Verse of the Day: V1 "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt."
1. God’s Preservation (V1-2)
V1 “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”
God has preserved the nation of Israel since the beginning when He commanded Abram to get out of his country and establish Israel because of His unconditional love for the people of Israel whom He had chosen as His nation and people. However time and again the nation of Israel sinned against God, and God allowed Egypt and many of the enemies of Israel to attack and humble them so that they would return to Him and trust in Him.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:” (Genesis 12:1)
2. God’s Presence (V3)
V3 “I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.”
Though the people of Israel time and again refused to believe and trust in God, yet God kept reminding them that He would always be with them, taking them by their arms, teaching them to walk, and healing them when they were sick and unwell. Indeed, God’s presence is always with His unfaithful people because of His great unconditional love.
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)
3. God’s Providence (V4-12)
V4 “I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.”
Even though the people of Israel time and again strayed from their God, yet God continued to extend His unconditional love toward them and provided them with food wherever they went. God never forces His people to trust and obey Him but by His bands of love or unconditional love He patiently draws them to return to Him and to trust and obey Him. Indeed, God never forsakes the righteous or His people including their children but He always provide all their needs because of His great unconditional love.
“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Psalms 37:25)
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to love all unconditionally as You have loved me.
Verse of the Day: V2 “Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.”
1. The Divide (V1-7)
V2 "Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images."
The hearts of the people of Israel were divided; they wanted to have the best of both worlds; they wanted to serve two masters: God and money. The people of Israel worshipped God, and expected God’s spiritual blessings upon them, yet at the same time, they also worshipped idols or money, and spent all their time and energy in pursuit of material possessions. They failed to realise that only God deserved their worship, and only the spiritual blessings were eternal while their material possessions were temporal.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
2. The Destruction (V8-9)
V8 “The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.”
God shall judge and destroy the divided hearts of the people of Israel because the Lord is a jealous God and He desires all to worship Him. Only the true and living God deserves man’s worship as He is the Creator and Maker of all living creatures include man.
“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:” (Exodus 34:14)
3. The Desire (V10-15)
V10 “It is in my desire that I should chastise them; and the people shall be gathered against them, when they shall bind themselves in their two furrows.”
God chastised and disciplined the people of Israel because their hearts were divided. God’s desire was for the people of Israel to have their hearts fixed and focused on Him and Him alone. Indeed, when we fix and focus our hearts only on God and God alone, we shall never be disappointed or discouraged, and we shall sing and give praise to Him.
“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise.” (Psalms 57:7)
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please grant me a heart that is fixed on You and You alone.
Verse of the Day:V1 "Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor."
1. Israel Loved Reward (V1-10)
V1 “Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.”
God through Prophet Hosea told the people of Israel that He would judge and punish them because they had chosen to love the material rewards instead of His spiritual rewards. Instead of feeding their souls with God’s Word and be blessed of God for all eternity, they chose to feed their flesh with material rewards that shall perish and fail.
V2 “The floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her.”
2. Israel Loved Reputation (V11-14)
V11 “As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.”
The people of Israel or Ephraim loved the praises from the people more than the praises of God. Instead of giving glory and praises to God, they loved themselves and their reputation. Subsequently, God not only judged and punished them, but also judged and punished their children, for their love for reputation and glory more than the love of God.
V12 “Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!”
3. Israel Loved Rebellion (V15-17)
V15 “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”
Instead of loving and obeying God, the people of Israel including their princes and leaders loved rewards, reputation and rebellion. It was a sad day for the people of Israel as the holy God pronounced judgment against them, and sent their enemies to attack and destroy them. Instead of being holy examples to the people of the world, the people of Israel became stumbling blocks to them. Subsequently God judged and punished them, and dispersed and scattered them as wanderers throughout the countries of the world.
V17 “My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.”
Verse of the Day:V13 “They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.”
1. Israel Forgot Their Law (V1-7)
V1 “Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.”
The LORD refused to accept the people of Israel because they had forgotten Him and His law, and had chosen to build and worship the golden calf, and enjoy the pleasures of sins.
V5 “Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?”
2. Israel Forgot Their Land (V8-12)
V8 “Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.”
The Lord refused to accept the people of Israel or Ephraim, because they had followed the ways of the Gentiles or the world. They had gone to Assyria for business and pleasures, and had forgotten their God and their land. God desired His chosen people, the people of Israel, to remain in Israel, their own land, but they had chosen to stay in Assyria.
V9 “For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.”
3. Israel Forgot Their LORD (V13-14)
V13 “They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.”
What hurt God most was His own people, the people of Israel and Judah, had sacrificed their precious children in worshipping the golden calf just to receive blessings of material wealth and worldly pleasures. They had failed to realise that only their true and living God could give them the real blessings of eternal joy and peace. They had totally forgotten their Lord, their Maker, and all that He had done in and through their lives.
V14 “For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please accept me and help me to remember You and obey Your law.