Satan, sin, and spiritual death. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do (practice) not the truth. . . . these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate (Defender, Defense Attorney) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation (appeasement, legal satisfaction) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (I John 1:6; 2:1-2).
In the son who was called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1). This prophecy is twofold: one is a historical reference pertaining to Israel (Ex. 4:22-23); and the other is prophetic, looking to the sojourn of Christ as a child in Egypt (Matthew 2:14-15).
9:1 hast gone a whoring =b> committed idolatry, were unfaithful (Israel was regarded as the wife of Jehovah. Isaiah 54:5; 62:4-5); cornfloor =b> threshing floor; 10:5 calves =b> golden calf idols; 10:11 to ride =b> to put in harness; 11:12 ruleth with God =b> is faithful to God.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Country: Ireland (3.7 million) off the coast of western Europe • Major languages: English and Irish (Gaelic) • Religious freedom • 92% Catholic; 3.7% Anglican; 1% Other Protestant; .2% Muslim; .1% Jewish; 2% Other; 1% None • Prayer Suggestion: The Word of God, confession, and prayer bring the believer into close communion with God (Nehemiah 9:2-5).
Memory Verse for the Week: Micah 5:2