Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 153 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Hosea 1 and 14 today and our focus is on  How God Calls Back His People Who Have Fallen Away. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in  Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Comment on episode 150 on how we can have transformed thinking, our friend WhereWhatHuh writes:

Regarding evil thoughts and ungodly thoughts, I have heard it said that we cannot prevent birds from flying over our heads, but we can prevent them from making nests in our hair.

That is a fantastic metaphor – thank you!

Still in the Old Testament today, and we are breaking new ground on this year’s podcast – reading not one but TWO chapters of the Bible today! i hope we don’t lose our license for this. We will be reading the first and last chapter of the book of Hosea. Now, Hosea was a prophet that ministered right around the time that Israel – the Northern Kingdom – fell into the hands of the Assyrian empire. It is a call to repent and a message of judgement, but it ends with great hope and a promise of restoration for Israel after their captivity. Two interesting things about Hosea – #1 it is the source of the metaphor, sow to the wind, reap the whirlwind, which means you reap what you sow -especially if you engage in sinful behavior, reject God, or something like that you – you will receive negative consequences in return. #2 – God calls the prophet Hosea to marry a woman that is unfaithful named Gomer. Gomer has three children – the first is named Jezreel and symbolizes all of the bloodshed done by the kings of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. The second child, a daughter that may not have been Hosea’s, is named Lo-Ruhamah, meaning ,”not pitied,” and symbolizes that God will cease, for a time, showing compassion to Israel, and will allow the nation to go into captivity. The third child, also a daughter, and also maybe not Hosea’s daughter, is named Lo-Ammi, which means, “not my people,” and signifies that the nation of Israel would not be God’s special people for a time, as they go through captivity. Let’s read the first chapter now.

This is a pattern we see all throughout the Old Testament – God speaks to His people through verbal metaphors, visual metaphors and REAL LIFE metaphors. And when Jesus comes on on the scene in the New Testament, He is a master of using metaphors and illustrations to communicate God’s commands and His love for His people.

Let’s read our final chapter.

A beautiful first verse: Israel, return to the Lord your God,
for you have stumbled in your iniquity.
Take words of repentance with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him, “Forgive all our iniquity
and accept what is good,
so that we may repay you
with praise from our lips.

and final verse: Let whoever is wise understand these things,
and whoever is insightful recognize them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
and the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them. (Hosea 14:1-2 and 9) 

With the great promise in the middle that God will give Israel a new heart and heal their rebellious nature: I will heal their apostasy;
I will freely love them,

Spurgeon takes this last verse, and turns it into a call to return to God for all who have slid away from Him:

Fallen into sorrow, fallen into shame, fallen into spiritual poverty, fallen into weakness of faith, fallen almost to destruction, though thou art Israel, and God loves thee, yet “thou hast fallen by thine iniquity;” and the only possible way in which thou canst obtain restoration, is to “return unto the Lord thy God.” Seek once again thy Father’s face; cry, with the prodigal, “I will arise, and go to my Father.” “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God.” Thou mayest do so, for he bids thee come back to him. Thou shouldst do so, for it was ill of thee to wander from him; so end thy wandering, and return unto him.
“Return unto the Lord thy God.” He is “thy God” still. He denies not disavow the sacred band which binds thee to himself. Though thou hast forsaken him, yet still he bids thee think of him, not as a stranger, but as thy God. O child of God, are you just now very heavy in heart because of your backsliding? Is the lamp of spirituality burning very low? Do you feel as if you had got into a state of spiritual barrenuess? Then return—return at once—unto the Lord your God, for your sad condition is due to your iniquity.

C. H. Spurgeon, “Interrogation and Exclamation,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 47 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1901), 418.

Bible Memory verses for the month of June: Daniel 6:23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the den. When Daniel was brought up from the den, he was found to be unharmed, for he trusted in his God.

Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
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