Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday, June 1st: Hosea 1-4, Matthew 18:1-20 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Hosea 1-4; Matthew 18:1-20

The book of Hosea begins with God commanding Hosea to marry an adulterous woman.  And he did so.  Wow!  It is my anniversary today (happy anniversary Babe!) and I found this reading interesting.  If my father instructed me to marry someone like that, I would have thought he had fallen out of a tree and bumped his head!  It would be very hard for me to love someone who lived a life like Gomer did.

Well, God's plan is perfect, and Hosea obeyed.

Hosea was acting out the way God loves His people.  The Israelites (and us) are sinners and yet He loves us and wants the best for us.  Despite that, we have our own desires and unfortunately, we act upon them, and sin against God.

God does not ask of us what He would not do Himself.  God instructed Hosea to reconcile with his wife in chapter 3, just as He had full intentions of taking back His adulterous nation.  Even though we turn our backs to Him and try to do things our way, He is always right there when we need Him!

While Hosea mentions many of the sins that the Israelites committed (lying, murder, stealing, drunkenness) his main focus appears to be on adultery as Israel's greatest sin - a symbol of Israel's relationship with other gods.  Hosea's condemnation of Israel's adultery reveals God's holy desire that His people be faithful to Him in an intimate love relationship.  God shows us that He wants us to develop a faithful marriage with Christ as the spouse of the church.

It would be very hard for me to love and forgive someone who wasn't faithful to me, why would I expect God to be any different?

In the NT passage we read about entering the kingdom of Heaven.  I remember when our kids were young, I could do no wrong!  I am not saying that I am God, but the kids looked up to me the way we need to look up to and trust in God.  In their mind I could fix anything.  I could run faster than a speeding bullet, skate like the wind (or maybe that was just in my mind), I was an artist, a doctor, or anything that they needed at the time, they felt I could be it or do it.

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 18:3

We need to be like children who place their faith and trust completely and totally in our Heavenly Father!

In verses 15-20, Jesus provides specific instructions about caring for weak and needy members, achieving unity, and learning to forgive.  The church is always under scrutiny in those areas, and applicable advice for us today.

 Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Hosea 5-8; Matthew 18:21-35


Nathan Reimer said...

I like how Jesus reminds us again to have child like faith. Just like our own children, when they were young, thought we could do anything. We need to have that same faith in God now. Knowing that He can do anything and placing unquestioned faith and trust in Him.

TammyIsBlessed said...

Hosea's real life symbolism of God's love, our sin, and His forgivness, helps us to realize how personal this is for God. We can imagine how difficult it would for Hosea to forgive Gomer for her adultery and betrayal, and it should rightly horrify us to realize that that is what we have done to God. What I have done. And it should make me that much more thankful for His amazing mercy and grace.

Our NT passage also points out how seriously we need to take our sin - the thought of tearing out our eye sure gets the point across!

Pamela said...

Happy Anniversary to you too! I can't imagine marrying someone who lives a lifestyle so different. What an act of obedience from Hosea...I'm sure his friends and family must have been wondering what was going on too!

This stood out for me today:
“Wine and whiskey
leave my people in a stupor.
They ask questions of a dead tree,
expect answers from a sturdy walking stick.
Drunk on sex, they can’t find their way home. (MSG)

We had a bizarre situation happen the other day. A man passed out in our backyard. I think he was in a stupor ;) Paramedics had to be called in. He couldn't remember where he was, what his name was, or how he had gotten there. He, quite literally, couldn't find his way. I think sin does the same in our lives--it clouds our thinking, we can't remember who we are, how we got to where we are, or where we are going.