We are a whiny people. We complain as we wait for God to do what we want Him to do. We pray and expect God to fulfill our order perfectly like going through a drive-through. We expect great service from a perfect God. But how arrogant are these thoughts we entertain with pride-filled attitudes, thinking God owes us for our acknowledging that we know Him. I wonder, do we really know Him at all? I am ashamed and unclean.
The people of Israel had forgotten that they were God’s chosen people. Instead of faithfulness to God, they chose idolatry and wickedness, and their hearts grew hard. But God still pursued his people and reminded them of his love for them. But would it be enough for them to come back to God, all that is God, and leave the idol worship and selfishness behind? Some did come back. Some never left Him.
As I think about this, I wonder; maybe God is waiting on us?
To those without God then and now God asks, “What are you waiting for? Return to your God! Commit yourself in love, in justice! Wait for your God, and don’t give up on him—ever!” –God speaking through Hosea to His people.
Hosea 12, The Message
1-5 Ephraim, obsessed with god-fantasies,
chases ghosts and phantoms.
He tells lies nonstop,
Both Ephraim and Judah made deals with Assyria
and tried to get an inside track with Egypt.
God is bringing charges against Israel.
Jacob’s children are hauled into court to be punished.
In the womb, that heel, Jacob, got the best of his brother.
When he grew up, he tried to get the best of God.
But God would not be bested.
God bested him.
Brought to his knees,
Jacob wept and prayed.
God found him at Bethel.
That’s where he spoke with him.
God is God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
* * *
6 What are you waiting for? Return to your God!
Commit yourself in love, in justice!
Wait for your God,
and don’t give up on him—ever!
7-8 The businessmen engage in wholesale fraud.
They love to rip people off!
Ephraim boasted, “Look, I’m rich!
I’ve made it big!
And look how well I’ve covered my tracks:
not a hint of fraud, not a sign of sin!”
9-11 “But not so fast! I’m God, your God!
Your God from the days in Egypt!
I’m going to put you back to living in tents,
as in the old days when you worshiped in the wilderness.
I speak through the prophets
to give clear pictures of the way things are.
Using prophets, I tell revealing stories.
I show Gilead rampant with religious scandal
and Gilgal teeming with empty-headed religion.
I expose their worship centers as
stinking piles of garbage in their gardens.”
12-14 Are you going to repeat the life of your ancestor Jacob?
He ran off guilty to Aram,
Then sold his soul to get ahead,
and made it big through treachery and deceit.
Your real identity is formed through God-sent prophets,
who led you out of Egypt and served as faithful pastors.
As it is, Ephraim has continually
and inexcusably insulted God.
Now he has to pay for his life-destroying ways.
His Master will do to him what he has done.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
If we forget who we are and wander from God’s ways, he loves us enough to lovingly pursue us. Are our hearts so hard we no longer hear His voice? Have we conformed to the world so successfully that we no longer realize the depth of His relentless love for us? Do we really believe we can do life better than God, without God?
Stop wandering around in the desert of indecisiveness. Stop going without Living water and sustaining Bread who nourishes our soul. This Bread and Water is forever! Have a little talk with Jesus in humbled repentance of all sins. He forgives. He remembers our sins no more. Then let us commit all our thinking and ways of behavior to God and allow His Holy Spirit to guide us to His best for us and through us.
What are you waiting for? God hasn’t moved. God is waiting on you to come back.
Thank you for never letting go of your grip on me. Thank you for loving me with a relentless love, always wanting what is best for me. Thank you for saving my soul, nourishing my being, and making me whole by your love, mercy and grace. I run to each morning for the daily manna that never quits, never gives up on me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
In Jesus Name, Amen