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Bible Pathways 09/20/2003

September 20

Read Hosea 7 -- 14

In Today's 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. Nothing could have been more foolish than for them to seek help from Egypt, which had once cruelly enslaved them, or to make an alliance with ungodly Assyria whose ambition was to rule the world.

Israel's leaders had gone up to Assyria. . . . Israel has 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, till He come and rain righteousness upon you (10:12). Feel God's heartbreak as He says: I drew them with . . . bands of love (11:4). He lovingly pleaded: O Israel, return to the LORD your God; for you have fallen by your 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 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: 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).

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 to you, that you 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).

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 (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 gone a whoring from = committed prostitution - adultery against ; corn floor = grain floor; 10:5 calves = golden calf idols; 10:11 to ride = to be harnessed; 11:12 ruleth with God = is faithful to God.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Richard Finke and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WLRY-FM, Rushville OH · Country: Spain (39 million) in southwestern Europe · Major languages: Castilian Spanish and Catalan · Limited religious freedom · 94% Roman Catholic; .5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray in faith, without doubting (James 1:6).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:10

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