I have been reading in Hosea, again. I chose to write down a few verses from Hosea and I will link to the whole book here and also put them at the end of this blog post.
Background: Hosea was a prophet of God in the Old Testament and the Lord told Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman and to have children with her and that she would cheat on him and even have children with another man – and then Hosea was to take her back unto himself and love her, again. Does that sound messed up and convoluted? Well, it does!
One thing that I have learned through studying God’s Word and even playing out in my own life is that God’s ways truly are higher than our ways and His thoughts are way higher than our own. He knows all and He also knows how to reach us. God knew that a personal example, a true life picture of His love for Israel was more powerful than just hearing about it or talking about it. God knew that seeing Hosea go through being cheated on and left for another man and then taking her back, forgiving her and loving her again would speak volumes to His people, Israel.
You see, Israel had done the same with God. God was Israel’s husbandman. Israel had grown rich and happy and strong and decided that they as a people did not need God and His rules any longer. This is where the title of this post comes from: Why does God give us rules and will we face consequences for refusing to listen?
As I was reading Hosea and seeing the similarities between Israel and America, and even between Israel and me and Jerry, I again saw a loving Father who gives rules for His people’s protection and guidance who is very hurt when His people turn from Him and reject Him. He is hurt not just by being forsaken, but also because our rejection of Him and His rules brings great pain, distress and destruction upon ourselves.
In Hosea, God spells out so much of what Israel is doing wrong and how they will be punished, but His love and compassion are also highlighted in this book. Do not miss this point! God is certainly not all about punishment!
In Hosea 11:1-11 God’s compassion is fully aroused for His people – God’s love is unfailing. He punishes/allows sin’s fullness to destruction to happen so that we repent and turn from evil and know that evil is not pretty or pleasant for ourselves. God does want us to understand that He doesn’t tell us to turn from evil and reject evil for no reason. He allows us to experience evil so that we see how ugly and painful it is for ourselves so that we know that God’s way is better and higher and beautiful. Just like we really learn not to touch something hot by getting burned – when we sin and reap the consequences, we begin to understand why it is wrong and why we want to avoid doing wrong.
Free will is about our loving Heavenly Father allowing us to grow up and mature into eternal beings created in His image who know through experience why and how that God’s way, love and purity and His Word are the best and only way. We are to carry into eternity all that we learn here on earth as God’s children.
He, Almighty God, Creator and Father, is all powerful, all knowing, pure, holy, righteous, just, merciful, gracious, loving and true – never failing and always present – to those who love Him and seek Him. To those who reject Him, they will reap eternal judgment because they choose to ignore and reject Him.
Our Lord does not wish for any human being to follow the devil into that eternal punishment. God came Himself in the flesh, the Word incarnate, as Jesus Christ, God’s Son – all God and all human, to show us the Way, to show us the possibilities, to show us just how much He loves us, to show us that He understands, to show us His compassion and tenderness and forgiveness and to redeem us all from the darkness and to set us free from this evil world and evil in the world and evil, even the devil – to bring the Light of the world into the world to dispel all fear and free us from the curse of sin and death.
God has spoken throughout all of history and has made His Word known to us. Just as Paul said in Romans – we are without excuse. Our own consciences prove this because within each man’s heart is a sense and knowledge of the difference between good and evil, what is right and what is wrong. We choose to follow our flesh and human desires because it is easier, it comes naturally and we want to experience our own version of pleasure. But we know that what we desire is wrong at times – and we want to ignore that knowledge.
We say to ourselves that those rules are stupid.
We say that those rules don’t apply to me, or this situation, or this one time…
We somehow think that because we say that right and wrong or God’s Word is not applicable – or we just don’t believe in it, makes it go away or null and void.
This is NOT true.
God’s Word is the truth no matter how much any man or woman tries to say that it is not.
No Congress or government can ever rise above God’s Word and the TRUTH that it is! And as long as our nation continues to speak lies about God and to God’s people and rejects Him and takes credit for the blessing that He has bestowed upon this country then we are sowing the wind and will reap the whirlwind. Instead of sowing righteousness and reaping the fruit of unfailing love we are planting wickedness, reaping evil and eating the fruit of deception! Because we have depended upon our own strength, wisdom and knowledge and sought after other ways of doing things and foundations of truth and have turned away from God – the roar of battle will also rise against us just as God told Israel through Hosea. O my Lord.
Yet, the Lord loves His people and we need to wake up and sound the alarm – if we yet repent and seek Him – He will yet save us!
Those who love the Lord and have ears to hear let us come together in unity and in love and fall down and seek His face. Let us repent from resting on what we thought we knew and not hearing a fresh word from the Lord and continually seeking His face. Let us repent from electing or allowing to be elected those who do not recognize God as the One who blesses and keeps us and as the One who built this country and made it great. Let us repent from seeking our own way, our own comfort and forgetting our neighbors as they struggle to find peace and hope.
It is no longer about the 9-5.
It is no longer about the “being a good and productive member of society.”
Status quo has got to go!
Do we love our neighbor as we love ourselves?
Do we really speak the truth in love?
Are we our brother’s keeper?
Do we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?
Are we storing up treasures in heaven?
Have we set our soul’s attention on eternal blessings and things above?
Are we concerned about the souls of others and where they will spend eternity?
Have we also grown so richly blessed that we are spoiled, complacent, comfortable and resting on our own strength and understanding/
Do we recognize that everything comes from the Lord?
Do we only blame God for the bad things and not thank Him for everything?
Do we think that God is supposed to serve us? Do our prayers sound like to do lists for Him?
How serious are we about God?
How well do we know Jesus?
Do we hear Jesus speak to our heart – on our own – or do we depend on our pastor or the latest best-selling devotional?
When are we going to wake up from our comfortable – lukewarm – slumber? He will spew us out of His mouth!
A return! A return to Jesus and the gospel!
A call to unity in Christ! Drop the titles, drop the lines drawn by denomination, drop the programs, drop the studies and proclaim: REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM IS AT HAND!
Jesus is returning – do you know Him?
Does your neighbor know Him?
Have you been forgiven? Have you heard His voice? Turn away from your own plans and understanding! Turn away from all of the other voices and the lies! Turn to Jesus! Turn to the Word!
Lord, set our hearts on fire for You, today. May we choose to be on fire for You and not asleep in a lukewarm slumber.
Awaken all whom have been given to Your hand, Lord, to do that which You have purposed for them to do. Lord, we know that Your plans will come to pass and we know that those who love You are on the side that wins and overcomes. We see so much suffering today due to sin just as You told us. Lord we don’t want to do it our way. We know that Your way is best. We do cry out for the ones who are suffering under the consequences of sin. We know that you will not allow evil to continue forever and that You will return and ultimately that evil will be hurled into the pit of fire forever and will never again come against Your people. And we know that no more sin, no more tears and no more pain will be in that place. We cannot wait to be there with You. Continue to set us apart for that day, Lord, and prepare us for it. We do not want sin to have any part in us any longer and we do long to see our salvation come to pass where we are freed once and for all from the fleshly desires. Thank You Lord that You have done all of this for us, put these desires in us and shown us the Way to salvation and to living lives freed from the curse of sin and death. Help us to walk in Your power and victory more and more every day as You minister to us by Your Spirit. Speak to those who do come across this post and take the time to read it or skim through it, Lord, bless your servants to represent Your words… Lord, thank You for who You are and for Your rules!!! By experience, I know that You are a loving Father who just wants to grow up and mature His children. Thank You.
Hosea 4:6, Hosea 6:3, Hosea 7:13-14, Hosea 8:2-4, Hosea 8:7, Hosea 9:7-9, Hosea 11:1-11 are the verses that I wrote out but I read all of Hosea yesterday and today. The above post is just what I wrote out and typed it here to share because I really felt the Lord’s presence and see such a similarity between America and Israel.
Bottom line: God gives us rules because He is our Father! He knows what is good for us and what is bad for us. There is no way around this! God gives us rules to protect us and to grow us, just like a loving earthly father does for his own children. God is much greater than any earthly father. If we do not repent, then YES, we will face consequences as a nation for refusing to listen to God. Like it or not, if you were born in America or live here, now… America was founded upon Biblical principles by men who were led by God. They may not have been perfect, but they were God-fearing men who sought to form a better government than the ones they came from… And this country, no matter who tries to turn it away from God or deny the history of it being founded upon the Bible, will face the consequences of refusing to listen to God. If we do not have men and women in leadership positions to reaffirm that this is a nation of people who put their trust in God, alone, then we will see consequences.
Enough said, for now….. God bless you in the name of Jesus!