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August 8, 2023 - Hosea 11-14

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

How God had struggled with how to deal with his wayward people! He could ignore their transgressions. He could punish them with harsh discipline. He could even destroy them. In his personal deliberations, the Lord declared, “I am God, and not man” (11:9). That is, he will not strike out from unhinged anger but he must also remain true to himself and his holiness. God = perfectly holy. Israel = intentionally and persistently sinful. What can be done? The entire outcome will ultimately rest, not upon who or what Israel is or what she will do, but upon God. His nature and character will dictate the outcome of the situation.

Already, God has spoken through his prophet: “[Though Israel has sinned greatly,] yet I will show love to the house of Judah, and I will save them” (1:7) & “I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people;’ and they will say, ‘You are my God’” (2:23). As the Lord deals with the people who are truly his, so he has dealt with us: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8) & “You, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled” (Colossians 1:21-22). Oh, my! How great is our God’s love toward us!

Depth of mercy! Can there be

mercy still reserved for me?

Can my God His wrath forbear?

me, the chief of sinners, spare?

There for me the Savior stands,

shows His wounds and spreads His hands.

God is love! I know, I feel;

Jesus weeps, but loves me still! --Charles Wesley (1740)

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