I finished reading the book of Hosea this morning. Here are a couple of passages that really stuck out to me.
Hosea 12:7 The businessmen engage in wholesale fraud. They love to rip people off! 8 Ephraim boasted, "Look, I'm rich! I've made it big! And look how well I've covered my tracks: not a hint of fraud, not a sign of sin!" 9 "But not so fast! I'm God, your God! Your God from the days in Egypt! I'm going to put you back to living in tents, as in the old days when you worshiped in the wilderness. . . .12 Are you going to repeat the life of your ancestor Jacob? He ran off guilty to Aram, Then sold his soul to get ahead, and made it big through treachery and deceit. 13 Your real identity is formed through God-sent prophets, who led you out of Egypt and served as faithful pastors. 14 As it is, Ephraim has continually and inexcusably insulted God. Now he has to pay for his life-destroying ways. His Master will do to him what he has done. (the Message)
Does this not sound like our stock market. All those people that made themselves rich through fraud and misleading the investors.
Hosea 13:2 And now they're back in the sin business again, manufacturing god-images they can use, Religion customized to taste. Professionals see to it: Anything you want in a god you can get. Can you believe it? They sacrifice live babies to these dead gods - kill living babies and kiss golden calves! 3 And now there's nothing left to these people: hollow men, desiccated women, Like scraps of paper blown down the street, like smoke in a gusty wind. 4 "I'm still your God, the God who saved you out of Egypt. I'm the only real God you've ever known. I'm the one and only God who delivers. From the Message
How this reminded me of where are country is at. We make our gods exactly how we want them to be. There is no black and white with our gods only grey. There are no consequences to our sin just happenings. Women and men don't really suffer any emotional consequences from adultery or abortion (at least that is what we are told.) Let's not teach abstinence because children are going to be having sex. Let us make church only for convenience and what looks good to those around us not for coming together to worship the one true God. Let us not teach those lessons that might offend someone - Adultery, tithing, discipline, abortion, pornography, honesty. If these don't fit our lifestyle lets just not talk about them.
There is still hope because we serve a merciful God. Here is how the books ends.
Hosea 14:1 O Israel, come back! Return to your God! You're down but you're not out. 2 Prepare your confession and come back to God. Pray to him, "Take away our sin, accept our confession. Receive as restitution our repentant prayers. 3 Assyria won't save us; horses won't get us where we want to go. We'll never again say 'our god' to something we've made or made up. You're our last hope. Is it not true that in you the orphan finds mercy?"
4 "I will heal their waywardness. I will love them lavishly. My anger is played out. 5 I will make a fresh start with Israel. He'll burst into bloom like a crocus in the spring. He'll put down deep oak tree roots, 6 he'll become a forest of oaks! He'll become splendid - like a giant sequoia, his fragrance like a grove of cedars! 7 Those who live near him will be blessed by him, be blessed and prosper like golden grain. Everyone will be talking about them, spreading their fame as the vintage children of God.
8 Ephraim is finished with gods that are no-gods. From now on I'm the one who answers and satisfies him. I am like a luxuriant fruit tree. Everything you need is to be found in me." 9 If you want to live well, make sure you understand all of this. If you know what's good for you, you'll learn this inside and out. God's paths get you where you want to go. Right-living people walk them easily; wrong-living people are always tripping and stumbling. (the message)
God is still on his throne and his love is everlasting.