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?
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor