Not “Readin, Ritin and Rithmetic” but almost as basic

Have you ever wanted to just give up, throw in the towel and call it a day?  I’m sure some of the Israelites did.  They knew they’d messed up.  They had turned their back on God.  They had become more interested in themselves than in him and his direction for their lives.  Sound a little familiar?  (He said wincing)  No, me neither.

Hosea is laying his prophecy on people that have turned to idols they created in place of their God.  They’ve been living like they’re not his people, like they don’t even know him.  I know this is hard to imagine today, putting something else between you and God or making it more important than his plan for you but just try and imagine it.  Humor me a little because some of the Israelites realized the error of their ways and that’s where Hosea turned it up.  He said this:  “Oh, that we might know the LORD!  Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” (That’s Hosea 6:3)

Hosea knew something about forgiving.  He married a wife who he knew would run around on him.  (Don’t you want to have the power of sight and be prophetic?  Sure you do) She would bear him three children and although judgment was his right he chose to offer redemption.  It’s this restoration that he’s trying to get across to the Israelites who he hoped would repent.

Hosea is telling the people that only through a close relationship, like that of a married couple, can true salvation occur.  We must know the Lord and this doesn’t come without effort and perseverance.  I’m sure that offering forgiveness to his wife wasn’t easy but living his life as an example to his people meant he had to go the distance.  And if we keep going, becoming closer and closer to our God, our salvation is as certain as the dawn and the rains in season.

With God, nothing is ever beyond repair.  It takes repentance which brings redemption and finally restoration of our relationship with him but there are no caveats in God’s promise to us.  No one is beyond forgiveness.  It just takes the three r’s.

I think we often want to make this whole God thing a lot more complicated than it is.  It’s simple really.  Simple but not necessarily easy.  I hope you’ll hang in there and build another “r” thing: a relationship.

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