Sunday, July 5

God’s appeal

Scripture: Hosea 6-9, Hebrews 3

Hosea 6:4 “O Israel and Judah, what should I do with you?” asks the Lord. 

“For your love vanishes like the morning mist and disappears like dew in the sunlight.”

Hosea 6:6 “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”

Hosea 7:1 “I want to heal Israel, but its sins are too great.”

Hosea 7:13 “I wanted to redeem them, but they have told lies about me.”

Observation

The prophets are known for announcing God’s judgment on Israel and Judah.  Consequently, they can be hard to read—dark and gloomy.  But shining through the gloom are rays of God’s love.  The prophets not only announce judgment, but make the appeal of love.  Through them, God pleads with His people, begging them to return, and announcing His love and desire to redeem them.  

You can hear God’s plaintive voice in the verses above.  He wants to do good for them—to heal them and redeem them.  He wants for them to show love in return and to truly know Him.  But sadly, His people are stubborn and rebellious, unwilling to love him and know Him.  Their love vanishes like a morning mist, like dew in sunlight.  

Application

Read the prophets through the lens of God’s love appealing to His people to return to Him.  The prophets’ priority is not to announce judgment but to call to repentance.  God’s desire is to redeem, not condemn, and this is seen clearly in Jesus who came “not to condemn the world, but to save the world” (John 3:17).  

God’s desires for you are good not evil (Jeremiah 29:11).  He is for you, not against you (Romans 8:31).  He wants you to know Him and love Him.  This is God’s appeal.

Prayer: Lord, help us to hear Your appeal in the prophets—and in our lives—and answer Your call.