“They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. (Hosea 8:7 NIV)
The side journey into the armor of God has taken a different turn than I expected, and it will be a while before any of those posts are ready to publish. So, today we return to Hosea. One of the roles of the prophet in Israel was to serve as the prosecuting attorney in a trial. Only in Hosea’s case the verdict has already been determined and the sentence pronounced. Our choices do have consequences.
But Israel has rejected what is good (Hosea 8:3 NIV)
I find seven charges that Hosea brings against Israel. The first is that they have rejected what is good. This is hard to understand if we look at the opposite. Israel pursued what is bad. Why would anyone choose a glass of water full of dirt and slime when a source of pure clean water is available? This comparison is easy to see, but how often do we choose to read or listen to something that includes questionable content. We tell ourselves that it isn’t that bad, but that should be a reminder that it isn’t pure and clean. The truth is that most of us enjoy the slightly bad more than we enjoy the pure and good. We justify our choices because our bad isn’t as bad as other people’s bad. Besides in our world it is takes effort to search out the pure and good.
They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. (Hosea 8:4 NIV)
God allowed Israel to have a king and, in the beginning, God chose the kings. The southern kingdom of Judah wasn’t perfect, but the line of kings continued from God’s chosen king David. Israel’s kings came and went quickly as assassination was the most frequent method for choosing the next monarch. Power and cunning ruled while there was no room for God in the governance of the nation. It would be easy to look at our political situation and make comparisons, but how do we deal with this on a personal basis? I find that one of my greatest struggles is the desire to be in control. I want to govern myself and think I am quite capable of doing that. How is that any different from Israel’s disregard for God in their selection of rulers?
Tomorrow I’ll look at the next two charges.
For my grandchildren:
Always choose the pure and good. Let God be in control.