My Bible Study group had a few weeks before we break for summer to fill after our last study ended so we went through the book of Hosea. I must say, I really enjoyed it. I feel kind of morbid admitting it because it is shocking and sad what happens to Hosea's wife, Gomer.
But the redemption...it is beautiful! For Gomer, for the Israelites and for me. I am so thankful that God redeemed me from my idolatrous and adulterous ways!
I have been reading on into Joel. Again, a similar message. God laying out what is going to happen if Israel does not repent. I guess what I find so hopeful is that God LONGS to show them compassion but He cannot until they recognize their need for Him, until the agree with Him about their sin.
I can "get" that a little as a parent. There are times that I SO want my child to make the right choice. I do not want to give them the painful consequence, I long to be compassionate, to have fellowship with them.
It has been good to read these books and search my heart for sin. It is interesting that Israel, in both Hosea and Joel, forgot the Lord and turned to idols during times of prosperity.
I was thankful for these verses today as they reminded me of the salvation I have been given in Christ:
Rend your heart....Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and he relents from sending calamity.
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten....and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you...then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God and there is no other.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved... there will be deliverance. (Joel 2:13, 25, 32)
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