Good Friday morning! The sun is shining this morning, a new day has come! Last night we spoke just briefly on how trouble brings us to God. This morning, I found this verse in Hosea, actually, I should say that I was led to this verse by the Holy Spirit to give God the glory. I cannot take credit for knowing to go to Hosea 5:15. After listing Israel's sins and their coming punishment, God has this to say: "Then I will return to my place until they admit their guilt and turn to me. For as soon as trouble comes, they will earnestly search for me." We find that to be true in our own lives; when things are going well, we tend to forget to give thanks and seek God. Trouble comes, and "boom" we are right there on our knees, praying to God and seeking His face.
Troubles will come to test us and purify our faith, but maybe we should seek God during the good times so that He doesn't have to send trouble to get our attention! In Hosea 6:6, the Lord continues with: "I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings." The Israelites it seems were depending upon the sacrifices to give them absolution after the sin. God wants us to take the active part first, to show love, mercy, and seek Him before the sin. Even after the sin though, God would have us first turn to Him.
The Israelites of Hosea's time had one huge problem that repeats throughout the verses - idolatry. After a lengthy catalog of idolatry and other sins, Hosea ends with a message from the Lord about healing. In repentance, we will find healing in our Lord. In Hosea 14:8 the Lord gives one final call: "O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me."
We often fail to trust in the Lord in some area of our lives; we manifest this in our worry. The Lord reminds us as He reminded Israel long ago, "I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me." We'll end today with the next verse 14:9 - Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.