Consequences of sin…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Hosea 101-8

Israel empties his vine;

​​He brings forth fruit for himself.

​​According to the multitude of his fruit

​​He has increased the altars;

​​According to the bounty of his land

​​They have embellished his sacred pillars.

 ​​Their heart is divided;

​​Now they are held guilty.

​​He will break down their altars;

​​He will ruin their sacred pillars.

For now they say,

​​“We have no king,

​​Because we did not fear the LORD.

​​And as for a king, what would he do for us?”

They have spoken words,

​​Swearing falsely in making a covenant.

​​Thus judgment springs up like hemlock in the furrows of the field.

​The inhabitants of Samaria fear

​​Because of the calf  of Beth Aven.

​​For its people mourn for it,

​​And its priests shriek for it—

​​Because its glory has departed from it.

The idol also shall be carried to Assyria

​​As a present for King Jareb.

​​Ephraim shall receive shame,

​​And Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.

 ​​As for Samaria, her king is cut off

​​Like a twig on the water.

Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel,

​​Shall be destroyed.

​​The thorn and thistle shall grow on their altars;

​​They shall say to the mountains, “Cover us!”

​​And to the hills, “Fall on us!”

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Such a picture of depression!  And many say the same today.

“…​​They shall say to the mountains, “Cover us!”

​​And to the hills, “Fall on us!”…”

Life apart from God; led in resistance to him seems wonderful and beautiful for  a time.  Then the spoken consequences show up and there is no comfort, no help to be found,  If nothing else let us be constant in our relationship with the Lord.  To the believer, be found faithful in your relationship with the Lord.  To the non-believer, life apart from God has consequences that are unpleasant.  While we all experience these consequences at times, the non-believer  lacks the powerful, spiritual comfort that transcends any of the consequences of sin.  The peace of God cannot be explained or even adequately described; but it is real for all believers.

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The paradox in the sinful nation…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Hosea 9:10-17

​“I found Israel

​​Like grapes in the wilderness;

​​I saw your fathers

​​As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season.

​​But they went to Baal Peor,

​​And separated themselves to that shame;

​​They became an abomination like the thing they loved.

 ​​As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird—

​​No birth, no pregnancy, and no conception!

Though they bring up their children,

​​Yet I will bereave them to the last man.

​​Yes, woe to them when I depart from them!

 ​​Just as I saw Ephraim like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place,

​​So Ephraim will bring out his children to the murderer.”

 ​​Give them, O LORD—

​​What will You give?

​​Give them a miscarrying womb

​​And dry breasts!

 ​​“All their wickedness is in Gilgal,

​​For there I hated them.

​​Because of the evil of their deeds

​​I will drive them from My house;

​​I will love them no more.

​​All their princes are rebellious.

 ​​Ephraim is stricken,

​​Their root is dried up;

​​They shall bear no fruit.

​​Yes, were they to bear children,

​​I would kill the darlings of their womb.”

​​My God will cast them away,

​​Because they did not obey Him;

​​And they shall be wanderers among the nations.

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Will God forever withhold judgment from a sinful nation?  They, Israel, no doubt grieved over the loss of life among their cherished children; but paradoxically they willingly gave up their children to sacrifice to the idol god.  There is a parallel today as we grieve over the loss of life among our children in schools and elsewhere at the hands of violent, ill men and women; and yet we willingly sacrifice the unborn child at the altar of the god, self, through abortion to appease our selfish natures.

The faithful believer can continue to be a light in a very dark world.  A life that speaks truth as Hosea and the prophets of old did.  A life grounded firmly in a belief that God did not turn away from his faithful, he did not turn away from His creation; He sent His son, Jesus, and we who go to the cross, repent, receive forgiveness and rise a new creature, even as he arose from the tomb, can be that light.  A life lived fully, completely and giving evidence that there is a better way, a way of living that gives life, doesn’t take it; gives love; doesn’t trample it; gives to the needy, poor, oppressed not out of obligation but spontaneously out of love, in gratitude to the Lord for what we have received.

Follow the truth…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Hosea 9

Do not rejoice, O Israel, with joy like other peoples,

​​For you have played the harlot against your God.

​​You have made love for hire on every threshing floor.

 ​​The threshing floor and the winepress

​​Shall not feed them,

​​And the new wine shall fail in her.

 ​​They shall not dwell in the LORD’s land,

​​But Ephraim shall return to Egypt,

​​And shall eat unclean things in Assyria.

 ​​They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD,

​​Nor shall their sacrifices be pleasing to Him.

​​It shall be like bread of mourners to them;

​​All who eat it shall be defiled.

​​For their bread shall be for their own life;

​​It shall not come into the house of the LORD.

​​What will you do in the appointed day,

​​And in the day of the feast of the LORD?

 ​​For indeed they are gone because of destruction.

​​Egypt shall gather them up;

​​Memphis shall bury them.

​​Nettles shall possess their valuables of silver;

​​Thorns shall be in their tents.

 ​​The days of punishment have come;

​​The days of recompense have come.

​​Israel knows!

​​The prophet is a fool,

​​The spiritual man is insane,

​​Because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity.

 ​​The watchman of Ephraim is with my God;

​​But the prophet is a fowler’s  snare in all his ways—

​​Enmity in the house of his God.

 ​​They are deeply corrupted,

​​As in the days of Gibeah.

​​He will remember their iniquity;

​​He will punish their sins.

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Once again it is striking how we can substitute America for Israel and the shoe fits.  O that it wasn’t so!!  The believer can take comfort in knowing they do not face personal judgment;  there is redemption found for us at the cross, forgiveness and new life.  However, we are reminded that we live in the world even though we are not of it..  The old adage, ‘it rains on the just and the unjust’ applies.  When we are treated as the prophets of old

“…the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired man a maniac…” 

we can rise above the hostility knowing it is not surprising but to  be expected in a hostile land.  We answer to God, not mankind.  We will find opposition even in the church!

“…hostility [awaits]  him in the house of his God…!” 

The place we go to, to seek comfort, is often where we receive judgment and hostility, from those who are invested in self rather than God.

Other translations cast a different light on this passage:  The prophets and spiritual men were considered snares, fools and insane due to the corruption in their ranks.  Israel knew this and could not come to the place of worship to find knowledge of the ways of God.  The same could be said today  and the general population knows this and holds the ‘church’ in scorn for their actions and teachings that stray from the word.

Let us not follow the paths of so many, paths that lead way from God.  Let us be found faithful to the  God of His word.  Let us seek him and know him.

Reaping the whirlwind…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Hosea 8

“Set the trumpet  to your mouth!

​​He shall come like an eagle against the house of the LORD,

​​Because they have transgressed My covenant

​​And rebelled against My law.

​​Israel will cry to Me,

​‘​My God, we know You!’

 ​​Israel has rejected the good;

​​The enemy will pursue him.

“They set up kings, but not by Me;

​​They made princes, but I did not acknowledge them.

​​From their silver and gold

​​They made idols for themselves—

​​That they might be cut off.

​​Your calf is rejected, O Samaria!

​​My anger is aroused against them—

​​How long until they attain to innocence?

​​For from Israel is even this:

​​A workman made it, and it is not God;

​​But the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.

“They sow the wind,

​​And reap the whirlwind.

​​The stalk has no bud;

​​It shall never produce meal.

​​If it should produce,

​​Aliens would swallow it up.

Israel is swallowed up;

​​Now they are among the Gentiles

​​Like a vessel in which is no pleasure.

For they have gone up to Assyria,

​​Like a wild donkey alone by itself;

​​Ephraim has hired lovers.

 ​​Yes, though they have hired among the nations,

​​Now I will gather them;

​​And they shall sorrow a little,

​​Because of the burden of the king of princes.

 ​​“Because Ephraim has made many altars for sin,

​​They have become for him altars for sinning.

 ​​I have written for him the great things of My law,

​​But they were considered a strange thing.

For the sacrifices of My offerings they sacrifice flesh and eat it,

​​But the LORD does not accept them.

​​Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.

​​They shall return to Egypt.

​​“For Israel has forgotten his Maker,

​​And has built temples;

​​Judah also has multiplied fortified cities;

​​But I will send fire upon his cities,

​​And it shall devour his palaces.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Hsa&c=8&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Humanity continually strays from their maker.  We place our trust in humanity only to find they are not as strong, or loving, or resourceful as we thought.  Time after time we are hurt, damaged, disappointed and time after time we then seek the face of God.  We ask where is God?  or; How could God allow this…? And all that time it is us, ourselves.  We have sown the wind and are reaping the whirlwind.

“…“They sow the wind,

​​And reap the whirlwind….”

Reaping_The_Whirlwind[1]

Reaping the Whirlwind from God’s Daily Word

“…The stalk has no bud;

​​It shall never produce meal.

​​If it should produce,

​​Aliens would swallow it up…”

Failing crops from Earthy Report

Failing crops from Earthy Report

This does not have to be! We ask God where He is when we are the ones who have left Him!  It is time to seek Him, to learn of Him.  It is time to taste the completeness of life in Him.  Jesus’ birth is remembered and that is good.  Better yet to receive, personally, the gift of life that was given on the cross and through the empty tomb!

Rejection…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.  Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Hosea 7:8-16

​“Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples;

​​Ephraim is a cake unturned.

Aliens have devoured his strength,

​​But he does not know it;

​​Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him,

​​Yet he does not know it.

 ​​And the pride of Israel testifies to his face,

​​But they do not return to the LORD their God,

​​Nor seek Him for all this.

“Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense—

​​They call to Egypt,

​​They go to Assyria.

 ​​Wherever they go, I will spread My net on them;

​​I will bring them down like birds of the air;

​​I will chastise them

​​According to what their congregation has heard.

“Woe to them, for they have fled from Me!

​​Destruction to them,

​​Because they have transgressed against Me!

​​Though I redeemed them,

​​Yet they have spoken lies against Me.

They did not cry out to Me with their heart

​​When they wailed upon their beds.

​​“They assemble together for grain and new wine,

​​They rebel against Me;

 ​​Though I disciplined and strengthened their arms,

​​Yet they devise evil against Me;

They return, but not to the Most High;

​​They are like a treacherous bow.

​​Their princes shall fall by the sword

​​For the cursings of their tongue.

​​This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.

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What is learned of God?  There is no pain we suffer that He doesn’t know intimately on a larger scale.

The Restless Night

I just had to share this with all of you.  May it bless you as it did me.  And as always remember, Jesus is the LIGHT of the world!!!
The Restless Night
by Ferdie Richard Madara on Monday, December 24, 2012 at 7:06am ·

Light is still light even though the earth spins our hemisphere into the darkness.  It happens everyday right on time.  It is only because of nature’s God-given pattern that we have hope for the morning and we know from experience the light will return.  Twenty-four hours per day, split into light and darkness, day after day, week after week, ever since we can remember.  We believe the light is there though the earth is cloaked in darkness.

 

The night seems so long when there is no rest to be had.  Many turn upon their beds and some never bother to go there.  There is no hope in their night because the entrance of light in the morning just means the things that keep them awake are revealed.  Ugly messes created from failures, disease, hate and fear are written on the walls and painted on the canvas of human life.  At one time it seemed as though they had gone away, but they are brought back from somewhere in the past and lay about the house like mildew and dry-rot eating away peace and happiness.

 

Light has great purpose for us though for with light we have the opportunity to clean the house.  Still, the messes return because we are human and habitually dirty creatures.  Very often we become lazy or despondent making the job of cleaning the house very difficult.  We tell ourselves it hurts too much to work today and we pity ourselves, being on our own with no help from the people who are supposed to love us.  Victims of our circumstances, we crawl into bed finding that rest is not there, just darkness.

 

The key to rest is meditate on the beauty of morning and the light for there is where we find hope.  The night must end because it is the natural course given to us by God.  In every situation there is hope because we know joy comes in the morning.  Without this joy all hopes die and colors remain drab as they are absorbed into the darkness of night.  People without hope forget the morning will eventually arrive.

 

Only the physical earth has a day and a night that is twenty four hours long, yours may be longer or shorter.  Consider the night of waiting to hear that a loved one has passed away compared to the night of the man who is imprisoned for life.  Compare the night of illness to the night of constant mental anguish brought about by a marriage partner full of hatred.  Pity the man who can rise to heights so tall that he can only find pleasure in himself: his lonely night may last a lifetime.  But there is morning for everyone’s dark experience, even if it lasts a lifetime.

 

The morning is something that must be believed in and hoped for; the morning comes even though we do not see it.  Hebrews eleven reminds us that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.  It tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God, for those who come to Him must believe that He is and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  God is the ultimate hope that night will finally end.  He is the light we seek in every one of our nights.  Wise men still seek Him.

 

Have a blessed and restful Christmas,

Ferd

But that is not the end…

Hosea 7

When I would have healed Israel,

​​Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered,

​​And the wickedness of Samaria.

​​For they have committed fraud;

​​A thief comes in;

​​A band of robbers takes spoil outside.

They do not consider in their hearts

​​That I remember all their wickedness;

​​Now their own deeds have surrounded them;

​​They are before My face.

They make a king glad with their wickedness,

​​And princes with their lies.

“They are all adulterers.

​​Like an oven heated by a baker—

​​He ceases stirring the fire after kneading the dough,

​​Until it is leavened.

In the day of our king

​​Princes have made him sick, inflamed with wine;

​​He stretched out his hand with scoffers.

They prepare their heart like an oven,

​​While they lie in wait;

​​Their baker sleeps all night;

​​In the morning it burns like a flaming fire.

They are all hot, like an oven,

​​And have devoured their judges;

​​All their kings have fallen.

​​None among them calls upon Me.

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Have we ever been in a place where we had the supply, the resource needed by another, offered it and had it refused only to watch that other one suffer needlessly?  This is the picture Hosea paints of a nation deserting their God, who chose them!  They go their own way, follow others who only turn on them in their time of need.  And all the while, God waits to help them and they do not turn back.  We too, as a nation, have gone astray; each to his own way.

Isaiah  53:6 KJV – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The picture is not a picture of the end.  There is hope.  “the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”  Jesus came; we look forward to celebrating His coming.  But it doesn’t stop there.  He gave his life.  This life gift was the needed sacrifice to pay for the sins of all mankind.  And He died as the penalty for sin is death.  But it doesn’t end there!  There is an empty tomb that promises us the same eternal life he demonstrated.  He wasn’t a victim of death; death was his victim!  Where, o death, is your sting?

“1Corinthians 15:55 NKJV – “O Death, where [is] your sting? O Hades, where [is] your victory?”

Hosea 13:14 NKJV – “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes.”

We grieve at the loss of loved ones; but it doesn’t end there!  We will rejoin them, and there is comfort in knowing that they are with the Lord.  Life, not death is the promise to those who accept what Jesus came to do and did.  Life, not death is the promise to those who turn back to the Creator who loves them.  Life, not death is the promise to those who become one with the Son and the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit and live now through eternity.  Blessed be the name of the Lord!