Friday

Hosea 5:15 – 6:6 Friday 28 March 2014


Background

Israel is impenitent and is called upon to return to the Lord!The transition between the last verse of chapter 5 and the firstsix verses of Hosea 6, describe God's attempt to urge Israel toacknowledge that (in all her torn and troubled life) only Godcan heal them. Only God can bound up her wounds as God is sure andreliable as the sun and seasonal rains on which Israel depended forher very life.

The mood change in verses 4-6 describe how enduring is God'slove and understanding of Israel. Even if Israel declares her lovefor God, her commitment and faithfulness does not last long. Your"steadfast love" is like the morning mist and dew, which disappearseasily in the day (verse 4). Prophets came with words that exposepeople's sin and call them to repentance. But when they did notrepent, there was always a message of judgement announced by theprophet 'in the name of the Lord'. This judgment is sure tohappen.  The "steadfast love" signifies God's love shown inGod's own covenant with Israel, and requires Israel's steadfastlove to be the real thing and not put sacrifice in its place. Goddoes not want whole burnt offerings rather than a genuine personalrelationship.


To Ponder

  • What are the modern day equivalents sacrifices and burntofferings of which you are aware, that are so easy to keep butprevent Christians developing a personal relationship withGod?
  • How might you express "a steadfast love"?
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