Saturday, April 26, 2014

Hosea-Great Days of Trouble Ahead

Mary Vee
Hosea 14

From Hosea's journals and the messages God gave him 

Photo Courtesy
It wasn't that long ago that God had sent the prophet Jonah to Nineveh. The message of warning to the great city of Nineveh and it's people to turn from their wicked ways changed their lives. Without a moment's hesitation every man, woman, and child--even the king put on sackcloth and cried out to God for mercy. God heard their prayers and showed them mercy.

Now God has sent me to tell the people of Israel the same message. Do they put on sackcloth? Do they cry for mercy? Do they turn from their wicked ways and stop worshiping the idols? No.

This wayward behavior will not be tolerated. God has sent me to warn the Israelites. I have repeated the message time and again, yet the worshiping of idols has not stopped. Instead of crying out to the Almighty God, they have run to Assyria for help. Nineveh is the capital. The very city they feared!

Well, they will regret their choice. Assyria will only come to put them in bondage. How my heart aches. How God's heart aches for Israel. They have chosen their future. 

In time, though, the Israelites will call out to God. Here is the last of my message I gave to the people:

"O Israel, return to the Lord, your God, for you have been crushed by your sins. 
"Bring your petition. Come to the Lord and say, “O Lord, take away our sins; be gracious to us and receive us, and we will offer you the sacrifice of praise. 
"Assyria cannot save us, nor can our strength in battle; never again will we call the idols we have made ‘our gods’; for in you alone, O Lord, the fatherless find mercy.”

“Then I will cure you of idolatry and faithlessness, and my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be forever gone! 

"I will refresh Israel like the dew from heaven; she will blossom as the lily and root deeply in the soil like cedars in Lebanon. 

"Her branches will spread out as beautiful as olive trees, fragrant as the forests of Lebanon. 

"Her people will return from exile far away and rest beneath my shadow. They will be a watered garden and blossom like grapes; they will be as fragrant as the wines of Lebanon.

“O Ephraim! Stay away from idols! I am living and strong! I look after you and care for you. I am like an evergreen tree, yielding my fruit to you throughout the year. My mercies never fail.”

"Whoever is wise, let him understand these things. Whoever is intelligent, let him listen. For the paths of the Lord are true and right, and good men walk along them. But sinners trying them will fail.

If only the people would listen. But in truth, from the looks on their faces, I don't believe they will. Such terrible days lay ahead for Israel.

1.  What prophet had been sent to Nineveh to warn them to stop being wicked?
2.  Did the people of Nineveh obey?
3.  What prophet had been sent to Israel to warn them to stop being wicked?
4.  Have they obeyed?
5. What did God say He would give the people of Israel if they obeyed Him and turned from their wicked ways?

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