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Bible Pathway - Sept. 20, 2009

Sept. 20, 2009 

Read Hosea 7

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Israel seeks help from Egypt and Assyria (chap. 7) and worship golden calves (chap. 8). Finally a cry of repentance (8:2). Reaping what you sow (8:7). Punishment promised (chap. 9). God's call to worship Him (10:12). The Lord's love for Israel (chap. 11); His anger at Israel (chap. 13). Healing and the sacrifice of praise (chap. 14).

Hosea summed up the history of Israel's early promises and the Lord's loving care and blessings. Although they were freed from Egyptian slavery and greatly blessed in the promised land, the pride of Israel testifieth to his face: and they do not return to the Lord their God, nor seek Him for all this. Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria (7:10-11).

Hosea compared Israel's ingratitude to "an adulterous wife" turning from its Covenant relationship with God to worship idols. Israel had gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers. . . . I have written to him the great things of My Law, but they were counted as a strange thing. . . . For Israel hath forgotten his Maker (8:9,12,14).

There was a heartrending plea from the Lord for Israel to return to Him before they were destroyed. I drew them . . . with bands of love (11:4). It was the Lord, in His great long-suffering, who declared: I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt . . . there is no Saviour beside me. . . . O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in Me is thine help (13:4,9).

The Lord's willingness to show mercy, as He always does to any repentant sinner, was expressed when He said: I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely (14:4). Surely on the day they were conquered, lost everything, and were dragged away by the Assyrians, the Israelites could not have forgotten Hosea's final words: Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein (14:9).

Just as these Israelites were eventually freed from slavery and idolatry, every sinner has the opportunity to be delivered from the far greater slavery of sin, from the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16). The Law of the Spirit of life (which is) in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. . . . For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the (sinful) deeds of the body, ye shall live (forever) (Rom. 8:2,13).

Thought for Today:

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them (Ps. 34:7).

Christ Revealed:

In the son who was called out of Egypt (Hos. 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 (Matt. 2:14-15).

Word Studies:

9:1 hast gone a whoring = committed spiritual adultery and idolatry, were unfaithful to God (Israel was regarded as the wife of Jehovah. Isaiah 54:5; 62:4-5); cornfloor = threshing floor; 10:5 calves = golden calf idols; 10:11 to ride = to put in harness; 11:12 ruleth with God = is still considered faithful to God.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Rep. Walt Minnick (ID) • Country: Croatia (5 million) in southeastern Europe • Major language: Serbo-Croatian • Religious freedom • 73% Roman Catholic; 15% Serbian Orthodox; 5% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Bless the Lord at all times regardless of circumstances (Ps. 34:1).

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 12:50

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