Journal Hosea 13-14 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “But I AM the LORD your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior.
It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; but when they grazed, they became full—they were filled, and their heart was lifted up. THEREFORE, they forgot me…
The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is kept in store. The pangs of childbirth come for him—but he is an unwise son, for at the right time he does not present himself at the opening of the womb.
I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol. I shall redeem them from Death. O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting?” excerpts from Hosea 13:4-14.
Observation: Again, finding the quotes from the Prophetic word of the Old Testament is cool to see…it is instructional to review the content as well. God did not give this word for the context of the time alone, but for all to study and extrapolate for the time we are living in the context of the Gospel.
Analysis: How can Love and Anger co-exist? A Savior and a jealous God? It is a constant stretch to understand the Attributes of God and how equal they are AND how these Attributes are not in conflict. I have to work at it every live long day.
The prophet Hosea is prophesying to Ephraim, reminding them of how God brought them out of Egypt. At that time Ephraim understood and saw the power of God physically in their circumstance; they enjoyed the bounty of His Goodness. But what happened?
In enjoying the bounty of God (…they became filled not only physically but emotionally as well…) Ephraim forgot God. The sentence is phrased like a mathematical equation: Filled by God and Heart freed from troubles equals forgetting God.
I see that in my own life. No troubles, paycheck coming in on a regular basis, having money to spare, health in pretty good place for my age, no demands (that I pay attention to) for my time except work, and I watch TV more than I study (or even just read) the Scriptures or solid doctrinal books. Summary: Enjoying the bounty of God and result? Oh, yeah, I forgot…yeah, thanks God…where’s the clicker, hon?
Even in disappointment (ever wonder about the depth of God’s disappointment?), God does not exchange disappointment for Love. I believe that the two (and more) can co-exist in His Attributes. He can be disappointed in me every moment and love me just the same.
I would rather think of the Love He has for me. Why? Because it makes me feel good, satisfied, and secure. But when I look at my own statement I notice those pesky pronouns: ME and ME, and those personal adjectives: Feel Good, Feel Satisfied, Feel Secure. I notice as well that my statement has nothing to do with Him except for what He provides.
To be clear: Wickedness is found in forgetting God in everything. Evil is defined as being rebellious and a traitor to His rule and reign. Nevertheless, God will be the Savior. He will shatter Death and the Grave. He will make Hell nothing and powerless.
Prayer: Father, I am reminded again of the Gospel. I am reminded that the Gospel is woven into all of your Testimony, your Word, the Bible. Thank you for the Gospel cliff notes given and found in the New Testament.
You see me struggle today; seems like lately I am struggling every day. Please be with my brothers and sisters in You as they struggle. I pray that they do not forget you. I pray that they do not fall victim to the Accuser. I pray, Lord, they remember the Hope of the Gospel—remember it, if not feel it as well. Let their minds be strong and their hearts follow and not the other way around.