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Bible Pathways 09/20/2002

September 20

Read Hosea 7 -- 14

In Today's Reading:

Israel's sin rebuked and captivity foretold; Israel's ruin and ultimate restoration.

Verses for Today:

I have written . . . great things of My Law, but they were counted as a strange thing (of no concern). . . . For Israel hath forgotten his Maker. . . . They have . . . corrupted themselves. . . . their glory shall fly away like a bird. . . . they shall be wanderers among the nations. . . .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 (8:12,14; 9:9,11,17; 14:9).

The Northern Kingdom of Israel did not return to the Lord their God, nor seek Him. . . . Ephraim (symbolic of the Northern Kingdom) 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 and worship Him according to His Word. Nothing could have been more foolish for the Israelites than to seek help from Egypt, which had once cruelly enslaved them, or to make friends with Assyria, the ungodly nation which would soon destroy them. Tragically, in doing this, they were rejecting the Lord, Who loved them and Who called them out of all the people in the world to be His people.

The leaders of Israel had gone up to Assyria (8:9).The Lord gave a heartrending plea for Israel to return to Him before they were destroyed: It is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness upon you (10:12).

We can feel God's heartbreak as He sadly says: I drew them with cords . . . of love. . . . O Israel, [you have] destroyed [yourself] . . . in Me is [your] help (11:4;13:9).

He pleaded: O Israel, return [to] the Lord [your] God; for [you have] fallen by [your] iniquity (14:1).

Although former warnings of judgment from God were changed to a message of compassion, this did not mean that He had changed His mind. Even though a Holy God must judge His people, He lovingly promised restoration to Israel if they would return to Him.

Israel had put its trust in other nations and false gods (5:13; 7:11; 8:9-10) and in its own strength (12:8), rather than in the One Who is the only True Savior. Yet, we see the willingness of the Lord to show mercy, as He always does to any repentant sinner, when He promised: I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely (14:4). The final words of the prophet Hosea before they were conquered by the Assyrians are a reminder to all of us.

When we repent, turn from our sins, receive Jesus as our Savior, and let the indwelling Holy Spirit control our lives, we are miraculously freed from the power of Satan, sin, and spiritual death. Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:4-5).

Christ Revealed:

In the son who was called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1). This prophecy is twofold: one is a historical reference pertaining to Israel (Exodus 4:22-23); and the other is prophetic, looking to the sojourn of Christ as a child in Egypt (Matthew 2:14-15).

Word Studies:

9:1 a whoring = in an unfaithful way; cornfloor = threshing floor; 10:5 calves = golden calf idols; 10:11 to ride = to put in harness; 11:12 ruleth with God = is faithful to God.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Tuvalu (11,000) nine islands in the southwestern Pacific · Major languages: Tuvaluan and English · Religious freedom · 92% Protestant; 5% Baha'i; 2% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for the spiritual rest that is in Him (Hebrews 4:9-10).

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 5:10-11

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