June 22, Reading 2 – Hosea 11:12-14:9

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Ephraim was the premier Tribe in the northern kingdom of Israel, as opposed to Judah, where David’s descendants reigned. God holds Israel responsible for their religion and life-styles. Judgment is tempered with mercy for those willing to return to the Lord.

SJA Notes

How much of the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ, do we read in this passage!

“So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.”

Hundreds of years before Jesus, we see Jesus in Hosea’s words!

How do we return to the Lord? How do we cross the chasm of sin?

It’s Jesus!

He is the HELP OF GOD! What words of wonder and encouragement these are.

But more, it’s only after we return that we can _hold fast_ to love and justice.

And too, as well as holding fast, we are WAIT CONTINUALLY for the Lord.

We see this in such as Simeon (Luke 2 v25) and the Joseph who buried Jesus (Mark 15 v42-43).

Paul exhorts us in Philippians 2 v20 in this very thing, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, …”

Finally, have a look at ch 13 v14 – Paul quotes this in that wonderful passage of 1 Corinthians 15 v50-58.

“I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol; I shall redeem them from Death. O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting?”

Praise God for this passage which is such a good revelation of the consistent message of God’s word – It’s Jesus!

* LORD, thank You for this portion of Your word today.

Please fix within us a right spirit, a remade heart after Your own heart.

And write Your word upon our hearts, that we might not sin against You.

Thank You that in Jesus death has no hold on us, no power.

Thank You that in Jesus we see YOUR HELP for us.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

Amen.

June 21, Reading 2 – Hosea 10:1-11:11

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Israel was a false vine (they turned to idolatry): Jesus said: I am the true vine! When you read verse 3 remember the Jews before Pilate: We have no king but Caesar! 11:1 is quoted by Matthew as confirmation as to who Jesus is! Matthew 2:15

SJA Notes

How much do we see our world around us in this passage.

“We have no king, for we do not fear the LORD; and a king – what could he do for us?”

Today we see people railing against God, rejecting Him and His goodness and wisdom at every point.

“They utter mere words; with empty oaths they make covenants;”

How true this is right now! Empty oaths, making covenants that hold no weight, have no substance.

Think of the gamut of folly we see in the world. People trying to find peace or joy in the lie of sin.

“You have plowed iniquity; you have reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies.”

What else can we see around us in our lives but this?

We can be praying for the Lord to raise up His people into leadership of ours lands – because “By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,” and “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,” (Proverbs 11 and 29).

Let’s do that now.

* God of grace and mercy, please write Your word on our hearts today. Please plant it deep within us, and grow it, that we might bear much fruit.

And please, Father God, please raise up Your people in our lands, so that we would see Your NAME exalted and born well, hallowed. That we would see people glorify and magnify You.

Convict us Lord to sow righteousness, to reap steadfast love and break up our fallow ground. TO SEEK YOU, THE LORD.

Amen.

June 20, Reading 2 – Hosea 8, 9

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Reap the whirlwind is a Biblical phrase that passed into the English language many centuries ago. Wanderers amongst the nations (9:17) recalls the Gospel perspective – remember James’ description of the Christian Church: the twelve tribes scattered amongst the nations, and Peter’s: God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout

SJA Notes

“For it is from Israel; a craftsman made it; it is not God.”

In some ways this is the simplest of truths. So bindary.

Israel has rejected THE LORD for man-made idols. These things are not God.

And you can adjust the emphasis a little; an idol is NOT GOD.

We have two categories here; GOD and NOT GOD.

And the truth today is the same as it was in Hosea’s time.

People go after NOT GOD entities. We hero-worship humans, or ideas, or demons and devils.

And importantly, notice that while Israel went after the idols, showing their religion as FALSE, they still gave outward appearance of spiritua life. They made sacrifices.

BUT.

God has a hard word. He rejects their offerings, and instead remembers their iniquities.

This is in stark contrast to the blessing of TRUE religion.

We read the Lord’s words in Jeremiah 31 (and in Hebrews 8), of those who KNOW THE LORD, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Hebrews links this directly with the new covenant in Jesus, that of grace (and Him being our great High Priest).

This is a litmus test for us, and a story that should burn on our lips to tell those around us.

There is only GOD. Everything else in this world, people, structures, creation, ideas, thoughts – Everything else is NOT GOD.

Praise God that in Jesus, GOD, our sins are remembered no more. Our offering (we’ve been reminding ourselves of Romans 12, ourselves as living sacrifices) are acceptable in Jesus.

* Gracious Father, thank You that in Jesus we are saved, that our black mirky sin, staining all that is us, has been washed away. That because of Him, in Your sight, we are cleansed. He took our punishment, the curse, so that we could be free, obtaining blessing.

Please help us to spread this word to the nations. Those afar, but also those right next to us. Our family, friends, our neighbours.

Grant us opportunity day by day to witness You. That You are GOD. There is no other!

Amen.