Today you should read: Hosea 3-4
If you’ve ever been present when I’ve taught out of the Old Testament, you’ve heard me say the phrase, “Israel is my life story.” I especially believe this to be true when I read about the continuous cycle Israel went through during the period of the judges:
1) Israel forgets God
2) God gives Israel over to the consequences
3) God disciplines Israel
4) Israel remembers the Lord and repents of her sin
5) God relents His judgment and resorts Israel
I’ve seen the above cycle played out in my life numerous times. Have you? Well, that’s essentially the same cycle we see in Hosea. In chapter 3, we see the foreshadowing of God’s redemption and restoration of Israel, especially in verses 3-5:
And I said to her, “You must dwell as mine for many days. You shall not play the whore, or belong to another man; so will I also be to you.” For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:3-5 ESV)
This seems exciting, right? And then there’s chapter 4…
God was fired up. His righteous anger burned against Israel for her disobedience and willful, ongoing sin. Verse 5 tells us the root of the sin: pride. And it goes on to say that this pride will lead to stumbling. Yes, redemption is coming, but in this chapter we see the sin that disgusts God and that deserves punishment. The blessing for us who are in Christ is that He took that punishment. He bore the wrath that was directed for us. That’s the biblical concept of “propitiation”.
A few questions for thought today:
1) What is your perspective of sin? Do you feel the weight of it? Do you understand God’s hatred for it?
2) Does your walk with God resemble the cycle described above?
3) How can you, as a Christ-follower, fight against this cycle?
3) Do you regularly celebrate God’s goodness & grace that you’ve experienced in Christ Jesus?
Posted by: Todd Thomas
3 thoughts on “March 8, 2012”
Thanks Todd for challenging us to stop the cycle of sin, and walk with God each day. The latter part of verse 14, from chapter 4, really leapt off the page for me. “A people without understanding will come to ruin.” I see evidence of this daily in the moral decadence and decline in our country. God is challenging me to boldly share the Gospel and get people into His word so they will understand God’s great love for them and His plan for our world. Thank you God for allowing me to be part of Your plan.
Good words for us today. God hates sin, He doesn’t just dislike it, He hates it and we need to hate it in ourselves.
Thanks, Todd. I believe we can all relate to the vicious cycle we see of Israel throughout the Old Testament. However, I also believe that through the power of Christ we can break the cycle and live victoriously over sin. In answer to your question #3, I think the key to this will be found not just in avoiding (saying “No!”) to sin, but in replacing our sin with positive disciplines that help us respond more intentionally to God’s love. Disciplines that help us grow in truth, knowledge and understanding – disciplines beyond just a “quicky’ prayer before meals and a chapter a day of Bible reading – disciplines that avail us to the transforming power of God. Replacing sin with disciplines like silence, solitude, fasting, study, self-examination, frugrality, service, etc. will help us live victoriously and break the vicious cycle that brings destruction in our lives.