ESOCS Devotional 7 April 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” Hosea 11:1
TEXT: HOSEA 11:1-9
“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.[a]
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.
3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.
5 “Will they not return to Egypt
and will not Assyria rule over them
because they refuse to repent?
6 A sword will flash in their cities;
it will devour their false prophets
and put an end to their plans.
7 My people are determined to turn from me.
Even though they call me God Most High,
I will by no means exalt them.
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboyim?
My heart is changed within me;
all my compassion is aroused.
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger,
nor will I devastate Ephraim again.
For I am God, and not a man—
the Holy One among you.
I will not come against their cities.
Have you ever wondered why sinners survive, why wicked people who have given themselves over to great ungodliness survive? Have you ever wondered why God tolerate sinners among His people and they seem to be getting away with their sins. Hosea provides us the answer. God is merciful and full compassion. He is overflowing with love and is not in a hurry to destroy the sinner.
God’s people are a special treasure to Him. He loves them with an everlasting love. But many times, the people of God turn away from Him and go into a life of sin. When Israel sinned, the fact that they were His chosen people did not make their sin lesser than its magnitude. Nevertheless, God was good to them; yet, they went deeper into sin and will not return to Him. God lamented this situation in this passage. He said, “How can I give you up, Ephraim; how can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I treat you like Adamah? How can I make you like Zeboim? My heart is changed within me all my compassion is aroused. I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim” (Hosea 11:8 & 9).
Many of God’s children today are like the Israelites. The wages of sin remain death for everyone. However, God in His love refuses to bring speedy judgment on the sinner. This is good news for it affords the sinner opportunity to turn away from sin, return to God, and be free from the consequences of sin.
Nevertheless, no one should take the mercifulness of God for granted; for when He shows the sinner mercy or favors him, it is that the sinner should come to repentance (Rom 2:4)
God may be abundant in mercy but they surely will be a day of accounting when all sinners shall bear the brunt of their sins. Israel is a case in point.
- Why is it difficult for people to continue in righteous living?
- Why do some Christians abide in sinful living in-spite of God’s loving kindness?
- Lord, we want to appreciate you for your patience and loving kindness towards your children. Draw our hearts close to you. Help us to walk in righteousness and live holy unto you. Amen.
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ESOCS Devotional 7 April 2023