1984.) Hosea 13

December 8, 2016

Hosea 13   (NIV)

Through Baal Ephraim died.

God will be like a lion

That will devour them.

–The Gendai Bible (each chapter summarized in a haiku)
by Rev. Frederick K. Boyle

The Lord’s Anger Against Israel

When Ephraim spoke, people trembled;
he was exalted in Israel.
But he became guilty of Baal worship and died.
Now they sin more and more;
they make idols for themselves from their silver,
cleverly fashioned images,
all of them the work of craftsmen.
It is said of these people,
“They offer human sacrifices!
They kiss calf-idols!”

“Viewed together, the sin is a total perversion of values. A craftsman’s work is elevated to divine status; human beings sacrifice their offspring to a metal object from whose lifeless form they also beg help; persons embrace with adulation the images of the very animals that they use for ploughing, threshing and hauling.”

–Robert L. Hubbard

Therefore they will be like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears,
like chaff swirling from a threshing floor,
like smoke escaping through a window.

“But I have been the Lord your God
ever since you came out of Egypt.
You shall acknowledge no God but me,
no Savior except me.
I cared for you in the wilderness,
in the land of burning heat.
When I fed them, they were satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud;
then they forgot me.
So I will be like a lion to them,
like a leopard I will lurk by the path.


Like a bear robbed of her cubs,

I will attack them and rip them open;
like a lion I will devour them—
a wild animal will tear them apart.

“You are destroyed, Israel,
because you are against me, against your helper.
10 Where is your king, that he may save you?
Where are your rulers in all your towns,
of whom you said,
‘Give me a king and princes’?
11 So in my anger I gave you a king,
and in my wrath I took him away.
12 The guilt of Ephraim is stored up,
his sins are kept on record.
13 Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him,
but he is a child without wisdom;
when the time arrives,
he doesn’t have the sense to come out of the womb.

14 “I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
Where, O grave, is your destruction?

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more, death, thou shalt die.

–John Donne (1572-1631)

“I will have no compassion,
15     even though he thrives among his brothers.
An east wind from the Lord will come,
blowing in from the desert;
his spring will fail
and his well dry up.
His storehouse will be plundered
of all its treasures.
16 The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
because they have rebelled against their God.
They will fall by the sword;
their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
their pregnant women ripped open.”

_________________________

Music:

1 Corinthians 15:50-57   (NIV)

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

   “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Click  HERE   to hear Kristyn Lennox sing Stuart Townend and Keith Getty’s beautiful Easter hymn, “See, What a Morning.”  And for today and the rest of your earthly life, remember that death has lost its sting, for Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images courtesy of:
Stay close.    http://mikeatasbury.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/god-post-it-note.jpg
opposite.   http://www.principalspage.com/theblog/wp-content/uploads//2009/05/opposite.gif
leopard.    http://www.theanimalfiles.com/images/leopard_4.jpg
bear.    http://thedailychapter.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/wild-bear.jpg?w=300&h=240
lion.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/lioneating1.jpg
empty tomb.    http://olhcyear6.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/empty_tomb_104.jpg

1983.) Hosea 12

December 7, 2016

Hosea 12   (NIV)

Jacob strove with God,

But Ephraim said, “I am rich.”

Now God will repay.

–The Gendai Bible (each chapter summarized in a haiku)
by Rev. Frederick K. Boyle

 Israel’s Sin

Ephraim feeds on the wind;
he pursues the east wind all day
and multiplies lies and violence.
He makes a treaty with Assyria
and sends olive oil to Egypt.
The Lord has a charge to bring against Judah;
he will punish Jacob according to his ways
and repay him according to his deeds.

“Jacob Wrestles with the Angel” by Rembrandt, 1660 (Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin)

Genesis 32:24-30   (NLT)

This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

“What is your name?” the man asked.

He replied, “Jacob (meaning:  heel, or deceiver).”

“Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel (meaning:  God fights), because you have fought with God and with men and have won.”

“Please tell me your name,” Jacob said.

“Why do you want to know my name?” the man replied. Then he blessed Jacob there.

Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.”

In the womb he grasped his brother’s heel;
as a man he struggled with God.
He struggled with the angel and overcame him;
he wept and begged for his favor.
He found him at Bethel
and talked with him there—
the Lord God Almighty,
the Lord is his name!
But you must return to your God;
maintain love and justice,
and wait for your God always.

hosea12-return

Just as Jacob was literally wrestled into submission by an angel of God, just as Jacob pleaded with tears for God’s blessing — just so must Israel return to the Lord.

The merchant uses dishonest scales
and loves to defraud.
Ephraim boasts,
“I am very rich; I have become wealthy.
With all my wealth they will not find in me
any iniquity or sin.”

Revelation 3:17, 19   (NIV)

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.

“I have been the Lord your God
ever since you came out of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
as in the days of your appointed festivals.
10 I spoke to the prophets,
gave them many visions
and told parables through them.”

11 Is Gilead wicked?
Its people are worthless!
Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal?
Their altars will be like piles of stones
on a plowed field.
12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram;
Israel served to get a wife,
and to pay for her he tended sheep.

Jacob served his Uncle Laban by caring for his flocks of sheep for seven years in order to marry Laban’s daughter, Rachel.  You may remember there are some twists to the story!  See Genesis 27-30.

13 The Lord used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt,
by a prophet he cared for him.
14 But Ephraim has aroused his bitter anger;
his Lord will leave on him the guilt of his bloodshed
and will repay him for his contempt.

_________________________

Music:

From verse 6:  HERE  is “Return to God”  —  by Marty Haugen.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images courtesy of:
You must return . . .    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/h12-verse-6-pink1.jpg
Rembrandt.    http://static.artbible.info/large/jakob_engel.jpg
Return to me.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/46e2a-hosea5.jpeg
spotted Jacob sheep.   http://www.sweetgrass-jacobs.com/images/drummond.jpg

1982.) Hosea 11

December 6, 2016
Aslan the lion is the Christ figure in C. S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia." Verse

Aslan the lion is the Christ figure in C. S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Verse 10 tells us the Lord will roar like a lion and his people will come to him.

 Hosea 11   (NIV)

When Ephraim was young,

God led them with words of love,

And they will return.

–The Gendai Bible (each chapter summarized in a haiku)
by Rev. Frederick K. Boyle

God’s Love for Israel

“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.

“Out of Egypt.”  This last line has a double meaning.  God remembers His tender love for Israel, when more than 500 years before the time of Hosea He brought them out of Egypt.  But this is also a prophecy fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Matthew 2:15 shows how the words “out of Egypt I called My son” were fulfilled when the child Jesus returned from Egypt after escaping there on the eve of Herod’s massacre of the innocents.

But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.
It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;

hosea-11-leaning-to-walk

but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.

“Will they not return to Egypt
and will not Assyria rule over them
because they refuse to repent?

re·pent

verb (used without object)

1.

to feel sorry, self-reproachful, or contrite for past conduct; regret or be conscience-stricken about a past action, attitude, etc. (often followed by of): He repented after his thoughtless act.

2.

to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better; be penitent.

A sword will flash in their cities;
it will devour their false prophets
and put an end to their plans.
My people are determined to turn from me.
Even though they call me God Most High,
I will by no means exalt them.

“How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboyim?

Admah and Zeboiim were two cities near Sodom and Gomorrah that were also destroyed (Deuteronomy 29:23).

My heart is changed within me;
all my compassion is aroused.
I will not carry out my fierce anger,
nor will I devastate Ephraim again.
For I am God, and not a man—
the Holy One among you.
I will not come against their cities.
10 They will follow the Lord;
he will roar like a lion.
When he roars,
his children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come from Egypt,
trembling like sparrows,
from Assyria, fluttering like doves.

Such vivid imagery!  Such contrast!  God as a roaring lion, his people as trembling sparrows and fluttering doves.

I will settle them in their homes,”
declares the Lord.

Israel’s Sin

12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
Israel with deceit.
And Judah is unruly against God,
even against the faithful Holy One.

_________________________

Music:

Can you hear God’s broken heart at their/our sin and their/our refusal to repent?

HERE is a “broken heart” song that you probably haven’t heard in a while!  The Bee Gees and “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?”

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images courtesy of:
Aslan.   http://geoff-at-the-movies.com/caspian2.jpg
Egyptian pyramids.    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/af/All_Gizah_Pyramids.jpg/300px-All_Gizah_Pyramids.jpg
learning to walk.   http://images.parents.mdpcdn.com/sites/parents.com/files/styles/width_360/public/images/p_FAN2012952.jpg
house sparrows and dove.   http://jaredandamy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/house-sparrow-and-dove.jpg

1981.) Hosea 10

December 5, 2016

Hosea 10   (NIV)

They utter mere words.

They are a wayward people

Eating fruit of lies.

–The Gendai Bible (each chapter summarized in a haiku)
by Rev. Frederick K. Boyle

Israel was a spreading vine;
he brought forth fruit for himself.
As his fruit increased,
he built more altars;
as his land prospered,
he adorned his sacred stones.
Their heart is deceitful,
and now they must bear their guilt.
The Lord will demolish their altars
and destroy their sacred stones.

Luke 12:15-21   (NLT)

Then Jesus told them a story:  “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’

“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

Then they will say, “We have no king
because we did not revere the Lord.
But even if we had a king,
what could he do for us?”

Their kings are effectively powerless, ruled as they are by a foreign nation.

They make many promises,
take false oaths
and make agreements;
therefore lawsuits spring up
like poisonous weeds in a plowed field.
The people who live in Samaria fear
for the calf-idol of Beth Aven.
Its people will mourn over it,
and so will its idolatrous priests,
those who had rejoiced over its splendor,
because it is taken from them into exile.
It will be carried to Assyria
as tribute for the great king.

Their fancy and handsome idols will be carried off as booty.  Yet still they live in fear of the idol instead of in fear of the Lord.

Ephraim will be disgraced;
Israel will be ashamed of its foreign alliances.
Samaria’s king will be destroyed,
swept away like a twig on the surface of the waters.
The high places of wickedness will be destroyed—
it is the sin of Israel.
Thorns and thistles will grow up
and cover their altars.
Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!”
and to the hills, “Fall on us!”

The places where once they cheerfully worshiped false gods are now abandoned.

“Since the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, Israel,
and there you have remained.
Will not war again overtake
the evildoers in Gibeah?
10 When I please, I will punish them;
nations will be gathered against them
to put them in bonds for their double sin.

Hosea’s vivid imagery portrays Israel as an unruly farm animal which must be subdued and trained with a yoke:

11 Ephraim is a trained heifer
that loves to thresh;
so I will put a yoke
on her fair neck.
I will drive Ephraim,
Judah must plow,
and Jacob must break up the ground.

12 Sow righteousness for yourselves,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,

until he comes
and showers his righteousness on you.

_________________________

Music:

Let us not delay!  Let us seek the Lord! We are desperate for the Lord, lost without Him.  Michael W. Smith and “Breathe.”

Click  HERE  to listen.

________________________

13 But you have planted wickedness,
you have reaped evil,
you have eaten the fruit of deception.

hosea10-planted-reaped

Any farmer or gardener can affirm that you reap what you sow. Would you rather plant righteousness and reap love, or plant wickedness and reap evil? May the Lord help us to make the right choices that result in his eternal glory!

Because you have depended on your own strength
and on your many warriors,
14 the roar of battle will rise against your people,
so that all your fortresses will be devastated—
as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle,
when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children.
15 So will it happen to you, Bethel,
because your wickedness is great.
When that day dawns,
the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images courtesy of:
break ground.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/breaking-ground.jpg
Eat, drink, and be merry.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/h10-eatdrinkbemerry.png?w=186&h=186
yoked animals.   http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/Suzanne57/duke–doc-4.jpg
Sow for yourselves righteousness.    http://ourdailyblossom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/111031-590×393.jpg
time to seek the Lord.   http://ebmedia.eventbrite.com/s3-s3/eventlogos/10419795/2131788236-1.jpg
planted wickedness.    http://images.slideplayer.com/13/4131329/slides/slide_12.jpg

1980.) Hosea 9

December 2, 2016

Look at what all comes with forgiveness! Consider what all we lose without it!

Hosea 9   (NIV)

God found Israel

Like first fruit on the fig tree,

But they worshipped Baal.

–The Gendai Bible (each chapter summarized in a haiku)
by Rev. Frederick K. Boyle

Punishment for Israel

Do not rejoice, Israel;
do not be jubilant like the other nations.
For you have been unfaithful to your God;
you love the wages of a prostitute
at every threshing floor.
Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people;
the new wine will fail them.
They will not remain in the Lord’s land;
Ephraim will return to Egypt
and eat unclean food in Assyria.
They will not pour out wine offerings to the Lord,
nor will their sacrifices please him.
Such sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners;
all who eat them will be unclean.
This food will be for themselves;
it will not come into the temple of the Lord.

hosea9-fall-harvest

It has been suggested that Hosea is preaching this sermon at the time of a harvest festival.  A threshing floor was a man’s world at harvest time — the men would thresh the grain when the breeze came up in the evening, and then spend the night there to protect the grain.  Prostitutes were not uncommon visitors, and altars to idols were frequently placed there.  God puts Israel on notice that judgment is coming for their disobedience; they will not enjoy the fruit of their own land nor celebrate their agricultural feasts.  Instead, they will eat unclean food from other nations and from the houses of the dead.

What will you do on the day of your appointed festivals,
on the feast days of the Lord?
Even if they escape from destruction,
Egypt will gather them,
and Memphis will bury them.
Their treasures of silver will be taken over by briers,
and thorns will overrun their tents.
The days of punishment are coming,
the days of reckoning are at hand.
Let Israel know this.
Because your sins are so many
and your hostility so great,
the prophet is considered a fool,
the inspired person a maniac.
The prophet, along with my God,
is the watchman over Ephraim,
yet snares await him on all his paths,
and hostility in the house of his God.
They have sunk deep into corruption,
as in the days of Gibeah.

Judges 19 describes horrific crimes of perversion and violence in Israel in the days of the Judges. Hosea says that in his day it is just as bad in Israel.

God will remember their wickedness
and punish them for their sins.

10 “When I found Israel,
it was like finding grapes in the desert;
when I saw your ancestors,
it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree.

God recalls his love for the people of Israel, how sweet it was, like an unexpected treat of ripe grapes in a desert.

But when they came to Baal Peor,
they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol
and became as vile as the thing they loved.

Israel’s sin and idolatry in the days of Hosea is like their sin at Baal Peor in Numbers 25, associated with sexual immorality and idolatry.

Psalm 106:28-29  (ESV)

Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor,          
   and ate sacrifices offered to the dead;
they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds,   
   and a plague broke out among them.

11 Ephraim’s glory will fly away like a bird—
no birth, no pregnancy, no conception.
12 Even if they rear children,
I will bereave them of every one.
Woe to them
when I turn away from them!
13 I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre,
planted in a pleasant place.
But Ephraim will bring out
their children to the slayer.”

14 Give them, Lord—
what will you give them?
Give them wombs that miscarry
and breasts that are dry.

The idea is that Hosea began an angry prayer against the people (“Give them, O Lord”), then he stopped because he checked his heart and didn’t know what to pray (“What will you give?”).  In the end, he asked for a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.  Really, Hosea prayed for mercy.  Knowing the coming judgment, he prayed “Lord, give them few children so those children will not have to face the horrors of Your coming judgment.”

–David Guzik

15 “Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal,
I hated them there.
Because of their sinful deeds,
I will drive them out of my house.
I will no longer love them;
all their leaders are rebellious.
16 Ephraim is blighted,
their root is withered,
they yield no fruit.
Even if they bear children,
I will slay their cherished offspring.”

17 My God will reject them
because they have not obeyed him;
they will be wanderers among the nations.

This is exactly what the Lord promised under the terms of the Old Covenant (Deuteronomy 30:24-28).  Thankfully, we can come to God by faith in a new covenant, where He promises to forgive us and remember our sins no more.

Hebrews 10:16-17   (ESV)

“This is the covenant that I will make with them
    after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
    and write them on their minds,”

then he adds,

“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

_________________________

Music:

Speaking of forgiveness — HERE  is Chris Tomlin singing “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone).”

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images courtesy of:
forgiveness.   https://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/d41//files/2012/10/forgive2.jpg
harvest cornucopia.    https://www.callthewalls.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/fall-harvest-cornucopica.jpg
grapes.   http://d1kg9jbrq423rq.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/grapes6_0.jpg
new covenant.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/h9-new-covenant.jpg

1979.) Hosea 8

December 1, 2016

“They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” This proverbial saying emphasizes the dire cause-and-effect relationship between sin and punishment.

Hosea 8   (NIV)

Samaria sows

Wind for a whirlwind. Ephraim

Has altars for sin.

–The Gendai Bible (each chapter summarized in a haiku)
by Rev. Frederick K. Boyle

Israel to Reap the Whirlwind

“Put the trumpet to your lips!
An eagle is over the house of the Lord
because the people have broken my covenant
and rebelled against my law.
Israel cries out to me,
‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’
But Israel has rejected what is good;
an enemy will pursue him.

hosea8-lord-lord

The Israelites cried out, “God, we know you.” But they were living in their delusions; God did not know them, and they did not know God. This possibility makes us cry out for our own hearts to be sincere and truly seeking the Lord.

Matthew 7:22-23  (MSG)

“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.'”

They set up kings without my consent;
they choose princes without my approval.
With their silver and gold
they make idols for themselves
to their own destruction.
Samaria, throw out your calf-idol!
My anger burns against them.
How long will they be incapable of purity?
    They are from Israel!
This calf—a metalworker has made it;
it is not God.
It will be broken in pieces,
that calf of Samaria.

“They sow the wind
and reap the whirlwind.

Job 4:8 (ESV) 

As I have seen, those who plow iniquity
and sow trouble reap the same.

Proverbs 11:18  (ESV)

The wicked earns deceptive wages,
but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.

Galatians 6:7-9 (ESV) 

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

The stalk has no head;
it will produce no flour.
Were it to yield grain,
foreigners would swallow it up.
Israel is swallowed up;
now she is among the nations
like something no one wants.
For they have gone up to Assyria
like a wild donkey wandering alone.
Ephraim has sold herself to lovers.
10 Although they have sold themselves among the nations,
I will now gather them together.
They will begin to waste away
under the oppression of the mighty king.

11 “Though Ephraim built many altars for sin offerings,
these have become altars for sinning.
12 I wrote for them the many things of my law,
but they regarded them as something foreign.

Let it not be so with us!

Psalm 119:103-104  (ESV)

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.

13 Though they offer sacrifices as gifts to me,
and though they eat the meat,
the Lord is not pleased with them.
Now he will remember their wickedness
and punish their sins:
They will return to Egypt.
14 Israel has forgotten their Maker
and built palaces;
Judah has fortified many towns.
But I will send fire on their cities
that will consume their fortresses.”

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Music:

Oh, the cost of our sin!  Today I offer you an amazing, trancelike piece, based on a Lenten Chorale and utilizing a pervasive grief motive accompanying a canon at the fifth.  J. S. Bach’s Choral Prelude, “O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig,” BMV 618.  Played on the organ by Tom Koopman.  Click  HERE  to listen.


O Lamb of God all holy,
Who on the Cross didst suffer,
And patient still and lowly,
Thyself to scorn didst offer:
Our sins by Thee were taken,
Or hope had us forsaken:
Have mercy upon us, O Jesu.

–Arthur Tozer Russell (1806-1874)

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New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

Images courtesy of:
“They sow the wind . . . ”    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/cbc365a0ae9a95cefe29c69181a1d8fc.jpg
Not everyone who says to me.   https://jeshua21.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/not-everyone-who-says-lord-lord.jpg
sowing seed.    http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/alhewy/sowing_seed.jpg
honey.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/honey.png

1978.) Hosea 7

November 30, 2016

The book of Hosea shows us that sin is not just breaking God’s law. It is breaking God’s heart.

Hosea 7   (NIV)

“The kings have fallen.

I will cast a net o’er them.

They have strayed from me.”

–The Gendai Bible (each chapter summarized in a haiku)
by Rev. Frederick K. Boyle

“Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,
whenever I would heal Israel,
the sins of Ephraim are exposed
and the crimes of Samaria revealed.
They practice deceit,
thieves break into houses,
bandits rob in the streets;
but they do not realize
that I remember all their evil deeds.
Their sins engulf them;
they are always before me.

“They delight the king with their wickedness,
the princes with their lies.
They are all adulterers,
burning like an oven
whose fire the baker need not stir
from the kneading of the dough till it rises.

Burning, burning, with desire and passion, but not for the Lord. So, of course, the product that comes from the oven is not good. The idea is something of a half-baked cake, like when the pancake is burned on the outside and still wet on the inside. See also verse 8 — “a flat loaf not turned over.”

On the day of the festival of our king
the princes become inflamed with wine,
and he joins hands with the mockers.
Their hearts are like an oven;
they approach him with intrigue.
Their passion smolders all night;
in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
All of them are hot as an oven;
they devour their rulers.
All their kings fall,
and none of them calls on me.

Historical note:  Four kings of Israel were assassinated within 20 years, two during a mere seven-month period. Tribute money sent to Assyria and Egypt drained the country financially. Hosea uses strong language to call the nation back to God.

“Ephraim mixes with the nations;
Ephraim is a flat loaf not turned over.
Foreigners sap his strength,
but he does not realize it.
His hair is sprinkled with gray,
but he does not notice.

Hosea says Israel is as foolish as an old man who pretends he is still young.

10 Israel’s arrogance testifies against him,
but despite all this
he does not return to the Lord his God
or search for him.

11 “Ephraim is like a dove,
easily deceived and senseless—
now calling to Egypt,
now turning to Assyria.

Hosea says Israel is as senseless as a dove, a bird thought to be easy to catch.

12 When they go, I will throw my net over them;
I will pull them down like the birds in the sky.
When I hear them flocking together,
I will catch them.
13 Woe to them,
because they have strayed from me!
Destruction to them,
because they have rebelled against me!
I long to redeem them
but they speak about me falsely.

They see their problem, but do not recognize it as sin.

14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts
but wail on their beds.

They know they need help, but they refuse to turn to God.

They slash themselves, appealing to their gods
for grain and new wine,
but they turn away from me.

They try every trick they know, every new self-help fad, every new idea from a talk show host or television doctor — but they dismiss God as useless and irrelevant.

15 I trained them and strengthened their arms,
but they plot evil against me.
16 They do not turn to the Most High;
they are like a faulty bow.
Their leaders will fall by the sword
because of their insolent words.
For this they will be ridiculed
in the land of Egypt.

“First we make our habits and then our habits make us.”

–Charles C. Noble

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Music:

As Paul said, “For me to live is Christ.”  HERE  is David Lubben and “Take Me to the Cross Again.”

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New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images courtesy of:
broken heart.    http://revphil2011.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/hosea.jpg
oven.    http://www.emmashouseinportugal.com/wp-content/gallery/gallery/oven.jpg
dove in a cage.    http://m5.paperblog.com/i/22/227491/indie-apparel-win-bird-in-a-cage-from-concret-L-W5s7gL.jpeg