For the past two weeks I have been reading Hosea. What a great book of the Bible! I don't understand everything and I know it was not written to apply to every aspect of my life since it was written in times when the Israelites were still living under the law, but I still think it is an amazing book! I don't see how anyone cannot see God's love for his Children through this prophesy.
When I read of how Israel has played the harlot, I see myself. To commit adultery with God is to leave Him and find pleasure in or dedicate yourself to other things or people. I've done that. There are times when I ignore God so that I can have "fun" my way. In the end it is no fun at all, and I realize I have not been faithful to my first love. I feel like a wretch.
In the book of Hosea God shows his anger towards His people who have left Him to worship other Gods. "My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God. They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills . . ."
Israel has done great wickedness in the sight of their God and he will not leave them unpunished. "Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother." What awful displeasure God had with them! A displeasure I hate to think that God ever had with me.
Yet this harsh punishment, as awful as it may seem, is done in love. "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up." When God takes everything from us, all we have left is our Lord. The only place we can go is to God. The only one who can help us is Jesus. When we are in our lowest state we see who we really need. When God punishes us, He sees the end. He knows that we will not like the chastisement, but He also knows that we will be better for it when it is over!
I am so thankful that just when it seems it can get no worse, God says, "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him." Praise the Lord He will always love me! No matter what I do to Him or how unfaithful I am to Him, He will always be faithful to me!
Sometimes I feel like this is the story of my life. I backslide on God. God punishes me. But in the morning . . . His mercies are renewed! It is a cycle that I have yet to find a way out of. My flesh is ever present and always causing me to err. "Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein."
**All scripture taken from the book of Hosea, King James Bible**