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Today's Verse for Saturday, August 14, 2004
Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces; Judah has fortified many towns. But I will send fire upon their cities that will consume their fortresses.
—Hosea 8:14 (NIV)
Thoughts on Today's Verse...
In prosperity, God's people left the LORD and followed their own gods and practiced their own morality. Except neither was "their own." The northern tribes of Israel simply became like the pagan people around them — practicing the same detestable immoral lifestyles, forgetting the poor and the alien, cheating the widows and the powerless. God wanted them to know that he knew what they were doing. The Almighty wanted them to realize that he would act and bring justice. The Sovereign LORD wanted the northern tribes of Israel to realize that they have sown their own destruction, and even though they cannot even fathom its possibility, God made sure it was coming because of their hardness of heart and their refusal to live with character. Their destruction is a great reminder to us that our name of Christian, our claim to be God's chosen people and his holy priesthood (1 Peter 2), doesn't matter unless our lives portray his character, our heart displays his compassion, and hands do his will.
Father, forgive us, for we sin. Father, forgive me, for sinning and looking the other way at social, judicial, and racial injustice. Empower me, dear LORD, empower us, to truly be your Holy Nation, bound together by our faith in Jesus and not by our race, age, nationality, political preferences, or social economic status, connected by our praise of your glory and exemplifying to the hate-filled world the grace that comes from knowing you as our Father. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verse Illustrated
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