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 is the influence: spoken to Israel but certainly pertinent to today when the mind-sets are compared…
Come, let us return to the Lord, for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck, and he will bind our wounds. After two days, he will revive us; on the third day, he will raise us up; and we will live in his presence. Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord. That he will come is as certain as morning; he will come to us like the rain, like the spring rains that water the earth.
When distress comes upon men they turn to find relief. When destruction comes, humanity seeks a solution. Turning to God, they ask for restoration. The Lord, however, sees the heart. A punished child cries and seeks comfort. With no real change of heart, they repeat their bad behavior and get ‘caught’ again. Consequences follow the misbehavior and the cycle repeats until a change of heart occurs that translates into changed behavior. The Lord takes note of the same in the unrepentant believer…
For your ‘faithful love’ is like morning cloud, like dew that disappears quickly. This is why I have cut them to pieces by the prophets, slaughtered them with the words from my mouth—the judgment on you shines out like light. For what I desire is mercy, not sacrifices, knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
‘Prophecies’ abound today; some make great promises of wealth and well-being in sugar-laced sweetness. Some are accompanied by fantasy-filled images lovely to behold, using light, softness, visual ‘peace.’ Then there are those predicting dire warnings, distress and destruction; offering fear and a need to stockpile goods, provisions relying on this present earth. In all of this the believer is left to wonder at the genuineness of any of it. Those outside the body of believers are brought to mockery and scorn. What to do? What to think? What to believe? The answers are found already spoken by God in His Living Word.
He states, “When I restore the fortunes of my people, when I am ready to heal…crimes confront me…wickedness. For they keep practicing deceit; thieves break in, bands of robbers raid outside. They never say to themselves that I remember their evil. Now their own deeds surround them; they are right in front of me. Am I supposed to redeem them, when they have spoken lies against me? They have not cried out to me from their hearts, even though they wail on their beds. They return, but not upward; they are like an unreliable bow.
Return…take words with you, and return to God; say to him, “Forgive all guilt, and accept what is good; we will pay instead of bulls (what is temporal) the offerings of our lips. We will no longer call what we made with our hands our gods. [What good are wages when they are removed. Where is true sustenance?] For it is only in you, (God), that the fatherless can find mercy. (Outside the relationship with God all are fatherless.)
There is hope in Christ and in His Words: “I will heal their disloyalty, I will love them freely; for my anger has turned from him. I will be like dew, …he will blossom like a lily and strike roots like the Lebanon. His branches will spread out, his beauty be like an olive tree and his fragrance like the Lebanon. Again they will live in his shade and raise grain; they will blossom like a vine, and its aroma will be like the wine of the Lebanon.” God states, “I am like a fresh, green cypress tree; your fruitfulness comes from me.” Let the wise understand these things, and let the discerning know them. For the ways of the Lord are straight, and the righteous walk in them, but in them sinners stumble.
Personalize God’s Words, see how they fit, rejoice in their promise and wisdom.
Parenthesis and comments within scripture references are mine.
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