Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 28, 2017

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ”

Today’s devotion comes from Hosea chapter 2.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+2&version=NASB

I quote only the following verse.

“2 “Contend with your mother, contend,
For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband;
And let her put away her harlotry from her face
And her adultery from between her breasts,
3 Or I will strip her naked
And expose her as on the day when she was born.
I will also make her like a wilderness,
Make her like desert land
And slay her with thirst.
4 “Also, I will have no compassion on her children,
Because they are children of harlotry.
5 “For their mother has played the harlot;
She who conceived them has acted shamefully.
For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
Who give me my bread and my water,
My wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’
6 “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns,
And I will build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths.
7 “She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them;
And she will seek them, but will not find them.
Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband,
For it was better for me then than now!’

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.
15 “Then I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the valley of Achor as a door of hope.
And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
16 “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord,
“That you will call Me Ishi
And will no longer call Me Baali.
17 “For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth,
So that they will be mentioned by their names no more.
18 “In that day I will also make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field,
The birds of the sky
And the creeping things of the ground.
And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land,
And will make them lie down in safety.
19 “I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness.
Then you will know the LORD.”  Hosea 2:2-7 and 14-20.

—————————

It is startling to read the sharp contrast between Israel’s harlotry against God and God’s betrothal of Israel.  Israel ran far away from her husband, God.  It would have been just and good enough for God to only punish Israel and then forsake Israel.  But, God ran toward Israel, caught her and allured her, and betrothed her.  As faithless as Israel was, God was more faithful.  Who responds and restores that way?!

“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it;  and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”  Jeremiah 31:33-34.

Other doctrine futilely tries to exalt man and humble God.

But, Reformed Doctrine, following Scripture, humbles man and exalts God.

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man;  though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:6-8.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”  Ephesians 2:4-7.


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