Sin has consequences.
We see that in today’s reading, but first, let’s recap what has happened thus far.
In Chapters 1-3, we read the story of Hosea and Gomer as a representation of Israel’s unfaithfulness to the Lord. Gomer was an unfaithful wife to Hosea, going after other people in promiscuity. Hosea, commanded by the Lord, finds Gomer, pays off whatever debt she has, and lovingly brings her home.
In Chapters 4-9, we see the charge against Israel (Ch. 4), the failure of Israel’s leaders (Ch. 5), a partially repentant Israel (Ch. 6) that still loves wickedness (Ch. 7 & 8), and the pronouncement of punishment against Israel (Ch. 9).
In Chapter 10, Israel is unrepentant and in sin. They are materially prosperous, but idolatrous (v. 1) with a heart that wavers back and forth between worshipping God and worshipping idols (v. 2). In fact, Israel intentionally makes “covenants they don’t intend to keep” (v. 4), and has made “no progress whatsoever” in overcoming sin (v. 9). Because of Israel’s constant sinning, they are “guilty and must be punished” (v. 2).
We are much like the Israelites. We constantly make promises we cannot keep. We have hearts that waver back and forth between worshipping God and worshipping the idols we create. We love wickedness. Often times it feels like we have made no progress whatsoever in overcoming sin. We are guilty and deserve to be punished.
However, there is hope in the Gospel. Jesus lived the obedient life we should have lived and died a death that we deserved in our place. Jesus came back from the dead, defeating sin, death, Satan, hell, and darkness. Because Jesus took the punishment for our sin, we can now live forgiven and in a relationship with God as he changes us to be more like Him and gives us desires to obey Him. What a wonderful truth!
It is by remembering, cherishing, and constantly reminding ourselves of the Gospel that we can overcome sin and the idols that we create for ourselves. It is through this constant refreshing of the Gospel that we do the hard work of planting the “good seeds of righteousness” in order to “harvest a crop of love” (v. 12).
It is my prayer that today with the Lord’s help we will “plow up the hard ground of [our] hearts” (v. 12) and seek the Lord.
For the Lord to show you what idols are in your life
For the Lord to plow up the hard ground of your heart and soften it towards Him
For the Lord to help you to plant the good seeds of righteousness (prayer, Bible-reading, etc.)
By: Lucas Taylor — Worship Ministries Intern