Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 1, 2018

“I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin.”

Today’s devotion comes from Hosea chapter 5.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+5&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Hear this, O priests!
Give heed, O house of Israel!
Listen, O house of the king!
For the judgment applies to you,
For you have been a snare at Mizpah
And a net spread out on Tabor.
2 The revolters have gone deep in depravity,
But I will chastise all of them.
3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from Me;
For now, O Ephraim, you have played the harlot,
Israel has defiled itself.
4 Their deeds will not allow them
To return to their God.
For a spirit of harlotry is within them,
And they do not know the LORD.
5 Moreover, the pride of Israel testifies against him,
And Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity;
Judah also has stumbled with them.
6 They will go with their flocks and herds
To seek the LORD, but they will not find Him;
He has withdrawn from them.”

15 I will go away and return to My place
Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.
Hosea 5:1-6 and 15.

———————–

“They will go with their flocks and herds
To seek the LORD, but they will not find Him;
He has withdrawn from them.”  Verse 6.

It is the saddest experience to seek the LORD and not find Him.

The wicked will never find Him.

But, there are times even in the righteous’ life when the righteous sometimes lose the sense of God’s favor for a time as stated in the following Articles of Canons of Dordt, FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints.

Article 5.  By such enormous sins, however, they very highly offend God, incur a deadly guilt, grieve the Holy Spirit, interrupt the exercise of faith, very grievously wound their consciences, and sometimes lose the sense of God’s favor, for a time, until on their returning into the right way of serious repentance, the light of God’s fatherly countenance again shines upon them.

But, there is hope!

Article 6.  But God, who is rich in mercy, according to his unchangeable purpose of election, does not wholly withdraw the Holy Spirit from his own people, even in their melancholy falls;  nor suffers them to proceed so far as to lose the grace of adoption, and forfeit the state of justification, or to commit sins unto death;  nor does he permit them to be totally deserted, and to plunge themselves into everlasting destruction.

Article 13.  Neither does renewed confidence or persevering produce licentiousness, or a disregard to piety in those who are recovering from backsliding;  but it renders them much more careful and solicitous to continue in the ways of the Lord, which he hath ordained, that they who walk therein may maintain an assurance of persevering, lest by abusing his fatherly kindness, God should turn away his gracious countenance from them, to behold which is to the godly dearer than life:  the withdrawing thereof is more bitter than death, and they in consequence hereof should fall into more grievous torments of conscience.

“How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
2 How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!

3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.  Selah.
5 I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin.  Selah.

10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.”  Psalm 32:1-5 and 10-11.


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