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August 7, 2023 - Hosea 7-10

Yesterday, I wrote about the sins of Israel and her need (and ours) to turn back to God when we sin. In 8:13, the Lord gives a warning to the nation that will not turn to him: “Now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins; they shall return to Egypt.” Historically, Egypt represented various things to Israel: a land of fullness, a land of oppression, and perhaps more than anything else, a land to be forsaken. The danger for Israel was that what once was, i.e., Egypt as a land of oppression, would be, again. Perhaps the threat is not a literal one, that is, that Israel would physically return to Egypt. However, the danger for Israel is that if she will not return, she will face God’s judgment.

Egypt becomes a symbol of oppression and judgment for Israel. Do you remember the description? “So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. . . . The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously; and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them” (Exodus 1:11,13-14). The counsel to Israel, and to us, is “Don’t go back! Don’t turn away from God and back toward sin!”

Today the Saviour calls:

Ye wand’rers, come;

O ye benighted souls,

Why longer roam?

Today the Saviour calls:

For refuge fly;

The storm of justice falls,

And death is nigh.

The Spirit calls today:

Yield to his pow’r;

O grieve him not away;

‘Tis mercy’s hour. -- Samuel Francis Smith (1831)

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