Sept. 19, 2009
Read Hosea 1
Highlights In Today's Reading:
God's faithfuless versus people's unfaithfulness. Who wins (1:2)? Redemption (2:14). Charges against a sinful nation (chap. 4). God withdraws (chap. 5). Repent (chap 6)! Reaping what you sow (8:7). Punishment will come (chap. 9).
King Jeroboam II ruled during the time when Hosea, Amos, and Jonah were prophets, in the closing years of the Northern Kingdom. He followed the example of Jeroboam I, the first king of the Northern tribes of Israel, who chose to separate from the United Kingdom following Solomon's death ( I Kin. 11:26-40; 12:2-20). To secure his newly-formed Kingdom of Israel, Jeroboam I had changed the place of religious worship from Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His Name there (II Chr. 12:13), to Dan and Bethel. Consequently, Jeroboam is infamously remembered as the one who made Israel to sin (I Kin. 14:16; 15:26-34; 16:2,26; 21:22; 22:52; II Kin. 3:3; 10:29,31; 13:2; 14:24; 15:9).
When he introduced golden calves as the objects of worship in Dan in the North and in Bethel near the southern border, Jeroboam actually replaced the One True God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In addition, he instituted a non-Levitical order of priests and a new religious feast in the eighth month to rival the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month (Lev. 23:34). These two "chapels of convenience" prepared the way for religious compromise and for Jezebel, at a later date, to introduce Baal and Ashtoreth as "additional gods" and, eventually, to exclude the worship of the Lord God altogether.
It was in this situation that the Word of the Lord . . . came unto Hosea. . . . I will no more have mercy upon the House of Israel; but I will utterly take them away (Hos. 1:1-6).
The Lord spoke through Hosea: There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery . . . My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge . . . I will also reject thee . . . seeing thou hast forgotten the Law of thy God, I will also forget thy children (4:1-6).
Nothing is more important to our eternal well-being than faithfulness and obedience to our Lord and His Word. Jesus prayed to God the Father: This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the Only True God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. . . . I have given them Thy Word . . . keep them from the evil. . . . Sanctify them through Thy Truth: They word is Truth (John 17:3,14-15,17).
Thought for Today:
As for God, His way is perfect: the Word of the Lord is tried: He is a Buckler (Defender, Protector) to all those that trust in Him (Ps. 18:30).
Through Hosea's love for his unworthy, sinful wife (Hos. 3:1-5). Our Lord Jesus not only loved us while we were yet sinners, but He also died the death of shame for us on Calvary so that all He possessed might become ours (Rom. 5:8; 8:32; II Pet. 1:3-4). I will betroth thee unto Me for ever (Hos. 2:19).
2:3 (first) set = expose; (second) set = leave; 3:4 ephod = sleeveless priestly outer garment; 4:16 slideth back = stubborn, obstinate. Israel has committed whoredom and sacrifice to idols.
Pray for Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Officials: Del. Donna Christian-Christensen (Virgin Islands) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX) • Country: Cote d'Ivoire (16 million) in western Africa • Major languages: French and over 60 native dialects • Religious freedom • 40% animist; 25% Muslim; 10% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Praise God in prayer and with singing for His Word is pure and His works are done in truth (Ps. 33:2-4).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 11:30