The Lord God of Israel spoke to the prophet Hosea,
and His words were difficult. Hosea wrote them down, but it could not have been easy for him to do so. God had several controversies
with his people living in Israel.
people were living in complete apostasy. "...therefore
have they forgotten me." (13:6)
There was no regard for the agreement made with Abraham or
the laws given through Moses. "... they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed
against my law." (8:1)
"I have written to him (Israel) the great things of my law, but they were counted as
a strange thing." (8:12)
The people had replaced God with idols that they built altars
to and made an idol shaped like a bull. "...of their silver and their gold have they
made them idols..." (8:4)
and "...Ephraim has made many altars to sin ..."
Israel had even selected a ruler that was not the one God wanted them to have. "They have set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes and I knew (consented)
Overall, all of the book of Hosea seems bleak. Hosea gives account
after account of how Israel has betrayed God, abandoned God, shunned God, disobeyed God, ignored God, and defied God. The
very society established by God to be the preserver of His word and to bring forth the Savior in just a few more years, wasn't
interested in being anything for God. The picture of the Israelites seen in Hosea is one of self-interest, of being self-absorbed.
The Israelis wanted to push God out of every
part of their society and expel him from their midst for being too morally straight-laced. They had a better idea of the god
they wanted: their own flesh.
It's hard to
read Hosea and not think God has every right to abandon if not destroy a society like that. But when one reads the list of
betrayals, it becomes uncomfortable. If I didn't know Hosea was talking about Israel, I could have substituted the name of
my own country, America, in many of those verses.
began as a Christian nation and even wrote a Declaration of Independence and The Constitution to reflect that basis. But there
are those who argue today, especially those who sit on different courts throughout the land, including the Supreme Court,
that maybe God wasn't really supposed to be part of our society. They reason His moral laws were for times past; we as a nation
have evolved -- we need our laws to reflect who we are today.
The Bible is our copy of the agreement made with Abraham and of the laws given through Moses. And it is much
more, just ask anyone who has read it cover to cover. But America has no regard for the Bible. In fact, quote the Bible at
the "wrong time" to the "wrong group of people" and you may find yourself slapped with a hate-speech violation.
Some would say we have no altars here in America,
and we certainly don't give sacrifices to bulls. Really? What is Wall Street? The symbol of success on Wall Street is to have
a bull market, and many are willing to throw hard-earned money at it. They hope this "bull god" will reward them
with lots of extra cash so they can buy expensive goodies as symbols of their success. Look at what the U. S. government has
done with taxpayers' money in hopes that the great and wonderful money bull of Wall Street won't go away.
And how about our next leader? Have we selected someone God wanted
us to have? Or has he been chosen, "but not by me"?
But the uncomfortableness doesn't stop there. I could take out the name of my country and put in my own name.
There was a time when I believed God existed but I had no use for Him. I didn't know how to incorporate God into my life.
I wasn't sure where to fit Him in, so I didn't really try. He was great for Sunday School teachers to talk about, but until
I figured out exactly what I would do with God in my life, I wasn't really interested.
But look at Hosea 13:9: O Israel, thou has destroyed thyself,
but in me is thine help.
all that Israel had done, God still loved her and wanted to help. She had gone far from His original plan, far from His dreams
for her, and very far from His love for her, but He still wanted to help her. God told Israel that her help was "in me."
In all of this bleak and sad book, there is a tremendous bright ray of hope. God wanted to be there for Israel. He wanted
to help her. She had gone far, but God's love could go farther still.
The same is true for America. Change the verse, "O America, thou has destroyed thyself, but
in me is thine help."
But on a very personal
level, change the verse again. Put your own name in there: "O _____, thou has destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help."
God can reach anybody who wants to be reached. Despite all that
we have done, when we come to the end of ourselves, when we have gone far from God's original plan for us, from His dreams
for us, and very far from His love for us, He still wants to help us. When I came to the end of myself and found myself very
alone and abandoned and unsure of how to live in this life and that I had destroyed much around me, I cried out to the God
of Heaven and Earth that I believed existed. I then realized it wasn't about fitting God into my life but me fitting into
His, and things began to make sense. My life didn't read like the book of Hosea anymore.
If you don't want God in your life, He won't force Himself. You don't have to go to heaven
with him with this life is over. But if you are in a place you don't want to be and are through with the sins you have surrounded
yourself with but are not sure if God would want to help you, then hold onto Hosea 13:9, and tell God, "in You is my help." He will be there.
God Bless, Charmaine Eggers (Garden Girl)