Hosea 12-14, Romans 12
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I think the past few weeks have shown the world what evil is capable of. I was talking with a friend in Vegas who said the way community has shown love and support has been amazing since the shootings. I said to him these words today, “we must overcome evil with good.” That is what he has experienced. I pray for a day when we can simply show good and not have to overcome evil in this world.
Has anyone else struggled to read Hosea? I was drawn in daily until we reached that book. Things like this passage confuse me and turn my attention off.
16 Samaria shall bear her guilt,
because she has rebelled against her God;
they shall fall by the sword;
their little ones shall be dashed in pieces,
and their pregnant women ripped open.
I hope I’m not the only one.
You are not alone, Megan! Here’s an overview video from The Bible Project that might help. Check it out here:
These passages were difficult and heavy for me to process too (see my comment yesterday). It seems the consequence to the truly innocent is horrific and unjust. In prophetic or OT literature that seems R-rated and violent, I try to look for the reason (disobedience) and the overall point (God is just and sin demands restitution). We have the NT, the unjust sacrifice of an innocent man, Jesus, who makes all things new. God doesn’t change, but our filthy sins deserving death are under His blood, if we’ve repented of our sins. Keep reading and ask the Lord daily what you are to take from it.
These readings (to me) show just how depraved humans become when we think we have a better way than God’. As a society- even if i believe and try to follow Christ- i only create a portion of society that is lighter and more loving. But i still suffer- and our children suffer- the effects of the large part of society who rejects God’s ways. The consequences are natural ones. The darkness and depravity just happen when people are outside of God’s direction/will. Believers don’t get to live on an island. But we can try to influence our society to submit to God. The more submission, the more beauty and peace we experience- (natural benefit). This is why no one goes to heaven unless we are purified by the blood of Jesus Christ. The perfect place of love and peace and joy cannot afford to allow an ounce of rebellion in. Rebellion =suffering (to both the sinner AND society). I WANT to be in a place where we are purged of this!) Only by the grace, mercy, gift of God in Jesus Christ will it ever be possible. I hope i’m making sense.
That’s the exact scripture that had me cringing too. You’re not alone.
How fitting to have Hosea 14, where Israel turns from its idols and again acknowledges that only Yahweh can save, right before Romans 12, where we are implored to give our bodies as living sacrifices. It’s like they belong next to each other!
I also am pondering Hosea 14:8–“Your fruitfulness comes from me…” I have been thinking over this concept the past few weeks, how the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is not from me, it is from the Spirit, who sows the seed, waters and nourishes through His Word, and eventually brings fruit. It isn’t my effort or good deeds that bring fruit. It takes so much pressure off me to be loving and kind and patient when I have nothing more to give, because HE gives fruitfulness. We aren’t conforming to the pattern of the world by making good effort at loving sincerely or serving zealously or being joyful, hopeful, patient, or faithful. We are drawing from the Holy Spirit to bring to fruition all these characteristics HE grows in us. He has supplied all we need for life & godliness (2 Peter 1:3-9).
We need to daily (sometimes every minute!) recognize our source, allowing His love (etc) to come through for us, because there are times we just can’t. We then ‘sacrifice’ our natural/fleshly response, turning to Him, allowing His Spirit & character to be what we cannot. Keep producing your fruit in me, Lord!
I read the comments every day, but have never commented myself. I just want you to know that I am thankful for your insight when you post and love hearing your perspectives. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!
This is so insightful Sarah. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I am encouraged by your words this morning that it is the Lord that works in and through me to bear fruit. My responsibility is to lean into Him, his grace, his strength, and his Word and what naturally comes will be an outpouring of that in my life.
If your enemy is hungry, feed him! That part just really spoke to me. In today’s society, we have a lot of enemy’s and hate in the world. But when it comes down to it, we are supposed to take care of them.
Romans 12 is honestly a beautiful passage. Basically tells you how to live a spiritually fulfilling life.
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