Hosea 1:1-3:5, 1 John 5:1-21, Psalms 124:1-8, Proverbs 29:5-8
Today is the 5th day of December, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is wonderful to be here with you today as we buckle up and take the next…I was gonna say buckle up and take the next step forward but buckling up and taking a step…like that’s a mixed metaphor, right? So, let…so let’s just move into our time in the Scriptures today. So, we finished the book of Daniel yesterday, which means that were gonna begin a new book and this book is called Hosea and we have also come to the final grouping of books in the Old Testament, and they are known as the minor prophets. And there are 12 books, Hosea being the first and we’ll work through these 12 books obviously, in a pretty quick fashion because we’re running out of year, but from Hosea to Malachi, these are the minor prophets. So, let’s get some context.
Introduction to the book of Hosea:
Hosea probably lived about eight centuries before Jesus. So, about 800 years. And he saw the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel, which was his homeland. And we haven’t talked about that for a while. We’ve been mostly dealing with the Babylonian exile and the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem, but we will remember that the northern kingdom was taken away and carried into exile by Assyria. Many biblical scholars think that Hosea’s prophecies eventually were collected together in the southern kingdom of Judah after the Assyrian conquest after the 10 tribes were taken into exile in being assimilated. Now the theme of marriage is used in the Bible, often to represent God’s love for his people. It’s covenantal language. And, so, marriage is a covenant. And this theme is…is vivid in the book of Hosea and is fitting because we've…we’ve come this far in the year. So, we’ve watched God’s people chasing other gods for months. We’ve watched God’s people committing spiritual adultery for months. And we’ve watched what that’s done to God’s heart. We’ve watched what that’s done to the people. We know where that road leads but when we place it in the context of marriage all of a sudden, things become very immediate and very close to home. And God’s reaction to being betrayed by the people that He loves, that’s understandable, He’s a scorned lover. Like, His heart is broke. He’s longing for what was lost and thinking about what His love is doing with…like…you understand, right? You understand how marriage brings things really immediate. And the book of Hosea brings it the most immediate, the most clear in the Bible because God asked Hosea to use His life to speak as like living prophecy. So, God asked Hosea to marry a prostitute and her name was Gomer. And this represented the idolatry, the adultery, the spiritual adultery of Israel. And, so, Hosea and Gomer had children together and God instructed that each child was to be given a prophetic name that was to speak directly to Israel and then eventually Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea. So, he divorced her, which represented God’s casting away of Israel. And then God told Hosea to go get Gomer back. And, so, he pursued her, and as it turned out he had to buy back the woman who had committed adultery and broken their covenant and played the harlot. And he did! He bought her back, representing the lengths that God’s willing to go in order to be reunited with those that he loves. So, we’ve also been working our way through first John and we’ve been talking about the love of God, and we’ve been talking about the profound effect of the love of God on the world and how we are loving the world…God is loving the world through us. So, the…the portrayal of God’s love in the book of Hosea should show us very clearly what we’re talking about because it’s potent and it’s a picture of His love for each one of us. And when we get that it’s overwhelming, like when we understand how profoundly God loves us, when we have a glimpse of that, it’s overwhelming, but the flipside of that, the dark side is that we also have to look at the ways that were betraying that love. And Hosea helps us to see the impact of our betrayal on the heart of God. And, so, we begin. Hosea chapters 1, 2, and 3 today and we’re reading from the English standard version this week.
Father, we thank You for Your word. We thank You for another step forward in Your word. And as we move into this book, Hosea, and for that matter, as we move through the minor prophets toward the end of the Old Testament, we invite Your Holy Spirit. We have a lot to learn in a short amount of time to cover that territory even as we’re moving through the rest of the New Testament. So, Father we…we acknowledge that this indeed is the point of the year where things seem to go into warp speed, and it does at times feel like we’re gonna blink our eyes twice and we’re gonna be in a new year. And, so, we recognize that as the rhythm of a year and we see that in front of us. And, so, again, we are committing ourselves. We will finish this year strong because that is the only way to begin a new year strong. And, so, come Holy Spirit and lead us where You will that we might learn from You all that we need to know to finish the story of this year strong. And, so, we calm ourselves and we will look for You and everything and we will look to Your word to guide our steps. Come Holy Spirit we pray into all of this. Lead us on the narrow path that leads to life. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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I’ve been mentioning because it that seems like everybody in the world’s mentioning something similar, it’s Christmas time around here. And wow! It’s…I guess I’m just noticing the influx of media being sent my way about things that I might want for Christmas or that I want to get for somebody else for Christmas. It’s like this stream that just never ends and I…maybe it's…I just…I think it’s always been this way…maybe I’m just noticing more. And, so, I’ve had these discouraging moments where I’m like, “man, I don’t even want to talk about the family Christmas. I mean just everybody’s talking about something.” But the Daily Audio Bible family Christmas box…we don't…we don’t make the Christmas Box to make money. We actually try to pile as many resources and discount them as far as we can and pile them in there because they’re for the family, the family that has been on this journey. And, so, there’s just some of our most popular things that we put in there that are like a great way to get these resources for the journey ahead. And we believe in all of these things. Like, we didn’t make them randomly. We made them…some of them over years. Like the God of Your Story over…well…it’s taken 14 years, right, and then two years to get this in…in written form. It's…it’s to help. So, yeah, it’s just been this kind of weird battle inside my head but the family Christmas Box is a valuable thing and it is a good thing and it's…it’s a worthwhile thing and there really are things in there that…that you want and that will serve you in your life and there are things in there that you may want to give away because they’ll serve someone else’s life. And that’s why we do this. So, I guess I’m not gonna…I’m not gonna struggle with it because I’m telling you about a resource, but we’re not trying to hock stuff here. It’s not…that’s just not what this is about. But there are resources that are valuable to the journey in the Christmas Box. So, check it out. Got of Your story’s in there. I just talked about that. The Journal 2.0 is in there and I talked about that yesterday. And the Global Campfire candle and the stickers and the postcards and the pop socket. All these things have been so popular. And for us, we made them because we made this Global Campfire logo this year just to represent our community. We created resources that were about that, that were touch points to the community. All of the Global Campfire stuff…it’s when you see these things, when you use these things, when you touch these things, they…they’re supposed to be tangible reminders of the community that we share here centered around the rhythm of God’s spoken word in our lives every day. So, anyway, you can find out all the stuff that’s in the Christmas Box at dailyaudiobible.com in the Christmas section in the Shop. And, so, check it out.
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And that is it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.