The Stumble - Dave's Daily Devo - October 22


The Stumble    

Hosea 5:5-7

Mary and I were headed to Austin to see our grandkids ride horses, play soccer, and perform in the high school band. We stopped at the Czech Stop in West to get some fruit kolaches, sausage- cheese rolls, and a cinnamon roll. It was the OU vs UT weekend, so the line snaked through the store, stretched out the front door, and down the concrete front walk. Focusing on the line, I totally missed the three steps in front of me and fell. If I hadn’t gotten both arms out in front to catch myself, the stumble would’ve gotten me good. Israel wasn’t so fortunate as Hosea describes how not only Israel but also Judah was stumbling in their pride

“Israel’s pride testifies against him. Both Israel and Ephraim stumble over his guilt, and Judah stumbles with them. With their flocks and their herds, they go to seek the LORD, but they will not find Him. He has withdrawn himself from them.     

They have committed treachery against the LORD for they have given birth to illegitimate children. Their New Moon religious festivals will devour them and their possessions.” Hosea 5:5-7

According to Exodus 15:7, the LORD Himself is the pride, the Majesty of Israel, as proved when He destroyed Pharaoh’s chariots in the Red Sea. But now Israel’s nationalistic pride—their arrogant self-importance—testifies against them. In the time of Moses God said He would “break down their strong pride” by turning the sky to iron and the ground to bronze—no harvest from the fields or fruit from the trees (Lev. 26:19). Hosea declares that God is now executing this judgment, and he pictures this judgment as stumbling. Sadly, Judah didn’t heed Hosea’s warning (Hos. 4:15) not to become guilty like Israel. They too are stumbling down the wrong path away from the true God. 

Following the Canaanite lie of Baal and Astarte worship, the people believe that the productivity of their fields and the fruitfulness of their women depend upon participating in the sexual rites at their worship centers. They think their children are the gifts of this false god and goddess. They are the product of their union with strangers at their Baal sanctuaries (Cf. Num. 25:1-5) So God responds by saying, “Let these gods take care of them.” Hosea was commanded earlier to name his daughter “No parental compassion.” The children didn’t belong to Him. So God will not show a father’s compassion toward them. 

The tragedy is that when they herd their animals to places of sacrifices and intensify their monthly New Moon religious celebrations, they believe they are seeking God. In fact, God is long gone because, like an immoral wife, they have broken covenant with Him.  Their idolatrous pagan worship is not saving them. It’s devouring them. It’s the source of their problems, not the solution. Pride does go before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 11:2). 

LORD, help me to keep my eyes on you today so that I won’t be stumbling around with those who are so deceived that they believe breaking your commands is actually progressive and good. Thanks that because of Jesus I am your child and I can count on your parental care.

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