Hosea 4-6; Psalm 58; Matthew 17

Hosea brings God’s charges against Israel: there’s no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgement of God. Sin runs rampant and the results are painful to watch. The land suffers; birds, fish and the “beasts of the land” die. Sin results in unfulfilled desires. Israelites eat but are never satiated, they exchange the Glory of God for disgrace, they try to have relationships with gods that don’t exist and die, body and soul and are indifferent to the error of their ways.

“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hose 4:6

Hosea’s times are not so different than ours; rejection of God destroys life and leads to death. But God in his mercy, does not leave us abandoned to our self destructive ways. He invites us out of the downward spiral of death:

“Come let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; He has injured us but 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. 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 winter rains, like spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:1-3

How am I to respond? God speaks:

“For I desire mercy not sacrifice and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6

Mercy is defined as the “compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward and offender, an enemy or person in one’s power; compassion, pity benevolence” and as “the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment rather than invoke the death penalty.”

God the Judge offers me that life giving mercy and in turn expects the same from me. Mercy and acknowledgement of him. So I ask this of God:

God, you who first loved me, show me today how to acknowledge you in all that I do. Breathe life into the prideful, stoney places of my heart. Open my eyes and fill me with gratitude today for all that you have done. May your mercy, love and forgiveness flow to me and through me. Amen 

klueh

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Filed under Hosea, Matthew, Psalms

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