In my "going through the Bible" that I started...in Fall 2005 I think....I'm in Hosea. And as I'm reading and studying it, I'm so fascinated and excited and blessed by everything that is coming through it. I hope to share some insights with you (whomever you may be).
Hosea 4 (NIV)
v6) my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge...because you have ignored the law of your God...
There is no knowledge of God, nor of any sacred thing, nor of their own interest or the danger in which they are exposed to...they walk blindly and will perish... they might have become wise, if they had not disregarded the means the Lord provided for improvement (prophets, teachings)
v14)...a people without understanding will come to ruin!
NASB says are ruined. Meaning thrown down, cast aside, thrust out. What imagery...
These two verses just stuck out to me, since most of the verses you read about wisdom, understanding and knowledge are in Proverbs...but it's cool to see God's word tie into itself.
How about this from Ch 6 that we've heard many times before...(Referenced in Matt 9:13)
v6) For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
NASB: For I delight in loyalty, rather than sacrifice and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
chapets: to delight in, take pleasure in, desire, to be pleased with
checed: goodness, kindness, faithfulness
da'ath: knowledge, perception
I enjoyed Adam Clarke's commentary about this...
"I taught them righteousness by my prophets, for I desired mercy. I was more willing to save than to destroy; and would rather see them full of penitent and holy resolutions than have the best offerings/victims on my altar"
Holy smokes. This is a God who when there is sin, there must be a sacrifice or a death to cover that sin. And here, He is saying--He would rather have your goodness, kindness, faithfulness, wholehearted desire to see after Him--than a thousand lambs on an altar.
v12) Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruits of unfailing love and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.
NASB Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until he comes to rain righteousness on you.
Adam Clarke applied these 5 steps to the human heart and God's work on it...
Correction, Contrition (sincere and complete remorse), Conversion, Receiving the grace of Christ and Bringing forth fruit. Look back and see how these compare...
Sow righteousness-Correction: if you sow, plant righteousness, your life is being corrected, to be more righteous
Reap the fruits of unfailing love-Contrition: if you fully understand the mercies of God and the hugeness of the gift of forgiveness (the fruits of unfailing love), you will have sincere and complete remorse
Break up your unplowed ground-Conversion: Break up your hardened heart, remember your sin and change it...convert
Seek the Lord-Receiving the grace of Christ: By Christ we are able to have an intimate relationship with our God...seek Him with all your heart and you will find him (You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart Jer 29:13)
Showers of righteousness-Bringing forth fruit: When the Lord blesses you (showers you) you will bear fruit, His fruit
v13b-14a)...Because you have depended on your own strength, and on your many warriors, the roar of battle will rise against your people, so that all your fortresses will be devastated-...
I don't think I need to go into that--it's a warning against us leaning on our own strength (as in Prov 3:5-6: Lean not on your own understanding...) because when you do...battle will rise against you, and your walls of safety will be devastated...hoh, that sucks.
Ch11-God's love for Israel...this chapter is moving and it gives imagery and reminders of God's love for us...consider these:
v2a) But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me.
v3b)...but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
v4b) I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.
v9) I will not carry out my fierce anger...for I am God, and not man-the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.
I think it's interesting in the beginning of the chapter God tries to remind us of all the things he has done for us, the things he has done in love to bless us, help us, and get us through. And yet...the further we go from him, we do not realize it is Him who has healed us or what he has done. AND YET--he will not carry out his fierce anger...because Hallelujah he is not man (short tempered--like some of us). He will not come in wrath, he came in love.
I've been blessed. He reminded me that I like to study. I like to converse with Him. and it is an IMPORTANT thing that I take this time daily. More IMPORTANT than urgent things that call for my attention.