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.
“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.
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.