Readings for today: Hosea 7 , 8, 9
Who do you look toward during times of trouble? What do you search for during times of severe pain or illness? We all have those moments of despair, when the clouds are pushing us to the ground and we fear we may never get up again. The pain is just too much this time. Today’s passages are a very startling reminder of God’s desire for us to call out to him in times of trouble.
Hosea chapter 7, in my bible is tilted “Israel’s love for wickedness”. I would like to rename the chapter, “Israel forgets”. The chapter is more of a reminder of god’s children to lay aside their sinful ways and to cry out to Him when our hearts are heavy. The Israelites forget to turn to their Lord in desperate times. Very much like our culture today, they turned to alcohol, pills, entertainment, other nations around them, apathy, instead of crying out to their Lord for help. Do you ever do the same? Are their times you choose to lie on the couch, wallow in your distress, and not cry out to God?
Let’s pull out some of these verses, and analyze them. Believe me, I’m prone to do the same as the Israelites. This is a list compiled from Hosea chapter 7: ways we choose to ignore the Lord, and rely on our own devices. I did not create this list alone. This in a list found within God’s word spoken by Hosea.
- Using Entertainment to numb the mind- Netflix binging to make yourself feel better?
- Getting drunk with wine to forget your sorrows ( verse 5)
- Hang out with the wrong crowd to cheer you up (verse 8).
- Worship foreign gods to find your strength sapped your strength ( verse 9) – pagan rituals like yoga, meditation, new age techniques ( not speaking of techniques for exercise or relaxation, there is a difference in the motivation)
- Arrogant to your friends and family about your adversity (verse 10)
- Calling out to others around you for help, including doctors, online forums instead of looking toward God for help (verse 11) –
- Sitting on the couch and wallowing in your pain ( verse 14)
- Cut themselves (verse 14)
- Beg foreign gods for grain and new wine – (verse 14)
Do any of these speak loudly to you? I know there are a few that speak to me. Let’s now turn to the same passages and listen how God feels about our devices. I changed the pronoun from they to you.
- “No one cries to me for help.” (verse 7)
- “You do not return to the Lord your God or even try to find him. ( verses 10)
- “I wanted to redeem you” (verse 13)
- “You do not cry out to me with sincere hearts”
- “You turn away from me”
- “You look everywhere except to the Most High”
This is a jealous God we serve. He wants us to set our devices aside and turn to him for help. Whether it’s 760 bc or 2021, this is the same God with the same requests. He is still calling out, “I want to redeem you. I want you to cry to me for help. Keep trying to find me, because I am here waiting for you. “
The song, “Dear God” redone by Chad Graham, is a beautiful reminder of our lesson. “You made a man this fragile. You made a heart that can break. You show me the road less traveled. But I’m gonna run away. You make me love so hard. When everything I love just leaves. Are you sure there’s nothing wrong with me? Dear God, just remind me you don’t mess up. ”