Studying Hosea: Merciful Judgment

Israel is corrupt.  Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God…  When they go…to seek the Lord, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them Hosea 5:3-7

In my life, I have had a period of time where I decided to live life on my terms, well on the world’s terms really.   During this time, I found my comfort in ungodly things like alcohol, drugs, men, and outward beauty.   I did not seek God.  Instead, I worked to earn money during the day to spend on alcohol and drugs at night so that I could bear the misery of the day again.  Nothing I did prospered.  I was caught in a vicious cycle.  Soon, God’s voice was so faint that I felt He was no longer gone.   But the fact of the matter is that God cannot look upon us when we are consumed with sin.

God IS goodness.  He is the very embodiment of love and purity.  But just as God turned away from Jesus when he took on the sins of the world, so does God turn his gaze away when we have our sins unconfessed and cloaking us.  At this point, God will do whatever it takes to get us back.  To draw us out of the misery and back into right and intimate relationship with Him.

I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off , with no one to rescue them.  Hosea 5:15

God is merciful.  There is no doubt about that.  But in his mercy, He brings judgment because the only place where a person can be whole, fulfilled, and walking out their eternal purpose is when they are seeking Him.   So, He will use the least necessary amount of force, but also enough to cause you to sincerely seek Him once again- with your whole heart.

During this time of judgment and when you are truly feeling the emptiness of God, it is easy to turn to other sources of comfort & pacification.  The Israelites did just this in Hosea 5:13.  They turned to other kings to ‘heal their sores’, but God is the only One that can return you to wholeness.  How I wish that I had done this in the past!  And as another chapter in Hosea is complete, I wish the Israelites had repented and returned to God so much sooner.

Until they have borne their guilt and seek my face.…in their misery they will earnestly seek me Hosea 5:15

Prayer: God, I trust in Your judgment.  So, many times you have put my life and my dreams back on course with hedges of judgment.  I pray that You would raise hedges every time I make a turn on this path of life that is not drawing me nearer to You.  I breathe to know you more.  I am alive so that I can love You, and You love me.  Protect me, Father, from the pitfalls and deceptions that would pull me away from You.  I want to be holy and pure so that You can gaze upon me and smile.  I love you, Lord.  Thank you for your word and this relationship.

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