Accountability, Bible, Brokenness, Humility, Infidelity, Judgment, Patience, Punishment, Righteousness

NAKED

HOSEA 2:3

“Otherwise, I will strip her naked and expose her as on the day she was born. I will also make her like a wilderness, make her like desert land, and put her to death with thirst.”

Have you ever been caught naked by someone? It can be quite embarrassing. I have had dreams of being caught somewhere without clothing. Now, don’t ask me why I am dreaming such things. I have no idea. But being without clothing can be humiliating. It’s not a situation in which you want to find yourself.

God is dishing out judgment here. He is laying out the punishment for Israel if they do not return. It wasn’t unusual for defeated people to be stripped naked before they were marched off into exile. It demeaned the people. It shamed them. God was warning them what was to come if they didn’t repent.

APPLICATION

Today is Valentine’s Day. I can’t say this verse fits that. Being humiliated and embarrassed isn’t exactly what that day is all about, is it?  That day is about love. Now, hold on for a second. Why do you think God is warning Israel about the encroaching judgment? Because He loves them.

If God didn’t love us, He wouldn’t discipline us. He would let us go on our merry way and live like we want to. Because He loves us, He gave us His Word to live by. It points us in the right direction. He tells us the consequences of our actions. God is constantly drawing us to Himself. We have to decide if we want to obey or not, but we don’t get to choose whether or not to receive consequences.

Do you think you are getting by thumbing your nose at God? Do you think He is simply ignoring your behaviors? Think again. Don’t find yourself one day naked and humiliated. God will hold true to His Word. He has to. He’s God. And when His patience is done, you will receive His just wrath. That is not a threat. It’s a promise.

I do not want to be naked and alone, God. I want to be clothed by Your righteousness. I cling to You.

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Accountability, Bible, Brokenness, Following, God's Will, Judgment, Obedience, Punishment, Scripture

BROKEN BY GOD

HOSEA 1:5

“On that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”

Have you ever been broken? Do you know what I mean by that? I mean to be so low that you can’t see the way up. I have had a couple of times in my life when that happened. Let me tell you, that is not a good place to be. I did not enjoy those times. It was hard. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.

Israel had sinned against a holy God. God had had enough. He was about to break them. When it says, “break the bow,” He is saying they will have no defenses against my judgment. And the Hebrew word for “break” literally means to break in pieces, to shatter. God meant business. He still does today. He will break us down to get us to repent and return to Him. He is a jealous God.

APPLICATION

Are you in need of a breaking? If you are a believer who is not walking with Him, beware. Now, here me clearly. God isn’t disciplining you for fun. He doesn’t sit on His throne looking for someone to zap. That’s not how He works. He disciplines us to make us more like Him. He is trying to shape us and mold us into the image of His Son. When we stray off the straight and narrow, He will do whatever is necessary to get us back on the path.

When you really think about it, brokenness is a good thing. Carl, you are a crazy man. No, listen. Brokenness brings us closer to God. We might not enjoy the journey to brokenness, but the end result is incredible. Who doesn’t want to be closer to our heavenly Father? That’s a great place to be. That’s the only place to be.

Will you pray today for brokenness? I’m serious. Ask the Lord to show you the areas of your life that need to be cast off to make you more like Him. Ask Him to break down everything that keeps you from being fully committed to Him. This is a dangerous prayer. It is also a God honoring prayer. He wants to see Jesus in you. Let Him chip away everything that doesn’t look like Him.

Father, make me like Jesus. Use the hammer and chisel to knock off all those chunks that need to go.  

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