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Archive for the ‘Prophets’ Category

Hosea, a prophet of the Lord, was told by God to marry a prostitute.  The exact words are (in the New King James version), “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry.”  It is the weirdest thing.  Here is a man who is in God’s service, held to follow God’s law and speaking with God’s voice, but God wants him to marry a woman who would have been seen as “unclean” and certainly not what his mother and father were hoping for.  It must have caused quite a stir, a nice Jewish boy raised in the temple, marrying a whore.

Nevertheless, desiring to please God more than men, Hosea marries a harlot and his wife has children that the Bible says are not Hosea’s.  She even leaves him at one point and returns to prostitution.  It seemingly turns from bad to worse when God sends Hosea after his unfaithful wife, after she betrays him and returns to a life of prostitution.  Hosea, at God’s command, goes to find his wife who is “loved by a lover and is committing adultery”.  Hosea buys her back for fifteen shekels of silver.  He purchases the woman who betrayed him at a slave auction.

What is God saying in this story?   God said that He so loved the world that He gave His son that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.  Hosea tells the story of what God means by “whoever”.  “Whoever” is not limited to those who read their Bible or who make it to church on Sunday.  “Whoever” is not limited to those who have managed to stay out of trouble or  . . . insert what you like.  “Whoever” is Gomer, Hosea’s wife, the harlot who marries a Godly man, leaves him and commits adultery and ends up a slave, sold on the block for fifteen shekels.  This is a picture of God’s heart:  He comes after us to where we are lost in sin and bondage, even sin and bondage of our own choosing.  He seeks us out as we are being sold on the block as slaves.  He will pay the price for us and take us home with Him and make us His children, His heirs.

In fact, He has paid the price.  That is His amazing love!

No matter where you are, no matter what you have done, no matter how low you feel, Your heavenly Father is nearby.  He is looking for you.  His arms are open.

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David tells us of his relationship with the LORD, I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.  Psalm 34:4.  The things we learn about God from this verse are

  • God hears
  • God responds when He hears
  • God delivers us from ALL of our fears

One of the reasons God hears us is because He stays near to us.  God tells us in Jer 23:23, “Am I a God near at hand . . . and not a God afar off?”

Not only does God hear us, but He then does not leave us where we were.  God tells us, through the prophet Jeremiah, “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.  Jer. 33:3.  Some people like to say that this is God’s telephone number.

In Psalm 40:1-2, we read the Psalmist saying, “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.  He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.”    We learns some additional things from this verse including:

  • I may have to wait for God (I should do so patiently)
  • God moves closer to me to hear me and is not unmoved by my cries
  • God delivers me from the places that I have allowed myself to fall
  • God puts me on a firm spot, a rock (Jesus is the Rock)
  • God gets me started on my way and makes paths for me to walk in

In thinking over the scriptures that I wanted to use for this post, I realized that the God who hears makes the best deliverer.  The last thing you want in your time of trouble when you are calling out to God is a God who has a hearing impairment.   On the other side of the coin, having a God who hears well, but ignores me or makes my deliverance a low priority on His list is also distressing.  Praise God that He hears well, sees well and desires to deliver me out of my trouble and calamity.   Blessed be the name of the LORD!

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Continuing with our discussion of the Bible ands its organization and content, the following is a summary of what we covered in the last 4 posts on Bible Basics:

The Bible has 2 testaments: The Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Old Testament has 39 books divided into 5 sections:  The Law, The History, The Poetry & Wisdom, The Major Prophets and The Minor Prophets.

The Law consists of:  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

The History consists of:  Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.

The Books of Poetry and Wisdom consist of:  Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.

The next grouping of books in the Old Testament is the Major Prophets which include the following:

  • Isaiah [A prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah, Isaiah predicts God’s judgment on Judah was well as the surrounding countries and the world, but also promises a future salvation and restoration.  Many important Messianic prophecies (prophecies about Jesus) are found in this book.]
  • Jeremiah [A prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah also, Jeremiah declares the certain Judgment of God.  He also tells of God’s promise of a new covenant with His people.]
  • Lamentations [A series of 5 poems of lament by the prophet Jeremiah]
  • Ezekiel [A prophet to Israel in captivity in Babylon.  Ezekiel tells of the fate of Judah’s enemies and its future.]
  • Daniel [The book of Daniel includes some well-known Bible stories such as Daniel in the lion’s den and the three Hebrew boys in the firey furnace.  It also shows the future of the 5 world kingdoms and shows Israel during the period of Gentile power in the world.]

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