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April 1 | Hosea 13:14


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Mercy Amid Punishment

by Pr. Dave Mann


Today’s text is just one verse from a prophet of the Old Testament – Hosea 13:14. The apostle Paul leans into this verse in 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 to conclude his classic defense of Jesus’ resurrection. Since few believers spend much time in the book of Hosea, allow me to provide a brief overview of this prophetic book. I draw heavily from the introduction to Hosea in Harper’s Study Bible.

 

Hosea lived in the eighth century B.C. and was a prophet in the Northern Kingdom during the reign of Jeroboam II. His ministry overlapped that of Amos, Isaiah, and Micah during an age that was marked by religious apostasy. Instead of putting their trust in God, the leaders of the Northern Kingdom courted the favor of other powerful nations. In their religious practices, they kept the name of God but adopted the essence of the worship of Baal. There was gross immortality, calling good evil and evil good.  [Sound familiar?]

 

Hosea writes out of the pain of a relationship with a faithless spouse. He reclaims her after she sins and writes in the heat of severe judgment but also with tender mercy. These extremes are woven together in his writing. Hosea uses his personal tragedy to illustrate the relationship of Israel with God. Hosea’s three children by his harlot-wife are given symbolic names: Jezreel is so named to signify the avenging of the blood of Jezreel on the dynasty of Jehu; Lo-ruhamah signifies “no mercy” for the Northern Kingdom and Lo-ammi signifies “not my people,” a symbol of God’s rejection of the apostate Israelite kingdom. [What names would be apt symbols of the judgment our society deserves today?]

 

In the midst of scathing rebuke of Israel for her unfaithfulness and dire judgment on his chosen people for their negligence of following God’s law, Hosea slips in verse 14 in chapter 13 – a word of ultimate promise and hope. Even though the people do not deserve deliverance, Hosea announces the final victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil. God himself will enter into the human race and fall victim to the infidelity of his own people, be betrayed, judged, condemned, and then die an ignominious death on a cross. However, Hosea also foretells that in the end God’s grace, mercy, and life will prevail!`

 

If God can give Hosea faith to believe in the strong goodness of God in the midst of a twisted and perverted society... If God has the power to raise Jesus from the dead... Can we fail to believe that his promises are also powerful, real, and meaningful in our lives?!

 

PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for assurance that your grace will prevail in the end.  Even though we deserve your fair and righteous judgment, we count on your mercy, in Jesus’ name, Amen.







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1 comentário


robin.lorms
01 de abr.

Good morning, Pastor Dave.

I thought for a minute when reading this verse, "what gives with the phrase 'I will have no compassion'? Then I read this chapter of Hosea and see that it is the continuation of the next verse.

I am reminded of Romans 9:16 "So then it does not depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy". HIs mercy is an anchor in my life because He has shown me great mercy while I was yet steeped in sin.

You asked, "what names would be apt symbols for the judgment our society today deserves?" Here is my contribution to that question--"RebelL-yan" LOL LOL.


God bless you, Dave and the writing team of these well thought…


Curtir
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