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God is speaking to me. Can’t let this one go to voicemail!
March 12, 2021
An Old Testament prophet, Hosea – Hebrew for “help” or “salvation” – lived around 750 BC in the kingdom of Israel. A long time before the birth of Jesus.
During his life, there was a great deal of “iniquity” – bad behavior – among the peoples of Israel. A small class of rich landowners, merchants, and creditors, favored by the rulers and judges, often exploited the vast majority of poor artisans, craftsmen, and laborers.
With the death of King Jeroboam II came great political unrest and eventual destruction of Samaria by Assyria to the east. The way of the God of Israel had been replaced with worship of false idols, i.e., human material riches.
Amid despair and suffering by a majority of Israelites, Hosea’s message is one of hope:
“For the ways of the Lord are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but the transgressors stumble in them.“
This scripture appears to be a warning to all humankind to beware of a life of false idols. Like the great imbalance of financial wealth, slavery, and the exploitation of the many for the benefit of the few. Words of wisdom that ring true to this day.
Psalm 81: 8–14
Now this narrative is a bit more familiar to me…
God is speaking to me. Am I hearing Him? Or am I of stubborn heart? Worshiping foreign or strange gods?
What a wakeup call! Can’t let this one go to voicemail!
Mark 12: 28-34
And thanks to Mark, we end on a slightly more positive note when Jesus is asked by a scribe “Which commandment is the first of all?”
Jesus answers, “The first is, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Second, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
With affirmation from the scribe, Jesus replies, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
My work continues. Amen.