Hosea 5

IMG_1758How is it going so far?  This is a tough book to dig through, but so worth it to see God’s love for his people!

This chapter starts out with God calling out all of the groups (the priests, Israelites, royal house) responsible for maintaining justice, but have miscarried it.  They are caught in “a snare” keeping innocent people captive from knowing the One True God.

“Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God.” (v4)  This isn’t saying that because of their sin they cannot turn to God.  It is because of their persistent that makes the repentance impossible.  The NKJV words it this way: “They do not direct their deeds toward turning to their God.”  Nothing about their actions shows them wanting to repent.

Do your actions show a heart of repentance?
 

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Hosea 4

IMG_1758God’s love for His people is overwhelming right?  He warns us that we serve a jealous God, so when our love turns from Him to other idols of course He is going to get upset.  But then the way He chases after the Israelites unrelentingly is amazing.  He is chasing after us with that same love.  Although we may not worship wooden idols and the god of Baal, we struggle with worshiping money, our jobs, name brand things, a baby…

God begins with judging the sins of the people claiming that there is no truth, mercy, or knowledge of God.  Instead the world is full of lying, stealing, adultery, murder, and human sacrifice.  This judgement was going to affect all living things in the world.

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Hosea 3

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There is a lot packed in these 5 verses of chapter 3!  The point of view changes in chapter 3: from a 3rd person narrative to a 1st person.

“The Lord said to me, ‘Go show love to your wife again,’” (v1)  This is the Lord speaking directly to Hosea (“me”.)  Hosea is called to go love his wife, Gomer, just as God has loved unfaithful Israel.

“although she is loved by another and is an adulteress.  Love her as the Lord loved the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” (v1)  Just a note: Raisin cakes were used in the sacrificial feasts to the other gods.

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Hosea 2:14-23

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As I write these, I realize that I pretty much make the Cliff’s Notes version of these chapters!  I like to read then figure out what is being discussed and details that may not be obvious just by reading it the first time.  There is so much to learn in the details of names, places, and meaning of words!  It can take a confusing passage and make it meaningful.  So, at the very least I can pass along some of that information to you!

The tone of this next section changes.   Here the Lord restores Israel (the adulterous wife.)

Verse 14: The Lord talks of getting Israel back to Him and showing continual love instead of judgement and condemnation.

“Therefore, I am going to allure her; I will lead her back into the desert and speak tenderly to her.”

He will reassure and comfort His people.  The desert refers back to Israel’s wandering in the desert.

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Hosea 2: 1-13

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Sometimes the New King James Version (NKJV) can be a little more confusing to read with all the Old English language, but for this section it made a little more sense to me.  That’s one reason why I like having a couple different translations in the house.  I also have every translation on my phone (YouVersion Bible app) which is handy! Chapter 2 is God’s indictment of Israel for her unfaithfulness to Him.  This is the point where Gomer represents the Israelites. “Say to your brothers, ‘My people,’ And to your sisters, “My loved one.”  (v1)  These are the meanings of the names of Gomer’s children with the negatives associations (“not my people” and “not loved.”) [Read more...]

Hosea 1

IMG_1758 copyWe will start like we did in Nehemiah, discovering who Hosea was and a little bit about the situation he was in and when and why the book was written.

Hosea in Hebrew means “the Lord has saved us” or “salvation”  He was one of the minor prophets who declared God’s judgement against idol worship in Israel.  The Bible says nothing about Hosea’s background but does place him in Israel.

The theme of the book is Hosea proclaiming God’s compassion and covenant love that cannot let Israel go.

Major truths: God suffers when His people are unfaithful; God cannot condone sin; God will never cease to love His own and will seek to win back those who have forsaken Him.

Let’s jump right into it!

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Nehemiah Chapter 13

Book of NehemiahLast chapter!

Wow! That flew by.  I pray that God revealed some awesome things to you as He did for me.

Last chapter and He is still showing some amazing stuff through Nehemiah!

One little sentence right in the beginning made me smile.  When talking about how the god of the Ammonites and Moabites (Balaam) would call a curse down on the people:  “(Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.)” (v2)  I can’t even count how many times something happened that I thought was bad or just not what I wanted, and it turned out to be even better than what I even dreamed.  He uses all things for His glory.

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Nehemiah 11 & 12

Book of NehemiahNehemiah Chapters 11 & 12

Home stretch here…

Nehemiah knows that great things will be done in this city and it needed to be populated to stay safe.  “Now the leaders of the people settled in Jerusalem,” (v1) “The people commended all the men who volunteered to live in Jerusalem.” (v2)  Everyone knew that this place was going to be a target.  It has been destroyed before and now with the wall rebuilt, it would be a target again.  Yet, some people still volunteered to be the ones to lead and protect.  What risk takers!  These people gave up these nicer houses and land to live in an area that had been decimated.  They were sacrificing themselves and their comfort for a bigger purpose. [Read more...]

Nehemiah 9 & 10

Book of NehemiahI am so happy that we can be doing this together!  Reading everyone’s comments has brought new light to the verses.  Keep them coming :)

Chapter 9: The Israelites Confess Their Sins

The people start out in fasting and prayer.  “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.” (v5)

“You are the Lord God, who chose Abram…” (v7)

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Nehemiah 7 & 8

Book of NehemiahNehemiah Challenge: Chapters 7 & 8

Half way point!  We are getting there :)  Isn’t God revealing some amazing things?

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