Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Hosea 1-4
“Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” (1:11) What a testimony of God’s grace is pictured for us in this minor prophet book. Ephesians 1:6 teaches that the child of God should be “to the praise of the glory of His grace.” We ought to live our lives in such a way that it enhances the opinion that others have of the grace of God. Grace is “unmerited favor.” It is the fact that we have received so much that we do not deserve. In a society where so many have an entitlement mentality, people are ungrateful and many times unaware of the grace of God. God’s grace is seen in every area of our lives. The fact that we were born and created in the womb of our mothers is the grace of God. The fact that we can breathe, move, and have our being is the grace of God. The fact that we have relationships, the ability to love and be loved, is a testimony to the grace of God. The most critical example is the salvation that is offered to us through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That act of grace is the subject of this great book of the Bible. Hosea was asked by God to participate in a real life example of the life of Israel. Israel was called by God to be the nation that would bring the Messiah, the Lamb of God, into this world. They were commanded to be a people that would be peculiar, separated, and distinct. However, they were constantly committing spiritual adultery by giving their attention, affection, and allegiance to the world around them. Hosea is asked by God to take a wife of whoredoms to be his bride. There is certainly nothing about us that would attract a holy God to us. There is not a reason for God to show love, mercy, or grace to such defiled and depraved people as we are. We certainly are not deserving of anything except an eternity in hell. However, God has chosen to demonstrate His grace by not just giving us life, but paying the price and paving the way for us to have everlasting life. As repulsive as it is for us to think of taking a wife given to whoredoms, and demonstrating and giving sacrificial love to her, that is exactly what God did for Israel and for us. Even after she strayed back into the depraved lifestyle and committed adultery on Hosea, God commanded him to go and not just take her back, but be willing to purchase her. Oh how we take the grace of God for granted. I am convinced that we think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. We forget, as 2 Peter teaches, that we are blind, and cannot see afar off, and that we have been purged from our old sins. God has not just created us, giving us life, but paid the price for our eternal life. However, He has given us so much more. He grants us opportunities, relationships, and privileges. Everything that we have, do, and experience is a testimony to God’s marvelous grace. Are we demonstrating the humble, grateful attitude that will enhance other’s opinion of God’s grace, or are we so self centered that all we can do is find someone who will listen to us complain, grumble, and murmur. Gomer deserved to be given over to the sin that would eventually destroy her and make her life miserable, but Hosea showed grace. I deserve to be given over to my depravity and the future destruction, hopelessness, and pain that it would bring me. However, God gave to me grace, marvelous grace! May we communicate a heart of gratitude to God for His wonderful grace.
• Lord, please help me to never forget what I deserve and the grace of God that has changed my life. Thank you for loving me, showing mercy, and granting to me grace.
• Lord, please help me to never complain. I have so much more than I deserve. Thank you for my wife, children, parents, sibling, church, friends, health, privileges, and opportunities. Most of all, thank you for my eternal life given to me through the salvation extended by my Savior.