Hosea chapter 7 is so rich with meaning it is difficult to focus on central points. In this verse, God continues to talk with mixed emotions about Israel’s rebellion towards God and their refusal to return to Him. They are turning to their kings, pleasing their kings and princes, but they are not trying to please, seek, or even acknowledge God. At one point God speaks of Ephraim (northern land of Israel) and says that his hair is sprinkled with gray but he does not notice. Our sin ages us. It destroys us inside and out. But it does so little by little so that we do not notice. Just as drugs, alcohol, and smoking begins to teary on our outward man marking our face with wrinkles, yellow teeth, bad circulation, hair loss, etc. But by the time you have done it for 2o years, you are too deep in. You begin to not care about the beauty and self-respect that you once had. It engulfs you and destroys you, eating away at the core of who you are little by little. What’s worse than the bad habits is the time that it has taken you away from all the knowledge of God that you could have possessed in that time. It consumes you and robs you of your destiny, both eternal and here on earth.
Their sins engulf them; they are always before me. Hosea 7:2
When we are engulfed in sin, God cannot look upon us in the same way that he could if we were living holy lives and seeking His face. There was a time in my life when I was doing cocaine until all hours of the night even until morning. I would come home to my parents’ house at 7am and crawl into bed, pray that I would fall asleep soon and hoping my heart would not stop before then. I would wake up before 2pm to go to work. And start the whole cycle over. Eventually, my parents stopped speaking to me. They would speak to me coarsely saying that they didn’t know me anymore. They wouldn’t even look at me anymore. They couldn’t. It hurt them to see what I had become. I was barely living, wasting away, and engulfed in sin.
I long to redeem them but…they do not cry out to me from their hearts. Hosea 7:13-14
Many times as I lay there close to death, I would cry out to God. To not let my heart explode. To help me go to sleep. To take the pain away. And sometimes those things would happen(obviously my heart did not explode). But God did not restore me. He couldn’t until my heart’s cry was one of sincerity. My heart (mind, will, and emotions) were not set on God. This is what God requires-100% devotion of our entire being. Our “heart” should beat for Him and Him alone.
They do not turn to the Most High; they are like a faulty bow. Hosea 7:16
With God and serving God, our lives take the form of an arrow shot powerfully from His arm to serve His purposes. I have felt and witnessed when I have been in the center of God’s will. Nothing could stop me. Although enemies of His will rose up, I pierced through them. My life was an arrow alive with the power and passion of the Most High God. This was the way that God created us to be. Many times, if we will put our lives in his hands, we will be shot into the skies of success, leadership, and respect. Now, becoming this arrow is not easy. You must be willing to be shot behind enemy lines, into unfamiliar territory, out of our comfort zone. But it is a much more secure place to be in the security of God’s will than to be a faulty bow that is never shot with accuracy or potency, but left by the way side and not soaring through the skies of God’s amazing destiny for your life.
Prayer: God, so many moments I have been engulfed in sin. I’m sorry for those moments when you could not look at me. Those times that you mourned what I had become. You are a good father who wants his children to be everything that you created them to be. I love being in the center of your will. It is the safest place to be for I rest secure in knowing that you will always guide me and the wind of the spirit will always carry me to exactly where I need to be. You are Yahweh, Jehovah, Adonai! You are all I ever need. All of my needs are met in You. In You, I find my destiny and place in this world. I want to become the ready bow in your hands. Lord, give me courage as you shoot me the direction that you need me to go. Do not let me rebel as Israel. I do not want to offend you ever again. You have been so merciful and loving in taking me back in. You never left my side, and in your anger and hurt, you loved me. Thank you for never leaving. Thank you that you never stopped loving me. There is no one like you in all the earth. I love you, Father. Praise your name. Good night & Amen.