Daily Reading: Hosea 9-14
Let me catch you up to speed (since I clearly copped out in the actual recap.) Israel went off the deep end, following evil king after evil king. There was lots of idol worship, temple prostitutes and basically people just kind of forgot about God for awhile. Sort of like an extended weekend in Vegas. A very extended weekend. And apparently His people totally forgetting about Him hurt God’s feelings.
So He sends some prophets out to let everyone know that He’s upset and is going to bring some serious destruction their way as a result of their disobedience and lack of desire to interact with Him the way He’s asked them to. And He’s not messing around.
“The LORD says, ‘O Israel…there has been only sin and more sin! You have made no progress whatsoever…Now whenever it fits my plan, I will attack you too. I will call out the armies of the nations to punish you for your multiplied sins.’” (Hosea 10:9-10)
“The people of Israel are struck down. Their roots are dried up, and they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children.” (Hosea 9:16)
Yikes. Calm down there Debbie Downer.
So Hosea’s getting the word out that God’s about to lay the smack down, when all of a sudden God throws out a curve ball.
“War will swirl through Israel’s cities; their enemies will crash through their gates…For my people are determined to desert me. They call me the Most High, but they don’t truly honor me. Oh, how can I give you up Israel? How can I let you go? … My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows. No, I will not unleash my fierce anger. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal…and I will not come to destroy. For someday my people will follow me…and I will bring them home again.” (Hosea 11:8-11)
I bet when Hosea heard this he thought that he might actually get invited to a party for once. Or maybe he set his expectations a little lower and thought this good news meant he wouldn’t get kicked in the shins everywhere he went. Either way, he had to be stoked that he got to actually deliver some good news for a change.
I can only wonder how he went about it. “Uh, hey ya’ll. Remember all that stuff I said about God totally wrecking your lives? And remember how I said that He said everything was going to be horrible for you because of your sins? Well, uh, God changed His mind, and so He’s not going to completely destroy you anymore. He says He loves you too much. So, that’s good news right? Think I can come to Tommy’s Passover dinner tomorrow night? And remember how you guys booed me all the time? Think we could call it quits on that for awhile?”
However he did it, I bet Hosea was just as thrown off when he heard God say it as I was when I read it. “God, you’re changing your mind? Are you even allowed to do that? You love them? They hate you. You know that right? Oh, you do? Oh. Okay. Well, I just don’t really get it I guess. You’re more unpredictable than I expected.”
And so we’re left with another fantastic head-scratching moment brought to you by the Bible.