Hosea 6-10

Wow, this was a tough reading today. Lots of anger, disgust and judgment. I think the key to understanding God in all this is found in the first verse of today's reading.

Hosea 6:1 (ESV)
Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.

God's love means that he will discipline his people in order to keep them close. He's a God of tough love. But the quicker we learn to follow him closely, the less we have to experience that discipline. Also, most of that discipline is just God allowing us to experience the natural result of our choices. He sometimes removes his guidance and protection so that his people can really feel what life without him would really be like. But he doesn't give up on us. He's always ready for us to return to him.

Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6 in Matthew 9:13 and 12:7. It was a central theme in his teaching. God hates your religion--what he wants is your heart. Also, Hosea 10:8 is referred to in Luke 23:30 and Revelation 6:16 to illustrate how desperate and ashamed those without Christ will feel on judgment day--calling for the rocks to fall on them and such.

Matthew 9:13 (ESV)
"Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."

No comments: