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Day 128 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue Hosea and Psalms.
Hosea 6 – The Lord has judged them so that He can save them, and the restoration of Israel to the land is figuratively described as the man (Israel) who was struck down by the lion (the Lord) being raised from the dead after two days. The new exodus and return from exile are thus depicted as resurrection from the dead on the third day. Israel’s problem is that they have forgotten God; they do not know Him (4:1, 6; 5:4). But the Lord promised that at the second exodus and return from exile, when He remarried His people and entered into a new covenant with them, they would know Him (2:20).
Having spoken of the return from exile as a metaphorical resurrection from the dead, Hosea calls for pressing on to know the Lord. He asserts that the Lord’s going forth is as sure as the sun rising and as nourishing as showers and spring rains. Hosea then repudiates sacrifices offered without steadfast love and true knowledge of God, showing that sacrifice is not God’s final goal, but rather a relationship where there is mutual knowledge and loyal love.
Hosea likens Israel’s sin to that of Adam, because both broke their covenant with God, for which Adam was and Israel will be driven from God’s presence. The restoration to which Hosea points is restoration not merely to the land but to fellowship with God. The relationships of Eden will be restored.
Do you see that in Jesus, all that Hosea anticipates with hope dawns on the stage of human history?
Hosea 7 – This chapter shows the people failing to cry out to Yahweh for salvation. They do not consider that Yahweh remembers all their evil. Yet their deeds, Yahweh declares, are before His face. In spite of their need, Yahweh can assert that “none of them calls upon me”; they neither return to Him nor seek Him; they have strayed from and rebelled against Him.
The opposite of all this is what people must do if they are to experience the Lord’s salvation: they must consider the evil of their deeds, realize their guilt, call upon the Lord, and submit to Him, trusting Him to show mercy. Those today who find themselves in similar straits, having realized their rebellion and desperate situation, are called to respond likewise—with two differences. First, unlike the situation in Hosea, now all nations are to call upon the Lord (Romans 1:5). Second, they are specifically to call upon the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2), the incarnate Savior whom Hosea anticipated but could only vaguely perceive (1 Peter 1:10–11).
Have you sought to know Jesus in this way?
Hosea 8 – This chapter continues to lay out the reasons that Israel will be exiled from the land. They have rebelled against the law, a law that the Lord speaks of having written Himself. In keeping with the curses of the covenant, therefore, strangers will devour the produce of the land. The people of Israel may claim to know God, but their man-made kings and man-made idolatrous golden calves show that they have in fact forgotten their Maker even as they built “palaces” (a term that also refers to temples).
Israel’s worship is unacceptable. Judgment must fall. Such judgment will indeed befall not only God’s people who rebel against Him but also those from any people who reject Him. But those who look to His Son Jesus in contrition for deliverance find the cross of Calvary to be the location of their judgment—what they deserve at the end of history has befallen Jesus in the middle of history (1 Peter 3:18).
How does this truth make you thankful for what Jesus has done for you?
Hosea 9 – Whereas to know God is to know life and blessing, in Hosea 9 Israel is indicted for forsaking God. Thus, they will not remain in the land. Because they do not trust and love God, “their sacrifices shall not please Him” and “He will remember their iniquity.” Rather than consecrate themselves as Nazirites to the Lord, they have consecrated themselves to the “thing of shame”, and they will experience the curses of the covenant rather than its blessings.
A chapter like this is an indirect witness to true gospel hope as Israel is indicted for trusting idols and other means of their own making rather than the Lord who had redeemed them. God’s people are not offering sacrifices in faith, and they are choosing idols rather than their God. In the same way that the chapter shows the opposite of gospel faith, it shows the opposite of gospel life: idolatry and corruption, along with the judgment that awaits those who live in unrepentant sin.
How do you rely on Jesus to keep you from following idols?
Hosea 10 – The theme sounded in verse 1—of Israel as a flourishing vine, planted by the Lord—reminds readers of the Promised Land, which itself was a reestablishment of Eden.
Rather than enjoy God’s goodness, Israel used God’s gifts to increase their corruption and sin. Their idols will not save them but will be destroyed and taken captive. The Israelites have reaped what they have sown, but if they will sow righteousness they will reap steadfast love. This is not works-based righteousness but a simple statement that the Lord will rain righteousness on those who seek Him (Galatians 6:7–8). God delivered Israel at the exodus and gave them the opportunity to walk with Him. If they will walk with Him, they will be blessed. Because they have plowed iniquity instead, they have reaped injustice. When the enemy army comes, the king of Israel shall be utterly cut off. This means that when the walls are broken down in the northern kingdom, in Samaria, the demise of the nation will include the demise of its king.
Yet once again—as supremely seen in the message of the gospel—the word of justly deserved divine judgment is not the last word. In 11:1 Hosea will allude to Israel’s past salvation at the exodus as a way of pointing forward to future salvation at the promised new exodus.
How does this remind you to continue to trust that God is still at work in your life?
Psalm 123 – Those faithful to God often feel the contempt of those who stand against God, and hence against them. So it is in this corporate Psalm of lament. Those obeying God in their endeavor to come and worship at the temple in Jerusalem find themselves the objects of scorn and ridicule. The proud are mocking the humble, and those humble faithful feel the weight of the derision being heaped upon them.
But their hope is in the Lord! He is enthroned in the heavens as God over all! The images used in verse 2 are telling—they express the hope of those who are dependent entirely on the good will of the One in authority over them. The master must provide, or the servants surely lack; the mistress must show kindness, lest the maidservants despair. So here, those faithful to the Lord await the good that He, and only He, can give. To God and God alone they lift up their eyes.
There is good news proclaimed from God to His people, but this good news of grace and strength and salvation is found in only one place and through only one Lord. Only He who is enthroned in the heavens is worthy of our trust, and only He can deliver. Indeed, at the climax of all of history, God did indeed deliver—by sending His own Son so that sinners can be made right with God based on what Jesus has done.
How does this Psalm point you to Jesus?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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