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.”

_________________________

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)

_________________________

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

_________________________

Music:

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

_________________________

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

1977.) Hosea 6

November 29, 2016

Hosea 6   (NIV)

God will raise us up

On the third day like spring rains

That water the earth.

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

Israel Unrepentant

“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”

hosea6-showers

“What can I do with you, Ephraim?

Because the tribe of Ephraim was the largest of the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the name is often used as a synonym for Israel.

What can I do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears.
Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,
I killed you with the words of my mouth—
then my judgments go forth like the sun.
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,

Psalm 51:16-17  (ESV)

For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Mark 12:32-33  (NLT)

The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

from Experiencing God Day-by-Day
by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby

No amount of activity for God will ever take the place of a heart that is right with Him. Through the ages God’s people have been persuaded that they could please Him through their service and their offerings, regardless of their heart condition. King Saul offered generous sacrifices, hoping God would overlook his disobedience (1 Samuel 15:22-23). David may have assumed that after all he had done on God’s behalf, God would overlook his sin (2 Samuel 12:7-15). Ananias and Sapphira thought that their generous gift to the church would compensate for their deceitfulness (Acts 5:1-11). Paul was certainly one who had thought his zealousness would please God. After his conversion, however, he concluded that even if he had faith to remove mountains, gave all he had to feed the poor, and offered his body to be burned for the sake of God, and yet had a heart that was not right, it would all be for nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).

We are susceptible to the same misunderstanding as all of these people were. We can be deceived into assuming God is more interested in our activity for Him than He is in the condition of our heart. But His desire is that we devote ourselves to knowing Him and loving Him with all of our hearts.

As at Adam, they have broken the covenant;
they were unfaithful to me there.
Gilead is a city of evildoers,
stained with footprints of blood.
As marauders lie in ambush for a victim,
so do bands of priests;
they murder on the road to Shechem,
carrying out their wicked schemes.
10 I have seen a horrible thing in Israel:
There Ephraim is given to prostitution,
Israel is defiled.

11 “Also for you, Judah,
a harvest is appointed.”

_________________________

Music:

“Oh the mercy of God”  by Geoff Bullock (Australian singer-songwriter, born in 1955).   Click  HERE  to hear it.  This song sends me to my knees in worship.

_________________________

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:
Come, let us return . . .     http://www.fotothing.com/photos/d42/d42fec8d469cc6106f3fa3db49e3dafc.jpgmercy not sacrifice.   
He will come to us as the showers.   http://biblia.com/bible/images/640×480/Ho6.3?extension=png&fallbackOnFailure=false
mercy not sacrifice.    http://cog-ff.com/images/MERCY%20NOT%20SACRIFICE.jpg
Love God.    http://churchmediadesign.tv/cmdwp/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/web-620×348.jpg

1976.) Hosea 5

November 28, 2016

Hosea 5   (NIV) 

They will not find God

And He cannot heal their wound

As their punishment.

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

 Judgment Against Israel

“Hear this, you priests!
Pay attention, you Israelites!
Listen, royal house!

God says the problem is, in part, the leadership — both spiritual/priests, and political/royal house.

This judgment is against you:
You have been a snare at Mizpah,
a net spread out on Tabor.
The rebels are knee-deep in slaughter.
I will discipline all of them.
I know all about Ephraim;
Israel is not hidden from me.
Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution;
Israel is corrupt.

“Their deeds do not permit them
to return to their God.
A spirit of prostitution is in their heart;
they do not acknowledge the Lord.
Israel’s arrogance testifies against them;
the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble in their sin;
Judah also stumbles with them.
When they go with their flocks and herds
to seek the Lord,
they will not find him;

NOT THIS:  In many ways today, people think they are seeking God when they really aren’t. It’s just a superficial investigation. For example, a man might say, “I grew up in the Baptist church and couldn’t find God there. So I went to the Methodist church and couldn’t find God there. Then I went to the Pentecostal church, but couldn’t find God there. Now I’m at the Presbyterian church and can’t find God.”  You may imagine you have searched hard after God, but that is an illusion. The truth is that you are running away from God. When He started to get close to you at the Baptist church, you left it and became a Methodist. When He started to get close to you at the Methodist church, you became a Pentecostal. You’ve followed the same pattern – a superficial search for God that backs away when you really start getting close to God.

–David Guzik

THIS:  Philippians 3:14   (CEV)

I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.

he has withdrawn himself from them.
They are unfaithful to the Lord;
they give birth to illegitimate children.
When they celebrate their New Moon feasts,
he will devour their fields.

“Sound the trumpet in Gibeah,
the horn in Ramah.
Raise the battle cry in Beth Aven;
lead on, Benjamin.
Ephraim will be laid waste
on the day of reckoning.
Among the tribes of Israel
I proclaim what is certain.
10 Judah’s leaders are like those
who move boundary stones.

These are people so corrupt they will do any evil thing if they think it will work out to their advantage.

I will pour out my wrath on them
like a flood of water.
11 Ephraim is oppressed,
trampled in judgment,
intent on pursuing idols.
12 I am like a moth to Ephraim,

Isaiah 51:7-8   (NIV)

“Hear me, you who know what is right, 
you people who have taken my instruction to heart:
Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals
or be terrified by their insults.
For the moth will eat them up like a garment;
the worm will devour them like wool.
But my righteousness will last forever,
my salvation through all generations.”

like rot to the people of Judah.

13 “When Ephraim saw his sickness,
and Judah his sores,
then Ephraim turned to Assyria,
and sent to the great king for help.
But he is not able to cure you,
not able to heal your sores.
14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
like a great lion to Judah.
I will tear them to pieces and go away;
I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them.
15 Then I will return to my lair
until they have borne their guilt
and seek my face—
in their misery
they will earnestly seek me.”

_________________________

Music:

Do we come to the Lord only in desperation and misery?  Even then, He welcomes us.

Another golden oldie for you!  “Where Could I Go But to the Lord,” with the VOP Trio and Del Delker.

Click  HERE  to listen.

Living below in this old sinful world
Hardly a comfort can afford
Striving alone to face temptation’s sword
Where could I go to the Lord

Where could I go, Oh where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to help me in the end
(brother won’t you tell me)
Where could I go to the Lord

Neighbors are kind, I love them everyone
We get along in sweet accord
But when my soul needs manna from above
Where could I go but to the Lord

Where could I go where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to help me in the end
(brother won’t you tell me)
Where could I go to the Lord

Life here is grand with friends I love so dear
Comfort I get from God’s own Word
But when I face the chilling hands of death
Where could I go but to the Lord

Where could I go where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to help me in the end
(brother won’t you tell me)
Where could I go to but the Lord
Where could I go but to the Lord

_________________________

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 will seek me earnestly.    http://www.jesuslovesyoutoday.org/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Hosea_5.22615746_std.jpg
church sign.    http://signs.stewartsigns.com/church_sign_calvary_baptist_1828.jpg
moth.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/clothesmoth.png

1975.) Hosea 4

November 25, 2016

Hosea 4  (NIV)

No knowledge of God

Changed glory to shame and sin

And idolatry.

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

The Charge Against Israel

Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites,
because the Lord has a charge to bring
against you who live in the land:
“There is no faithfulness, no love,
no acknowledgment of God in the land.
There is only cursing, lying and murder,
stealing and adultery;
they break all bounds,
and bloodshed follows bloodshed.

Because of this the land dries up,
and all who live in it waste away;
the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky
and the fish in the sea are swept away.

It is an indisputable fact that we live in a society that is completely set against the idea of restraint. Instead the message seems to be:  You make your own rules, you do what you want. And it is so strong in our culture that it even comes  from, among others, restaurants and sneaker companies!

“But let no one bring a charge,
let no one accuse another,
for your people are like those
who bring charges against a priest.
You stumble day and night,
and the prophets stumble with you.
So I will destroy your mother—
  my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

We have time to watch television, to mindlessly surf the internet, to read novels, to go to movies, to go out for dinner, to spend evenings in conversations with friends, to shop for a long list of Christmas presents, to attend sports events, to take a weekend get away vacation and so on and so on — but oh, my, we are too busy to teach a Sunday School class! We are too busy to participate in a weekly Bible Study! We are too busy to spend 15 minutes each day in Bible reading and prayer! Thus we are well-versed in temporal things, but suffering terribly from a lack of godly, holy, transforming knowledge that comes from God’s Word as the Holy Spirit points us to Jesus Christ.

“Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
I also will ignore your children.
The more priests there were,
the more they sinned against me;
they exchanged their glorious God for something disgraceful.

Romans 1:21-23   (ESV)

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

They feed on the sins of my people
and relish their wickedness.
And it will be: Like people, like priests.
I will punish both of them for their ways
and repay them for their deeds.

Teaching was an important duty of the priests (Deuteronomy 33:10, Ezekiel 44:23, Malachi 2:7). Their neglect of this demonstrates what an important place ministers, pastors, and preachers have in presenting God and His Word to the people. If they neglect their duty to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:2), then they can’t lead the people into the true knowledge of God, and so will lead them into destruction.

–David Guzik

10 “They will eat but not have enough;
they will engage in prostitution but not flourish,
because they have deserted the Lord
to give themselves 11 to prostitution;
old wine and new wine
take away their understanding.
12 My people consult a wooden idol,
and a diviner’s rod speaks to them.
A spirit of prostitution leads them astray;
they are unfaithful to their God.
13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops
and burn offerings on the hills,
under oak, poplar and terebinth,
where the shade is pleasant.
Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution
and your daughters-in-law to adultery.

We can easily be careless, thinking more about political correctness than about faithfulness. We don’t want to offend. We don’t like to talk about sin, our own or anybody else’s. We look down in silence rather than looking up to God and asking for help to speak the truth in love. And so we live surrounded by idols.

14 “I will not punish your daughters
when they turn to prostitution,
nor your daughters-in-law
when they commit adultery,
because the men themselves consort with harlots
and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—
a people without understanding will come to ruin!

“Those who are not disturbed in their sin, will be destroyed for their sin.”

–Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

15 “Though you, Israel, commit adultery,
do not let Judah become guilty.

“Do not go to Gilgal;
do not go up to Beth Aven.
And do not swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives!’
16 The Israelites are stubborn,
like a stubborn heifer.
How then can the Lord pasture them
like lambs in a meadow?

Psalm 23:1

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Are we absolutely confident in God’s care and goodness towards us? Or do we doubt His concern?

17 Ephraim is joined to idols;
leave him alone!
18 Even when their drinks are gone,
they continue their prostitution;
their rulers dearly love shameful ways.
19 A whirlwind will sweep them away,
and their sacrifices will bring them shame.

Sometimes we feel helpless and hopeless — have we forgotten God’s mighty power to save?

_________________________

Music:

HERE  Maranantha sings to remind us that as we confess and turn from our sins, the Lord is faithful to forgive us.

_________________________

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:
My people are destroyed . . .   http://www.lovestthoume.com/Graphics/destroyed.jpg
No rules.   http://tastytriviaorlando.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/dc84afbd57669a6acf1c659bf1c0aaaf.jpg
Just do it.    http://www.writingfordesigners.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/justdoit2.jpg
Preaching.    https://redeeminggod.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/preaching-bible.jpg
lambs.   http://www.photo-dictionary.com/photofiles/list/350/702lambs.jpg

1974.) Thanksgiving Day

November 24, 2016

Isaiah 12 (The Message)

My Strength and Song

1 And you will say in that day,
“I thank you, God.
You were angry
but your anger wasn’t forever.
You withdrew your anger
and moved in and comforted me.

2“Yes, indeed—God is my salvation.
I trust, I won’t be afraid.
God—yes God!—is my strength and song,
best of all, my salvation!”

3-4Joyfully you’ll pull up buckets of water
from the wells of salvation.
And as you do it, you’ll say,
“Give thanks to God.
Call out his name.
Ask him anything!
Shout to the nations, tell them what he’s done,
spread the news of his great reputation!

5-6“Sing praise-songs to God. He’s done it all!
Let the whole earth know what he’s done!
Raise the roof! Sing your hearts out, O Zion!
The Greatest lives among you: The Holy of Israel.”

_________________________

Music:

May you have a Happy Thanksgiving praising God for all his good gifts!

My son Devlin and I kid about many modern praise songs seeming to be “I sing about myself singing to God,” and this is one which fits that description — but the words go nicely with Isaiah 12.   HERE   is “Top of my Lungs”  by Phillips, Craig & Dean.

_________________________

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson