Dr. David Rose, Pastor
Thursday, July 2, 2020—Hosea 1-4
In one of the strangest moments in Scripture, God asked Hosea, a righteous man, to marry an adulteress. He wanted a husband to display faithfulness, grace, and mercy to an unfaithful wife. Through this one man, God was demonstrating what He constantly did for His people. God remains faithful even when His people are spiritually adulterous.
The marriage produced children, and God used the children as examples as well. Their names paralleled the condition God’s people were making for themselves by their spiritual adultery—punished, feeling unloved, and rejected by God. The people were not listening to God’s calls for repentance, so God was using unique avenues to get their attention.
God had good things in mind. He wanted Israel to feel cherished like a bride rather than simply useful like a servant (2:16), but that warmth was not possible as long as their hearts were not fully His. God looked toward a day when the land would produce bountifully in response to Israel’s faithfulness to Him (2:21-23). Hosea went and bought his adulterous wife back to illustrate how God wanted to rescue Israel from their self-imposed slavery to sin (3:1-5).
God made clear the charges against Israel (4:1-19). They were unfaithful to Him, and the consequences were devastating. He wanted them to return to Him so He could restore them. He remains willing to restore all those who recognize how easily they have compromised and allowed themselves to love other things and worship worthless idols. Praise Him for His faithfulness and be in awe of His depth of grace and mercy.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020—2 Kings 15-17
Tradition can be a good thing. Celebrating and remembering the past encourages the mature and equips the young to carry the past into the future. America has a healthy tradition of celebrating its independence on July 4 every year. Some traditions, however, can become entrenched and repeated without ever considering their value. “We’ve always done it that way” becomes the mantra of the practitioners.
Azariah became king of the southern kingdom, Judah, and reigned for more than 50 years. He did what was right before the Lord, but he did not remove the high places—those common points of sacrifice scattered throughout the land. Neither his father nor his grandfather had removed them. This was all he had ever known, yet Scripture continually points out their failure to remove them despite doing so many other righteous things.
The kings of the north continued their tradition of unrighteousness, and foreign armies began to harass and expose the weaknesses of the country. Ahaz became king in the south, and he fell prey to the pull of unrighteousness so prevalent in the north (16:1-4). He found worship of a foreign idol attractive and modified worship at the Temple to include the image (16:10-18). While he sullied the people of the south, the northern kingdom fell, and Assyria took Israel into exile (17:1-6).
Israel had a tradition of sin. God warned them, but they wouldn’t listen. They followed worthless idols and became worthless (17:15). Choose today to worship God alone. He is the One who will deliver you (17:39).