Saturday, February 7, 2015
The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. (Hosea 1:1 KJV)
That covers a lot of time, living through the reigns of those kings. Not a time of growth, calmness nor peace. There’s a lot of history from those days, written in other books. So why do we have one where a man is told to marry an unfaithful woman?
To see a picture of the unfaithfulness of God’s chosen people, and His response. As Gomer answered the desires of other lovers, Israel answered the calls from other gods. Chapter after chapter we are shown how Hosea (God) sought his chosen (Israel) in spite of unfaithfulness.
Toward the end of Hosea there is a beautiful description of God caring for His children:
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. (Hosea 11:1-3 KJV)
This is a portrait of Israel as God's son, chosen and brought into a close relationship as father and child. This picture of God's guidance and guarding care of Ephraim is tender - an affectionate parent teaching a child to walk, lifting by the arms to hold them up. Teaching the child how to walk and not stumble, lifting the child over obstacles. In spite of the help, on his own the child stumbles and is hurt - and the Father heals. The child does not acknowledge that help, does not show appreciation of God's work, His design, His every day oversight and involvement, ignoring the healing.
We, too, are His children, by our acceptance of His invitation:
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (Romans 8:14-16 KJV)
Do we appreciate God's gracious designs and dealings with us? Do we tell Him how much we appreciate Him? Do we cry Abba? I don’t believe I do as much as I should.
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20 KJV)
I believe I take time to thank Him when I receive that for which I have asked. I doubt I give thanks for the grouchy person I was given the opportunity to lift with a kind word; the rude person blocking the aisle/road so I could nod, wave and pass with a smile. Why? because they are part of the “all things” for which I should be giving thanks. Because God has not given up on His children:
How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? (Hosea 11:8 KJV)