Day 15

His Discipline Is Loving

from the Hosea reading plan


Hosea 10:1-15, Matthew 11:28, Psalm 25:12-22

BY Rebecca Faires

Text: Hosea 10:1-15, Matthew 11:28, Psalm 25:12-22

There are some passages of Scripture that are really hard to read because they don’t tell us pleasant things. This passage in Hosea is one of them; it talks to us about sin and about its undeniable consequences.

I like it best when I can imagine Jesus patting me on the shoulder, saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23). But instead of patting me on the back, Hosea 10 kicks me in the pants.

Why would God say all this to us? Why can’t we skip over the nasty parts and hear about something nice instead?

The truth is, we cannot fully understand the gospel without this very real and difficult realization of sin. The gospel isn’t a “skip over the difficult stuff” message. It’s the answer to an ugly, deeply rooted problem in our hearts. On their own, our hearts aren’t naturally inclined to seek the Lord and do what’s right.

We may like to claim a kind of made-up righteousness of our own, but those are “mere words” and “false oaths” (Hosea 10:4). In truth, apart from God’s bountiful grace, we are like Israel. Our actions reveal what we really believe, that “we do not fear the Lᴏʀᴅ” (v. 3). That’s frightening, because Hosea tells us where all this leads: shame, judgment, and war.

But even in this passage about the darkness of sin, God shines a light for us. When God calls us to “sow righteousness” (v. 12), He’s not simply commanding us—He’s also beckoning to us. God is throwing a rope down into the well to pull us up out of the darkness and muck of our sin.

From the deep pit of our own destruction and despair, we hear a steady, loving voice calling even now:

“Sow righteousness for yourselves and reap faithful love; break up your unplowed ground. It is time to seek the Lᴏʀᴅ until he comes and sends righteousness on you like the rain. . .  Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Hosea 10:12; Matthew 11:28).

Hosea is a book about God’s wooing of an undeserving people. While the reality of our sin may make us want to run from God, the reminder that He desires good for us, not destruction, draws us close. Difficult passages like this remind us that God longs for our wandering hearts to return to Him and receive His cleansing grace.

Let’s not wallow in our shame, but instead run with abandon back to our loving Father. As we do, He will continue to pursue us as He always has, to rescue us from even the deepest darkness of our hearts.

SRT-Hosea16-Instagram15s

 

Post Comments (96)

96 thoughts on "His Discipline Is Loving"

  1. Mariane DosSantos says:

    #RUNWITHABANDON

  2. Sarah says:

    This one felt s little more disjointed To me. I’m not sure the point I’m taking away is what was intended, but here goes. I got stuck on the concept that the invitation to sow righteousness is a lifeline, which seems counterintuitive because sowing righteousness is a difficult thing on our own. – really, more bad news and not really a lifeline at all. But then I realized that simply seeking the Lord (which of course begins with Him seeking us and is empowered by Him in the first place) is the first act of sowing righteousness. And seeking Him is ALWAYS a lifeline because you never seek God without finding Him. And finding Him always brings life-giving fruit. So sowing righteousness really is a life rope. Just took my tiny mind a while to see it. :)

  3. sarah says:

    Revisited Hosea, verse 2 just nailed it for me… being spiritually dry would sometimes make approaching this book difficult like the first half of the verse, “Now they must bear their guilt,”makes one automatically think punishment, judgment, wrath of God, and oh, all that shame and fear! But the consequence, or the object of God’s wrath, is so surprising in the 2nd half… “The Lord will break down their altars and destroy their sacred pillars.” The so-called “punishment” is NOT the destruction of the Israelites who did the sinning part, but the very thing that was a barrier between their relationship with God – the object of their idolatry, or the sacred pillars. He ultimately leads the Israelites back to him, and it is He who initiates breaking down those altars, because they probably wouldn’t have been able to break free from the habitual, lifestyle of sin. Thanks be to God for his zeal in claiming my worship to be only toward Him, and destroying my sacred pillars!

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