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Date: August 27

Category: After Repentance

Hosea 12:2, 6
"The Lord has also a controversy (a pleading contention) with Judah, and will punish Jacob by visiting upon him according to his ways; according to his doings will He recompense him… Therefore return to your God! Hold fast to love and mercy, to righteousness and justice, and wait [expectantly] for your God continually!"

Slobodan & Ljiljana KrstevskiThe Lord has a controversy with Judah! In other words, the Lord is angry with Judah and will punish Judah for all their wrongdoings. It says here that He'll do it by "visiting upon him according to his ways; according to his doings will He recompense him." In other words, God is going to visit the people with a punishment that is in accordance to their ways. A person's ways often means the lifestyle of the person – the way the person conducts himself. So God will visit them according to their ways and He's going to recompense them according to their doings. So in other words, the people will reap back exactly what they sowed.

But God's ultimate goal and purpose is not to punish. God never desires to leave us with a curse as a final outcome. Actually it says in Jeremiah 29:11 we read, "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome." So God has good thoughts for us. He has thoughts of giving us a good future. That's why in Hosea 12:6 we read that the prophet warns the people and tells them to repent. "Therefore return to your God!" We can all slip into sin; it can easily happen to any one of us. But once we realize that we have sinned, that is the time to stop and return to our God.

The word, ‘return' here means to turn away from displeasing God and turn towards pleasing Him again. But what are some of the things that please God? Well the rest of verse 6 says, "Hold fast to love and mercy, to righteousness and justice, and wait [expectantly] for your God continually!" So we are to hold fast to love. In Hebrew, the word, ‘love' is ‘hesed,' which means an unconditional love. It's the same as ‘agape' in Greek. It's the kind of love that we give without measure or condition. That's the love that we are to hold fast to. We are also to hold fast to mercy. The word, ‘mercy' means undeserved favour. For example, if your children deserved to be spanked because they wilfully disobeyed you, but you decide not to spank them, then you are showing them undeserved favour – mercy. We are to hold on to love and mercy.

Not only that, it also says that we are to hold on to righteousness and justice. In other words, we are to be in right standing with God and in right standing with people. It says in Hebrews 12:14, "Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord." We also read in Romans 12:18, "If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everybody." So as long as it depends on us, we are to strive to have peace with everybody. That's what it means to live justly with people.

Also this verse says, "and wait [expectantly] for your God continually." People have a tendency to believe that as you are waiting for God, you do nothing. But that's not true. Waiting requires action as well. While you're waiting, you are still proactive. You are praying and doing what you need to do to receive what you are waiting for. Waiting upon God doesn't mean doing nothing. Waiting upon God means trusting God while you're doing everything that you need to do to receive your blessing. So we are to wait expectantly for God.

Those are some of the things that are pleasing to God. Those are the things that we need to do in order to return to Him if we have slipped away. God doesn't want to punish us; He wants us to come back to Him. So if we have fallen into sin, then it's time to return to our God and hold fast to the things of God. But if we don't return to God, then we can expect punishment in our lives. Just as it says here, we will be punished according to our ways and our doings. So let's change our ways and our doings and line them up with the Word of God. When we do that, we will receive a reward instead of a punishment.

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Devotionals Categories

» After Repentance
» Divine Healing
» Faith Expressed Through Actions
» Follow God
» God Answers
» God's Plans
» Godly Character
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» Leadership
» Marriage and Relationships
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» Setting Goals
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» The Goodness of God
» Trust in God
» Wisdom and Understanding

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