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Hosea 8:13, 710; 9:78; 10:1012comment (0)

December 13, 2012

By Robert Olsen

Related Scripture: Hosea 8:13, 710; 9:78; 10:1012

Explore the Bible
Assistant Professor of Christian Ministries, University of Mobile

Deciding on Discipline

Hosea 8:1–3, 7–10; 9:7–8; 10:10–12

Check Your Relationship (8:1–3)
In the next few chapters, Hosea is declaring that God is going to discipline the Israelites. Often people confuse discipline with anger or wrath, but discipline is redemptive. God disciplines the Israelites to bring them back to Him. The Israelites were guilty of claiming to know God because they looked at their heritage and believed that, since they were God’s chosen people, they were free from condemnation. However, God always looks at the heart, and the Israelites were guilty of idolatry. They created idols and practiced pagan rituals in clear disobedience to God’s commands. The fact that they were Israelites did not stop God from disciplining them by sending opposing armies against them in order to turn the hearts of the Israelites back to Him. 

In the same way when we live in disobedience to God, He often brings about discipline to turn us back to Him. Hebrews 12:7 says, “Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline?” We need to realize that God loves us and wants what is best for us. What is always best for us is to obey God. If we choose to disobey Him, we should not be surprised if God uses circumstances to try to bring us back to Him. Instead of blaming God for our circumstances, our job as Christians is to be obedient regardless of our circumstances. 

You Reap What You Sow (8:7–10)
The people of Israel demonstrated their disobedience to God by seeking out alliances with ungodly countries instead of allowing God to be their protector. Instead of trusting in God, they trusted in men. 

When we look at our circumstances and try to solve our own dilemmas by relying on the world’s wisdom, we deny God and His power. What does it say about our faith when we believe we know better than God? This is no different than what the Israelites did. Instead of trusting in God their Creator and Provider, they turned to others who in turn proved worthless to save them. 

Heed a Warning When You Hear It (9:7–8)
In these verses Hosea mocks the Israelites, who have declared, “The prophet is a fool, and the inspired man is insane.” The Israelites were so steeped in sin that they considered men of God to be crazy. 

Often when we resist God’s truth and correction, the things of God seem wrong to us. If we live apart from God, His truth is often seen as false and we are no longer able to judge properly. This is why God disciplines us — so that we are shaken from our spiritual stupor and resistance and turn to God. 

Hosea brought the message from God — God was going to punish them for their disobedience, yet the people refused to listen. 

When we hear a call to repentance from our pastors and friends, and when we are confronted with sin, how do we respond? Do we respond like the Israelites and ignore God’s chastisement, or do we turn from our sin and turn toward a loving and forgiving God?

Realize What Time It Is (10:10–12)
God says that He will judge Israel in His time. Just because we see evil go unpunished for a time does not mean that it will go unjudged. The Psalms are replete with a call for God to bring justice. But just because evil prospers for a while, this does not mean that God is unjust, that He is not aware of the sin or that He approves of it. God judges sin in His timing, and as Christians we can be certain that God will judge wickedness and sin. 

Even if it appears that evil will triumph, we can trust that God will bring about judgment. 

We should be thankful when God disciplines us because this shows that He loves us. God disciplines His children for their best interests because God is a loving Father and knows what is best for His children.

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