Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 4, 2018

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers” – “come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord” – “And I will be a father to you”

Today’s devotion comes from Hosea chapter 8.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+8&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“8 Israel is swallowed up;
They are now among the nations
Like a vessel in which no one delights.
9 For they have gone up to Assyria,
Like a wild donkey all alone;
Ephraim has hired lovers.
10 Even though they hire allies among the nations,
Now I will gather them up;
And they will begin to diminish
Because of the burden of the king of princes.”  Hosea 8:8-10.

————————

We think that diversity is the best virtue.  We think that every doctrine and every religion have equal validity.  We want to be like every other people and nation.

But, God concluded that although Israel was now among the nations, “Israel is swallowed up”.

Israel lost its distinctiveness as the people of God who followed God’s law.

Such diversity was the cause of Israel’s downfall and can be the cause of our downfall.

“8 Israel is swallowed up;
They are now among the nations
Like a vessel in which no one delights.
9 For they have gone up to Assyria,
Like a wild donkey all alone;
Ephraim has hired lovers.” Verses 8-9.

“Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had feared other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs of the kings of Israel which they had introduced.  The sons of Israel did things secretly which were not right against the Lord their God.  Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city.  They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the Lord had carried away to exile before them;  and they did evil things provoking the Lord.  They served idols, concerning which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”  Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets.”  However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God.  They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them.  And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the Lord had commanded them not to do like them.”  2 Kings 17:7-15.

“14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers;  for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?  15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God;  just as God said,

“I will dwell in them and walk among them;
And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
17 “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
“And do not touch what is unclean;
And I will welcome you.
18 “And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
Says the Lord Almighty.”  2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

Instead of trying to be like everybody else, we should embrace the fact that we are distinctive, “a peculiar people” in the King James Version language.  We are God’s people whom He has chosen to be His people upon whom alone He has lavished the riches of His grace in Christ Jesus.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;  that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;”  1 Peter 2:9.  King James Version.


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