**please excuse some format and font difficulties due to pasting this from a Word document…ugh!
My reading this week took me through the books of II Kings, II Chronicles, Psalms, Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah.
The readings have continued to focus on the disobedience of the Israelites and also the various kings that reigned. Although Hezekiah was briefly introduced this week as a king that sought the Lord…hooray!
God spoke to prophets like Isaiah, Hosea and Micah to boldly tell the people to return to the Lord and abandon their idol worship. They warned that continued rejection of the Lord would result in their capture and exile.
These are the verses that lingered with me this week:
“All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods and followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced.” (II Kings 17: 7,8)
“Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.” (II Kings 17: 41)
“I’m still your God,
the God who saved you out of Egypt.
I’m the only real God you’ve ever known.
I’m the one and only God who delivers.
I took care of you during the wilderness hard times,
those years when you had nothing.
I took care of you, took care of all your needs,
gave you everything you needed.
You were spoiled. You thought you didn’t need me.
You forgot me.” (Hosea 13:4-6) The Message
“I will heal their waywardness.
I will love them lavishly. My anger is played out.
I will make a fresh start with Israel.
He’ll burst into bloom like a crocus in the spring.
He’ll put down deep oak tree roots,
he’ll become a forest of oaks!
He’ll become splendid—like a giant sequoia,
his fragrance like a grove of cedars!
Those who live near him will be blessed by him,
be blessed and prosper like golden grain.
Everyone will be talking about them,
spreading their fame as the vintage children of God.
Ephraim is finished with gods that are no-gods.
From now on I’m the one who answers and satisfies him.
I am like a luxuriant fruit tree.
Everything you need is to be found in me.
If you want to live well,
make sure you understand all of this.
If you know what’s good for you,
you’ll learn this inside and out.
God’s paths get you where you want to go.
Right-living people walk them easily;
wrong-living people are always tripping and stumbling.”(Hosea 14: 4-9) The Message
Over and over again, the words echo that God brought the people out of Egypt and out from under the heavy hand of Pharaoh,who burdened and oppressed the Israelite…yet over and over again, the people chose to forget their Rescuer and chose to align their allegiance to the gods of the nations.
My questions are simple this week:
· What Egypt has God rescued you from?
· Are you living in the reality of that rescue?
· Have you adopted any of the practices of the nations?
· Are you worshiping God alongside serving idols?
Have you taken the time to thank God once again that He rescued from the grips of oppression and has brought you into a spacious place?
How interesting that from the beginning…there is that longing for more…reaching out for out of reach fruit…yet God tells us that He is a luxuriant fruit tree…EVERYTHING WE NEED IS FOUND IN HIM…WITHOUT EXCEPTION…
Thank You Lord that you have rescued us from our personal Egypts…help us to take down all the high places in our lives and hearts that try to take the place of You and remove those idols that fool us into believing that there is no harm in keeping them and still worshiping You…Thank You that you are more than enough…You are everything!
Please join us at Bev’s as we seek Him and read the Word together.
Until next week,