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Day 10 Dancing in the Fire: The Heart of God

“For they sow the wind and they reap the whirlwind.” Hosea 8:7 NASB

The prophecy of Hosea, or perhaps it is better said, God’s oracle given to and through Hosea, has some rather scathing accusations directed toward the House (Nation) of Israel. God’s anger is quite evident, and His object lesson rather poignant. In order to illustrate His displeasure with Israel’s idolatrous and spiritually adulterous ways, God orders Hosea to marry a harlot. Gomer, the lecherous, lustful wife, forsakes Hosea and their children to continue living in her seductive lifestyle of worldly pleasures. God’s warning to Israel, delivered through Hosea, documents Israel’s continual disregard for the life of holiness and what will become of her if she maintains this course of action: severe, devastating judgment.

This is but one view of the devastating judgment to befall a sinful nation. But God goes even further to describe the heart of His chosen people:

“Their heart is faithless. Now they must bear their guilt. The Lord will break down their altars and destroy their sacred pillars.” Hosea 10:2 NASB

The Book of Hosea, as do the other prophecies of the Old Testament, makes things appear rather bleak for Israel, and at times, even for Judah, the Kingdom of David. But in the midst of all the madness and despair, in the turmoil of this awful word of dire warning, is the Heart of God! In the center of this whirlwind of destruction is the heart of the Most Holy Place, and there resides the everlasting promise of reconciliation, redemption and restoration. Even as we face the fire of God’s judgment, He provides the eternal fire of His glorious Presence!

“Sow with a view of righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; For it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12 NASB

Thanks be to God that He provides the Way out of this miserable life of futility and bondage, for that is exactly what a sinful life is – a life of slavery that, as we noted a couple of days ago, will get us nowhere, except, regretfully, a one-way ticket to eternal damnation:

“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:41-42 NASB

This particular warning of judgment from Jesus concludes a parable of sowing good seed, so it is an appropriate tie-in with the Father’s warning to Israel concerning the necessity of sowing righteousness instead of evil. Spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ is perhaps the most obedient and loyal act we can accomplish for the purposes of advancing His kingdom.

“’For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.’” Hosea 6:6 NASB

Yes, once we have the proper view of how to worship and serve God, we can be saved from our own idolatry, whatever form of self-worship, materialism or sensual pleasure it has taken. Our God loves us and does not give up on us, for His love is everlasting! He provided a sacrifice of praise in the divine, yet human form of His Son Jesus Christ, who was crucified on a cross, with all of our sins nailed there with Him! He was dead and buried, just as a seed needs to be dead and buried in order to grow into a mighty, flourishing flower, plant or tree! He was resurrected to a new life of glory, conquering all the terrible evils of the darkened tomb, so that we could be raised with Him in joy and love! And He did this all because of His never-ending mercy, compassion and grace for His chosen people, sinners that we are. We have been saved by grace through faith in the living Son of God!

“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life…Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him…For the death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus……present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.” Romans 6:4, 8, 10-11, 19c NASB

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