The Case Against God’s People—Opening Arguments
Before our Rotary lunch, I was connecting with a lawyer friend and wanted to get him thinking about our Devos in Hosea. “Did you know that God is deeply involved in a lawsuit? In fact, Hosea, his prosecuting attorney, lays out the introduction to the case in Hosea 4:1-3 and then proceeds to prove it in Hosea 4:4-11:7.” He smiled and proved he knew the Old Testament well, “Was that the LORD’s case against the Northern Kingdom before Israel fell to the Assyrians?”
He was right, and what strikes me as we listen to Hosea’s summary of the core accusations in today’s text, it’s clear that he is accusing the people of disobedience against the Ten Commandments Moses gave them on the tablets at Mt. Sinai. See if you can pick up the echoes of the Ten Commandments.
“Hear the Word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, for the LORD has a lawsuit against those dwelling in the land for there is no trustworthiness or loyal covenant love, and no intimate knowledge of God in the land.
Cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery break out, and one bloody deed after another strikes. Because of these things the land dries up and all who dwell in her wither away with the beasts of the field, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea—they ‘ll all be swept away.” Hosea 4:1-3
As we discovered in Hosea 1, there is a connection between the people and the land. God told the Israelites at the beginning of their history as a nation that if they obeyed him, he would give them abundant rain, crops, and security in the Promised Land. But if they disobeyed him, the rain would stop, the crops would dry up, and invaders would take them captive (check it out in Leviticus 26:14-39). Hosea is simply applying to the people of his day what Moses had told them at their beginning.
When we curse, lie, murder, steal, and commit adultery, maybe we need to consider that it affects far more than only our individual lives.
LORD, use Hosea’s strong call for me to listen to you when you speak. Move me to allow Jesus living in my life to generate the dependable loyal trustworthy love and intimacy with you that is at the core of the Ten Commandments. Help us to listen and realize that when cursing, lying, angry violence, and sexual immorality spread like a virulent disease, we are in danger of being swept away by natural and military disasters.
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