Saturday, August 10, 2019

Hosea 11 & 12

Today's reading in our daily plan is Hosea 11 & 12. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • In the previous chapters of this book, we have seen a godly man named Hosea marry an unfaithful prostitute as a living object lesson of God's relationship with his adulterous people. Much of the book, so far, has been about unfaithfulness and judgment of sin. The last four chapters are more about God's love even for his adulterous people.
  • In chapter 11, God compares his love for Israel (the people who had, back then, committed to believe in and worship him) to a parent's love for a rebellious child.
  • "Judah" (11:12) and "Jacob" (12:2) were "forefathers" of Israel (the nation of God's people) so when it says Judah is rebelling and Jacob will be punished, their names are standing in for all of God's people.
  • One of the ways the people had turned away from God was by forsaking the "love and justice" (12:6) God had asked them to live with.
  • The Israelites were bragging, "I am very rich. I have become wealthy" (12:8), thinking that was a sign of God's approval. It wasn't. God calls us to faithfulness, not affluence.
  • Hosea gives a brief history of God's people (12:12-14) to remind the people of their humble beginnings, and that it was God who brought them to a better place.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Today, God still calls us to live with love and justice. The NIV Life Application Study Bible says, "The two principles that Hosea called his nation to live by, love and justice, are at the very foundation of God's character. They are essential to his followers, but they are not easy to keep in balance. Some people are loving to the point that they excuse wrongdoing. Others are just to the extent that they forget love. Love, without justice, because it is not aiming at a higher standard, leaves people in their sins. Justice, without love, because it has no heart, drives people away from God."
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • What is more missing in your life, love or justice? Do you love people, but in a way that ignores what's wrong and is not willing to confront sin? Do you want justice, but in a way that leaves out compassion for the sinner? If you want to live for God, you need to live with love and justice. Ask God to show you what's missing, and ask him to help you to grow it in your life.