Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Reading Through the Bible Update: Hosea and Israel

I have a soft spot/point of contention when it comes to Israel in the Bible.

See, my family's heritage on my mom's side is Jewish.  She grew up Jewish by faith (and heritage), but became a Christian as a teen.  But her dad (my grandpa) and several family members are Jewish by faith.

I struggle with this.  We read in the Bible about Jews being "The Chosen People", but then Jesus comes and gives us a new covenant.

I'm still working through some of the theological issues (through emails with my sweet friend Cristi, reading, talking with teachers, prayer)...but I got some gems while reading through Hosea.

In this book, Hosea is prophesying about Israel's future.  They had turned from God and He was going to pour out His judgement.

But at the end, God takes a turn.

God says:

"My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.  I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I devastate Ephraim again." (Hosea 11:9)

He decides to be compassionate and gracious.

He did this for the entire nation of Israel, in spite of their great sins against Him.

Hosea 12:6 says "But you must return to your God;maintain love and justice,and wait for your God always."

PRAISE THE LORD that he allows us to return to Him.  He is always there waiting with compassion and grace and love...but we have to turn to Him.

You are never too far gone.  I am never too far gone.  Yes, God does have anger and judgement...but he also has great love. 

I'm thankful to have the lineage of the chosen people, but to also know the compassion and grace of Jesus.  

You can know that compassion too.  I would love to share with you more about what I've been reading.  Just hit me up. :) 

6 comments:

  1. I love this!!! I'm reading through the Bible also!

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  2. Brittney honey, I LOVE your heart! Your honesty in the beginning of this post brought me to tears. You have shared with me *why* you feel the way you do. And together, I think the Lord is really doing a work in us, so that we can learn and understand it more.

    I think of Israel as an orphan. God CHOSE this orphan to love and care for. He was an amazing Father! And after meeting all of His child's needs and giving them love and gentle correction and direction, Israel decides to do its own thing. "Hey, thanks Dad for your help, but we're all grown up now!" Can you imagine? They did every bad thing they were big enough to do, and God sat on the sidelines and watched it unfold. His love was still there! A Father doesn't stop loving his child! He didn't want them to destroy themselves! He had to make them see! I love how one translation says,

    "How can I turn on you? How can I turn you loose and leave you to be ruined? I can't bear to think such thoughts! MY INSIDES CHURN IN PROTEST but I won't act on my anger. WHY? Because I am God and not a human. I am Holy and I am here, right in your midst."

    And yes, one day, Israel WILL run back to Him... like a frightened, orphaned child. Israel won't deserve it. But God will be true to His covenant. When it comes down to the end, He will never let other nations win against Israel. God will always stay true to his chosen love, Israel. There is still a covenant between the two, though Israel has broken the rules of the covenant in many ways. And remember, a covenant is an agreement between two people. Though Israel didn't hold up to their side of the bargain, God will keep His promise to them! Israel may get down, but they will never be out!

    Israel's return can only happen because of Jesus. He began the "new" covenant and He will finish it. They must turn to Him! They need to see He is their last hope! And as far as His chosen people, His lineage... scripture says, "Everyone will be talking about them! Their fame will spread as the vintage children of God!" His "vintage" children! I LOVE that verse!!!

    I pray I get to see it all unfold in my lifetime, if the Lord is willing!

    I'll shut up now! (and my apologies for the longest comment in blogger history!) I just can't keep quiet when it comes to God's love for His people! ;-)

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    1. And P.S. I too am thankful for your Jewish lineage! And because of my faith and belief in Jesus, I'm glad to be "adopted" and chosen, too! We are family now! *wink*

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    2. LOVE the adoption metaphor! And I love your long comments. I feel like I can hear your excitement as you go! :)

      We are family....I got all my sisters....I couldn't help myself. :)

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  3. Romans 11 talks a lot about Israel in the covenant. Specifically Romans 11:26-29...If you haven't read that before. Paul talks a lot about it actually in Romans. Maybe a few other spots in his letters?

    I personally believe, God's covenant with them is still on going. There is no where in the Bible that alludes to it being over and done with. The old law, yes...But His sacred covenant with them..I don't think so. Anyway..Interesting to hear your thoughts! :)

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    1. Thanks Leanne! I read the Romans stuff a long time ago (after my Grandpa died...trying to make sense of it all)...but I''ll have to go back and take a look. And thanks for your insight. Great comment!

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