Hosea 1:1-3:5, 1 John 5:1-21, Psalm 124:1-8, Proverbs 29:5-8
Today is the fifth day of December, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is great to be here with you today, around the Global Campfire as we gather together in this season of peace on earth and goodwill toward men. And here in the northern hemisphere the colder months, and so, we kind of all get cozy here around this Global Campfire and keep each other warm. Back in the summer it was like more of a campfire right, we’re just kind of all around it, just enjoying the evening. Now we’re kinda all squeezed in together, keeping each other warm as we come around the Global Campfire. Of course, all of you in the southern hemisphere are experiencing more of the warmer time and so it’s, you know what, it is what we make it right. Here we are around the Global Campfire for the next step forward. Our next step forward actually leads us into a brand-new territory in the Old Testament, we’re moving into the prophetic book of Hosea. And as we move into Hosea, we’re moving into the sort of, final grouping of books that we will encounter in the Old Testament. These books are called the minor prophets and we’ve moved through the major prophets, and we talked about…about it back then, that the major prophets aren’t more important than the minor prophets. It’s not like these are the minor league prophets and we already read the professional prophets. It has more to do with the material that is contained within the writing and so these minor prophets are much shorter than the major prophets, which means that we will move through them at a reasonably quick clip. There are 12 books in the minor prophets, beginning with Hosea and then ending with the final book in the Old Testament, Malachi. So, think about it, this is the fifth day of December, there are 31 days in December, which unless I’m counting wrong, leads us 26 days left in the year and we will move through 12 books, this is just the Old Testament, we will move through 12 books in the Old Testament in the next 26 days. So, pretty quick and we’ll be moving pretty quickly, but we’ll keep ourselves oriented and we’ll talk about all the different things that we’re reading and why we’re reading them, but we’ll be moving pretty quick. We some territory to move through in the New Testament as well, fairly quickly. But then, we will eventually, actually just days from now, arrive at the final book in the New Testament, the book of Revelation and that will carry us to the end of the year.
Introduction to the Book of Hosea:
But now, we are opening the threshold and stepping into the book of Hosea. And Hosea probably lived somewhere around the eighth century BC. He was from the northern kingdom. So, we have to kind of remember back…back through our journey through first and second Kings, first and second Chronicles. We remember the disintegration of the United monarchy of Israel as one cohesive nation made up of 12 tribes. After King Solomon’s reign, the nation of Israel split into two different nations, the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. The northern kingdom was defeated and taken into exile by the Assyrian Empire and then century, a century and ½ later the Babylonian Empire was able to conquer and destroy Jerusalem, carrying the kingdom of Judah off into exile. Hosea probably saw the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel. This was his homeland. Although there are many scholars that believe that even though that’s true, Hosea’s prophecies may not have been collected together cohesively until later, and that may have actually happened in the southern kingdom of Judah, after Assyria had taken over the northern kingdom and carried Israel, the 10 tribes of the northern kingdom and exile. One of the things that we’re going to notice, and it’s one of the most compelling things in the Bible to me like, there are things in the book of Hosea that are some of the most riveting things in all of the Bible to me. There’s a theme in the book of Hosea. I mean, there’s a theme throughout the Scriptures that has covenantal language to it and marriage is a covenantal thing that we all understand, and this theme of marriage, that is often used in the Bible to represent God’s love for his people with whom He has a covenant, is in the book of Hosea in a way that is not only compelling, but very revealing, revealing about God’s heart toward His people. We have watched people in the Scriptures all this year, and we have watched them be up and down and back and forth. We have watched them run to God, and we have watched them reject God. We have watched them beg God for assistance and then we have watched them give themselves to other gods over and over and over. And for God, this is the breaking of the covenant, this is adultery, and that, whether we’ve experienced it or participated in it, or just know about it, we understand that that is the breaking of a covenant and be pretty hard to live in this world today without having been touched, not necessarily by adultery but by the shattering of a relationship. And we know when adultery is present, entire lives, people’s entire worlds, their whole life trajectory, gets spun out of whack and blown apart, adultery is bad, it really, really destroys profoundly. And if you’ve ever had a experience with this, like even probably going back and remembering is painful. But moving along in life and all the sudden we get up ended by information of betrayal and cheating and it’s like, you woke up one day and you’re going through your day and by that evening you get this information and the world that you knew seems to be over, like everything has changed. And it’s just back and forth and back and forth, back and forth of emotions, these ups and downs, this anger, this rage, this jealousy, then this empathy, and this compassion and love flowing out and being expressed in anger and in empathy and it’s just about as disorienting a thing, as there is, because you were in covenant, you were depending on each other to be faithful and loyal, you were depending on each other to build a life together that would last for your lifetimes. We’re building a life together. And so, faith and hope had been placed in that covenant of marriage with no expectation that was ever going to change. And so, when adultery becomes visible, when it’s exposed and all kinds of erratic things can happen inside of a person and inside of a person’s life, God uses this metaphor to describe the way he feels. And so, all of a sudden, we move from this angry, vengeful God, who just can’t seem to get His moods under control, to what we better understand as a person who would love, profoundly, and gave their all to a relationship, only to find out that they have been cheated on and disrespected and scorned and their heart is broken. Nowhere in the Bible is this more clear than in the Book of Hosea, in part because God asks Hosea, as his mouthpiece, as his voice, as his prophet, to not just go and say things, but to actually use his life as a demonstration, as a living parable as theater, to depict not only with words, but with actions, what God is saying. And so, we’ll see that God instructs Hosea to get married, which is great, but he is to marry a prostitute and her name is Gomer and this represents the adultery, and the harlotry and idolatry of Israel. And Hosea and Gomer had children together and God instructs that each child have a specific name and each child’s name is a prophetic name, that speaks directly to Israel. And then eventually Gomer is unfaithful to Hosea and so he divorces her, and this represents God’s casting away Israel, his beloved because she has been unfaithful. But then God instructs Hosea to go find Gomer, to go find where she’s gone and get her back. And as it turns out, he has to buy her back, he has to buy his wife back, she doesn’t deserve that, she doesn’t deserve to be rescued, she played the harlot, she committed adultery, she broke the covenant, but Hosea bought her back and this represents the lengths God has been willing to go to, to win back what He loves, even though those that He loves have cheated on him. Even me telling the story, like describing or what we’re going to read is so compelling. We of all fallen a way and gone astray. And God has not been willing to surrender and give up on our love. It’s the kind of love that we can’t really express without God’s help, but it should also challenge us, profoundly, the next time we’re about to do something that we absolutely know is wrong. And if we ask ourselves, can I do this as an ambassador of my king, can I do this in the name of my Savior, can I do this in honor of God? And we know the answer is no. And we do it anyway. Then we have to understand that it’s not okay to just think well, he’ll forgive me, it’s not that big of a deal. Hosea shows us that cheating, breaking covenant, being disloyal is heartbreaking. And so, let’s dive in together. We’re reading from the New Living translation this week, Hosea chapters 1, 2, and 3 today.
Father, we thank You for Your word, we thank You for it every single day. We are grateful every single day. Thank You for leading us into this new territory in the book of Hosea. And the way that you reveal Your heart. We may have not experienced adultery in our lives, but we sure understand what the concept is and it’s very unlikely that any of us have never experienced betrayal or what it feels like to have a broken heart. And yet so often Lord, we think that You are just aloof and above all of that and yet You loved us enough to come for us and die for us. And so, you are obviously profoundly invested in us, beyond our comprehension, why you would care so deeply is beyond our comprehension, but we believe that you do. And Hosea describes this depth of love in ways that we can begin to grasp and so, we thank You that You will never give up. And Lord, we are ashamed of the ways that we have betrayed You in the past but as our understanding continues to grow and our love for you continues to grow, and as we fall deeper and deeper into this relationship that is more intimate than anything else in our lives, and as we are profoundly transformed, it becomes more and more clear to us. So, Holy Spirit, please come and plant in our hearts what we’ve read today about Your heart toward us. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com is home base, it is the websites, it is where you find out what is going on around here. A few things are going on around here Christmas related, if you haven’t noticed it is Christmas time all around the world. So, it’s Christmas time here as well. So, couple things. First, we are preparing for our annual Daily Audio Bible Family Christmas party and the way that you participate is that you can call in a holiday greeting, share your story, share your Christmas wishes to that community that is been traveling together this entire year through the Bible. And so, I will do that for the next couple of days still, say Wednesday, and then we will need to start compiling that together so that we can hopefully release that next week. So, call in your holiday greetings and you do that by pushing the Hotline button in or dialing 877-942-4253. And that number might some familiar and that Hotline button my some familiar because that is the prayer and encouragements lines for the Daily Audio Bible and that’s what they do. That’s what they’re there for. But for about a week out of the year, we also allow them to be for our Christmas party. So, here are the rules, number one: don’t call in a prayer request or encouragement, and a holiday greeting in the same call, make those separate. This is one of the rare times, you can hang up and call back. So, call in your holiday greeting and if you have a prayer request or encouragement, call that in separately, keep those separate. And then secondly: just call in once for the holiday party so that everybody gets to get heard.
And then the other thing that’s going on is the Daily Audio Bible Family Christmas box for 2022. We have packed this as full as we can get and have packed it full of resources for you and maybe some resources in there to give away. So, Promised Land, Photographs from the Land of the Bible, the coffee table addition is included in the box this year. The God of Your Story, a beautiful hardbound edition, is included in the box. Reframe and Sneezing Jesus are in the box. The Daily Audio Bible Christmas ornament for 2022, which is an exclusive to the box each year, is included. Your choice of Wind Farm coffee or tea, the Global Campfire candle is included in the box this year, as well as a Global Campfire pop socket and a couple Global Campfire stickers. And so, check that out. You can see it all in the Shop. Whether on the web or in the Daily Audio Bible app, there is a Christmas Section in the Shop right now and the Christmas box can be found there so, check that out.
And if you want to partner with the Daily Audio Bible, as we move through the final month of the year, thank you, humbly thank you deeply for your partnership. We wouldn’t be in this if we weren’t in it together. So, thank you. There is a link on the homepage at dailyaudiobible.com. If you’re using the app, you can press the Give button in the upper right-hand corner or the mailing address is P.O. Box 1996 Springhill, Tennessee 37174.
And as always if you have a prayer request or encouragement, you can hit the Hotline button in the app, that’s the little red button up at the top or you can dial 877-942-4253.
And that’s it for today, I’m Brian, I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here, tomorrow.
Prayer and Encouragements:
Hey family, this is Maleesa from Albertville, Alabama. I have a prayer request, one of my coworkers, her name is Tania. She has a son who is a disabled veteran, and he has all kind of health problems, and his wife left him, and she wanted me to pray that God will send him someone who would love him, like Jesus loves him and like she loves him. Ya’ll please pray for them. I don’t know his name, but I told her I would pray and ask my family to pray. I love ya’ll. Thank you, Brian, you have been off the chain with these teachings, and I got kinda upset with somebody and I’m like. Be holy for I am holy, and it does work. Thank you, Brian, you taught us so much. I love ya’ll very much. Keep praying for me cause I’m still having breathing problems from this COVID and pneumonia. Thank you ya’ll. Bye Bye.
Hello Manita from Lambart. I just heard your prayer right now, today is December 1st. This is Vivienne from South Texas. And I wanted to pray for you. Father God, I hold up my sister, Manita. Father, and I pray that You would give her the courage to forgive those who have hurt her. Father, I pray that she would understand that forgiveness is for her to move forward, Father. And sometimes, that first step of forgiveness is…is really hard. And sometimes, saying I forgive you is…is strictly because God says we should. But every day, if you say that it will get easier because I’ve done it. And I’ve seen God work miracles, when I’ve forgiven those who’ve hurt me. So, I pray for you, my sister. Have a good day.
Morning, Daily Audio Bible family, just calling out here on the morning walk in the woods. On a cool and crisp December morning. Got some bad news, my boss passed away yesterday. He was only 50 years old. So, calling to ask for prayers for the family, for comfort, for direction. There’s a lot of uncertainty at this time regarding, you know, the business and family matters. I know there, there’s a lot of things going on. So, I just ask that you lift them up, in this time that they’re grieving and this time of uncertainty. Thank you. This is Delta Alpha Foxtrot, calling from the Central Texas Front.
Hey family, it’s Radiant Rachel. I am just calling to ask you guys for prayer. I’m looking for direction in my journey, in my calling. And I feel that God is calling me to make some changes and I think it include my work. So, if you guys would pray for me about that, I think there’s gonna be a major shift and a major change. I don’t know what that is. I need confirmation from God and open doors. Just I wanna make sure that you now, I go where He wants me to go. So, also there is inner healing included in this journey. And yeah, so, prayers all around for that. I would appreciate it. And I love you guys and I want to lift you all up today. Lord, I just pray for my brothers and sisters, I bless them. I thank You for them. I speak life and love, and joy, and peace and healing over them, over their bodies, over their souls, over their minds, over their spirits. And I ask You, Holy Spirit, to come, to be prevalent, present, active, and just show Your love to them. Lord, remove the veils from our eyes, from our ears, Lord, so that we can see You, so that we can see you working. In Jesus’s name. Amen. Love you guys.
Hi DAB family, this is Laura in Colorado. I’m the NICU nurse who’s trying to adopt the abandoned baby and we’re still in the process. She’s 10 months now and if you would please continue to pray, we would so greatly appreciate it. There is such a spiritual battle over this baby and I wish I could give you all the details. But if you would just pray for the judge and pray for truth to be revealed and pray for her protection through all of this, I would greatly, greatly appreciate it. I’m praying for so many of you. Vincent, who called in, I pray daily for you and so many others. And I pray along with all of you every single day. And I just wanted to say too, to Brian, thank you for the Sleep album that you put out. I kind of was slow to listen to it. I downloaded it or I got it on my Spotify, right away but I don’t really like listening to things as I’m falling asleep and so, I was just never finding the right time. And then, there was a point and time where I was driving to a meeting that was gonna be anxiety ridden, I knew. And I just decided to put that on and so, I kind of was like, should I be listening to Sleep while I’m driving. But honestly, it was just so comforting, so, if you’re not a person who wants to listen to something to fall asleep, just know that there is so many other uses and that, if you just need a space and a calm, that’s what Brian has given us. And so, I’m just grateful and thankful for all and each and every one of you. God bless you. Bye.