Hosea 8 (NIV)
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.
2 Israel cries out to me,
‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’
3 But Israel has rejected what is good;
an enemy will pursue him.
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.'”
4 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.
5 Samaria, throw out your calf-idol!
My anger burns against them.
How long will they be incapable of purity?
6 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.
7 “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.
8 Israel is swallowed up;
now she is among the nations
like something no one wants.
9 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.”
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)