Today we are reading Hosea 10. In this chapter we see the connection between Israel’s prosperity and their pursuit of false gods. “Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; as his country improved, he improved his pillars. Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt. The Lord will break down their altars and destroy their pillars.” ‭‭Hosea‬ ‭10:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Have you noticed a similar trend in your experience—prosperity results in people pursuing false gods? Jesus said “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into heaven.” You can see the difficulty that prosperity brings. How can you stay close to God even when you are prosperous? How can you keep God first in your life? May God guide you in all your ways! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Hosea 9. In this chapter we read about how God will punish Israel by taking away their children. “Ephraim’s glory shall fly away like a bird— no birth, no pregnancy, no conception! Even if they bring up children, I will bereave them till none is left. Woe to them when I depart from them!”
‭‭Hosea‬ ‭9:11-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬ When children come into our lives they bring much joy! Just last night we FaceTimed with our daughter and grandsons in Sacramento. I can hardly bear the thought of losing them. Today’s reading describes God’s punishment on Israel as so great that it reaches even the children. Tragically, the people were already sacrificing their children to the pagan gods of the Canaanites. It reminds me of the way children are sacrificed today—to preserve a career, to avoid inconvenience, to cover up sexual sin, to facilitate prosperity. May God enable us to put Him first in our lives and may our children always receive His blessing. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Hosea 8. In this chapter we read how rebellion against God results in a repayment far worse. “As for my sacrificial offerings, they sacrifice meat and eat it, but the Lord does not accept them. Now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins; they shall return to Egypt. For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces, and Judah has multiplied fortified cities; so I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour her strongholds.” Hosea‬ ‭8:13-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Rebellion against God does not go unpunished. The first commandment says, “You shall have no other gods.” So, when we go against God He is very offended. When we chase after things that are not God—careers, wealth, possessions, philosophies, politics etc.—we offend our Holy and Righteous God. May God guide you in all your ways and in all your days. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Hosea 7. In this chapter we read about God’s knowledge of the sins of Israel. “when I would heal Israel, the iniquity of Ephraim is revealed, and the evil deeds of Samaria, for they deal falsely; the thief breaks in, and the bandits raid outside. But they do not consider that I remember all their evil. Now their deeds surround them; they are before my face.” Hosea‬ ‭7:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬ God knows everything. There is nothing that escapes His notice. How does that fact impact you? We all tend to put our best foot forward when we know someone is watching. God is always watching. God also has a perfect memory. There is only one thing that causes God to forget—our repentance! May God give you a spirit of humility and repentance! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Hosea 6. In this chapter we read about the continued rebellion of God’s people. At times, there seems to be a glimmer of hope. “”Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.” Hosea‬ ‭6:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Have you ever been partially sorry? That’s a strange thought isn’t it? On the other hand, have you ever received an apology that was less than sincere? The words seem empty and unsatisfying. It really feels like no apology at all. Imagine how God feels when we simply say the words of confession but there is no heart connection. God desires a deep and sincere relationship with us. May God guide you to be humble towards Him. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading in Hosea 5. In this chapter we read about the punishment God is about to send upon Israel. These words were written about 730 BC and the Northern Kingdom (Israel) falls in 722 BC. The Southern Kingdom falls in 586 BC. “For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and no one shall rescue. I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me.”
‭‭Hosea‬ ‭5:14-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Destruction is coming. The only way out is through repentance. God calls us all to acknowledge our sin and seek Him. What sin is on your heart today? What thoughts, words or actions do you need to repent of? May the assurance of God’s mercy urge you to confess and be cleansed. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Hosea 4. In this chapter we continue to read about the motif of Israel being compared to promiscuous people. “Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel, for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”
‭‭Hosea‬ ‭4:1-3, 6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ God’s rebuke for Israel is harsh and justifiably so. If the people turn away from God they lose their salvation and will suffer in a godless society. Hosea wrote 2700 years ago but his words fit our time also. How do we live in such a time and place? We live as those with hope. We live as those who know the truth. We live as those who know the way. May God raise you up in your community to teach others the ways of God. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Hosea 3. In this chapter we read about how Hosea is commanded to buy back his wife from prostitution. “And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a lethech of barley.” Hosea‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬ This story is meant to illustrate how God buys back Israel from their spiritual adultery. How do you think Israel felt when they received their freedom? We too have been purchased by God. We have been bought back from the slavery of our sins.In the world of human trafficking it is said that it takes being delivered 7 times before a person will stay away from that slavery. What lesson can you learn regarding your walk with Jesus? Are you quick to return to your sin or have you learned your lesson and accepted your freedom? Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Hosea 2. In this chapter we read about the description of Israel’s chasing after false gods being compared to a promiscuous woman. The chapter concludes with God’s promise of restoration.“”And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel, and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.'”” Hosea‬ ‭2:21-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬ God is very angry with Israel for their unfaithfulness. He has every right to destroy them. Instead, He offers forgiveness if they repent. The same is true for us. Our sins are deeply offensive to God and He has the right to punish us. Instead, He sent us Jesus and punished Him in our place. May God’s love call you to a life of obedience. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Hosea 1. In this chapter we read about the beginning of Hosea’s prophecy where his wife and children represent the rebellious nation of Israel. “When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.” So he went and took Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. And the Lord said to him, “Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. She conceived again and bore a daughter. And the Lord said to him, “Call her name No Mercy, for I will no more have mercy on the house of Israel, to forgive them at all. When she had weaned No Mercy, she conceived and bore a son. And the Lord said, “Call his name Not My People, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.”” ‭‭Hosea‬ ‭1:2-4, 6, 8-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬ It seems that in this prophecy God is being excessive in using Hosea’s family to illustrate the unfaithfulness of His people. Why would God be so graphic? How do you think God feels when we worship false gods? How important is it to God that we remain faithful to Him? May God bless you to walk according to His ways and enjoy all His blessings. Pastor Tim