Hosea: Forgetting God
If a sea had parted and you walked over on dry land, a pillar of cloud led you during the day and a pillar of fire by night, food rained down from heaven, and a city was captured simply by walking around it, how could you follow after other gods? But, this is exactly what Israel did.
Israel turned away from God because they started to believe that it was them who provided for themselves, and they forgot about all of the mighty acts of God. This pride also deceived them into thinking that they were without sin.
When they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me (Hosea 13:6).
"Ah, but I am rich; I have found wealth for myself; in all my labours they cannot find in me iniquity or sin (Hos. 12:8)."It is easy to look down on Israel or other people in the church and claim they have forgotten about God, but what about me? Do I ever ask for forgiveness? Do I ever repent of sin in my life? Of course, we all know we are sinners, but what about specific sins? Israel trusted in her own way and it brought them into the path of judgement.
My people are bent on turning away from me, and though they call out to the Most High, he shall not raise them up at all. How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I had you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I tread you like Zeboiim (Hos. 11:7-8)?Admah and Zeboiim where neighbouring cities of Sodom and Gomorrah which were destroyed by in the wrath of God. These two cities where influenced by Sodom and Gomorrah to sin just like Israel was influenced by the pagan's in the promised land. But, God would not wipe Israel out totally like He did with Admah and Zeboiim; He would preserve a remnant to fulfill His promises.
Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes (Hos. 13:14).God's wrath on Israel would run its course because they did not seek the LORD, but that would not be the end of the story. Whenever God's wrath is at the tipping point we find mercy. Because of Israel's failure, blessing came upon the whole world.
In you the orphan finds mercy (Hos. 14:3).
It is easy to look down on Israel and their stupidity but we are no different. We often look at the miracles they experienced and think to ourselves that if only that happened to us we would follow wholeheartedly after God. We would never kiss a calf or go to our enemies for security! Let's not be foolish.
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them (Hos. 14:9).Israel forgot about God once they got into the promised land. They no longer remembered that it was God that brought them out of captivity in Egypt. Here are a few questions for Christians to consider:
- Do we forget about God, how?
- Israel was constantly reminded about being brought out of Egypt, what is the equivalent for us?
- Do we want God to show us a sign now or are we content with the sign He gave us thousands of years ago? Is that enough for us?
- Does the grace of God manifest itself in our lives or are we like Jonah (Jonah 4:1-4), who begrudged the grace of God?
- Are we in awe of God's grace or do we take it for granted thinking that we are worthy of it?
- Do we see our own failures and confess them or do we only see the failures of others?