O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting?Hosea 13:14
A History Lesson
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This quote by philosopher George Santayana, is also sometimes translated, “the one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again” (as it is posted in the Auschwitz concentration camp today).
I believe this is one of the reasons that the Old Testament of the Bible has been preserved for us today.
Far from it being just a history book of the Jewish people’s origins, the Old Testament contains warnings, calls and promises that are still relevant to us today!
There are three aspects of this that I will explore with you in this devotion. God’s Warning, God’s Promise, and God’s Calling.
The clear warning of God contained in Hosea is that we need to turn back to God.
We turn away from God because we fall into what I call the “temptation of having much.”
So much has been given to us in terms of resources, treasure, and other blessings, that we are tempted to think that we don’t need anything else, even God.
Israel did this. The more they had – ultimately as blessings from God – the more they were tempted to turn their backs on God.
Specifically, the Northern Kingdom of Israel turned away from God and turn to the worship of Baal.
As Hosea says, “Those who offer human sacrifice kiss calves!” The preferred image of Baal for them was a golden calf. The preferred act of worship was human sacrifice – especially of children.
The warning is that if they don’t repent and turn back to God, they will lose everything.
Which is our warning today. Don’t depend on yourselves. Don’t put all your focus on the things that you do and have. Turn back to God, give thanks to Him and acknowledge His gifts – especially the gift of life!
God makes a promise to us. He will love us. He will redeem us. As justified as His anger towards us is, He will instead be our Savior.
God’s promise is that our sins will be forgiven by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
And even though we don’t deserve it, God will bless us by taking care of all our needs. He gives us this planet to live on, providing for all our need of food and shelter.
How will we respond to God’s gracious provision? We can either turn our backs on God or we can answer His call to us.
Return to the Lord is part of His call to us. Return, repent of our sins. God’s has promised to forgive.
God also calls us to remember what He has done for us in the person and work of His Son.
God’s call is to not rely on the works of our hands or minds.
He calls us to take God’s Word to heart and to accept what the good gifts He bestows on us.
Finally, God calls us to tell others of His great love and mercy.
Will you hear the warning of God?
I pray you will hear God’s promise and heed God’s call.
Heavenly Father, help me to heed Your warning. I pray that You will do as You promise and forgive me my sins. Help me to hear clearly Your call and to tell others about Jesus. In His name. Amen.
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