Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hosea: Adultery

As I cried out to the Lord before drifting off to sleep, I was awaken in the early morning hours crying out to the Lord in prayer.   I asked God to show me His Words and yet I knew where he was leading me.  For the past two days, God has been revealing stories in the Bible about relationships between men and women, between  God and Israel,  and between God and man.   I am inviting you to join me on this journey of relationships in the Bible. For this is not just my story, but stories of many men and women as they struggle with pains as they find their way back to the Lord.  Pains that runs deep into the inner core of beings. 

You  are invited to repentance by the Lord, with promises of His mercy and grace as you restore your relationship with Him. Once that relationship has been restored, that love will spill over and intertwine with other relationships;  marriage, parent and child, brothers and sisters, as well as friends.   Are you ready?…..

Who is Hosea?  Hosea is a prophet who prophesied during a long period of time when the Israelites have turned away from God due to their desiring the life of sins, particularly idolatry.  They committed adultery against God.   Adultery…  A commandant that was written on a tablet along with nine others and given to Moses for God’s people, the Israelites.  A commandment that simply states: Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

When we think about adultery, we think about a man and a women who has a relationship outside of marriage.  We don’t think about adultery being related to our “marriage” or relationship with God. When Moses came down from the mountains with both tablets in hand, he saw that God’s people have broken the commandments by worshiping the golden calf.  Not only the commandment regarding adultery, but other commandments as well. Such as, Thou shalt have no other god before me, and,  you shalt not make yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth.  No wonder Moses got upset and broke the tablets on the ground.  The Israelites had broken their relationship with God when they saw another way out. 

The Israelites are a community of people.  Although they were slaves in Egypt.  They were taken care of.  They were given all the food they wanted, water, and clothing.  They were taken care of by Pharaoh.  But did they see that it was God that provided for them?

Have you ever noticed how the community affect you?  In school, there are peer pressures from friends, the opposite sex, and the self desire to “fit in”.   Peer pressures usually leads us into temptations.  To do things that we would not have done if we were in a close relationship with God.   Temptations to skip class and hang out with friends, plagiarism,  to gossip or belittle someone who is not in your clique, to smoke do drugs, or having sex. 

The Israelites were influenced by the community as well with the power of “peer pressures” rather than the power of “prayer”.  The kind of  peer pressure that leads some of us into temptations and lose focus on our relationship with God.

The Israelites have been unfaithful and wanted to return to their “lover”, their idol.  They wanted to return to a place they believed was comfortable.  They wanted to return to Egypt where their basic needs were provided for.  Yet, they did not see that they were in bondage to slavery…to sin.   And if they did see it, they didn’t care.  Because it was better than where they are in the desert.

Soon we may find ourselves in deep despair.  All the joys that resulted from our idols will taken away.  We find ourselves stripped and naked (vulnerable) as we knock on the heavy wooden door.  A door that can only be opened by God himself. 

What are you enslaved to…what is your bondage…what is your sin?    What is the motivation behind the sins you committed?  Is it to receive the finer things (materialistic) in life or is there another reason? 

This would be a good time to take these questions to prayer with God.  As you are in prayer, God may lead you into the desert as he did with the Israelites.  He will speak tenderly to you.  And while you are in the valley, He will give you hope.  The hope can only be found in Christ.  God’s arms are opened for acceptance out of unconditional love.  The same love as when the prodigal son returned to his Father after all the sins he has committed.  The Father forgave his son and celebrated his return home.   Are you ready to return home, admit your sins, and repent.  Are you ready to accept the Father’s forgiveness?  He is waiting….

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