READ: Hosea 7, 8, and 9
Warning….Old Testament “Minor Prophet” books like Hosea often get ignored…by folks like me…who get easily distracted and end up just suffering through the reading without ever really hearing the incredible voice of GOD in the words…and when that happens folks like me miss this incredible message where GOD is just begging and shouting and pleading for his people to return to him…and he is waiting to forgive them…no matter what they have done or how far they have wandered or what idol they’ve built or what crazy schemes they’ve gotten involved in. And if folks like me miss that message, it’s super sad, because it is the most heart wrenching and beautiful message we can ever hear: GOD loves us so much! When we fall away, he begs us to come back! He chose us and he loves us and he desires to fellowship with us so much. So much, in fact, that the Hebrew term “return” is used more than 1000 times in the Old Testament and Hosea uses it 23 times! God’s greatest desire for us is to come back to him; to return to a close relationship, to stop chasing after the meaningless stuff of this world that always fails to satisfy. Hosea 8:7 says “They sow the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind.” How futile is that? Planting wind? Harvesting wind? Obviously, there is nothing there. But that’s what we do when we pursue the things of this world instead of the things of GOD; and I think there is always a part of us that knows that.
Our two-year-old grandbaby, Myka Mae, has a bath-time ritual whenever she stays at our house. She opens the closet door in the bathroom and begins throwing the clean washcloths down the laundry chute in the closet floor. “I doing laundry,” she explains. She’s so enthralled with the process that I don’t have the heart to tell her to stop….I just wash lots of already clean cloths. But what about us? How much time do I spend “throwing clean stuff down a chute” because I’ve never stopped to realize that what I do apart from GOD, or worse, in spite of what I know about GOD and what he desires for me, is equally ridiculous?
Believers, it is time to RETURN! The GOD who loves us and pleads to live within us is waiting! That was God’s message through the prophet Hosea and it is his message to us today!
PRAY: Ask GOD today to rule and reign in our hearts and to give us the power of the Holy Spirit in living for him and letting him shine through all we do!