My friend, Keith, lives in the Adirondacks as they begin to build toward the higher peaks up near Lake Placid. Through the years he has renovated his home and now it has all the benefits of hot and cold water, a modern kitchen, gorgeous living room, etc., but just to keep a reminder of the primitive days, Keith built a log cabin. My boys and I crashed there after hiking Algonquin and Haystack, and when I woke up and looked at the logs and all the guys sleeping in the one room cabin, it’s like the mountain folks found shelter two hundred years ago.
Israel started out their relationship with God in primitive shelters, but when they conquered the Promised Land, they began to prosper. Speed forward 718 years from the Exodus to 727 BC just before the Assyrians tightened the noose around the Northern Kingdom. Many Israelites lived in mansions, made tons of shekels trading, and as we saw in yesterday’s devo, made their millions cheating and blocking the poor from getting ahead. The God of Mt. Sinai wasn’t pleased that his people thought that their gods of sex, money, and power provided all their loot and protection. So, Hosea, like the prophet Moses, used powerful parables and riveting visions of what was going to happen to them because they had forgotten the LORD.
“But I am the LORD your God, the God who delivered you out of Egypt; I will make you live again in tents as in the days when you celebrated my sacred feasts in the wilderness.
I spoke upon the heart of the prophets and I multiplied their inspired visions and by the prophets I spoke in word pictures and comparisons.” Hosea 12:9-10
When all their mansions and shekels are gone and they are right back where they began, living in goat’s tents in the wilderness, then they will know who is the only one who can give them life. But as we learned in Hosea 2:14 back to the wilderness is not only judgment, it can also be the place of salvation. It’s in the wilderness where God will once again begin to woo his estranged wife, Israel, speaking tender words upon her heart, and finally she will respond.
LORD, thanks for those times, in the cabin and in the mountains away from all distraction, when I can hear you speak upon my own heart. But help me to remember that I don’t have to go all the way to the Adirondacks to get alone with you. I can do it every day right here at home in Midlothian.
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