Called to be Responsible
Almighty God, I praise and thank You today as the reigning, ruling Lord and King over all!
Read HOSEA 13:1-18
 When Ephraim spoke, men trembled; he was exalted in Israel. But he became guilty of Baal worship and died.  Now they sin more and more; they make idols for themselves from their silver, cleverly fashioned images, all of them the work of craftsmen. It is said of these people, “They offer human sacrifice and kiss the calf-idols.”  Therefore they will be like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears, like chaff swirling from a threshing floor, like smoke escaping through a window.  “But I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me.  I cared for you in the desert, in the land of burning heat.  When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.  So I will come upon them like a lion, like a leopard I will lurk by the path.  Like a bear robbed of her cubs, I will attack them and rip them open. Like a lion I will devour them; a wild animal will tear them apart.  “You are destroyed, O Israel, because you are against me, against your helper.  Where is your king, that he may save you? Where are your rulers in all your towns, of whom you said, ‘Give me a king and princes’?  So in my anger I gave you a king, and in my wrath I took him away.  The guilt of Ephraim is stored up, his sins are kept on record.  Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb.  “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? “I will have no compassion,  even though he thrives among his brothers. An east wind from the LORD will come, blowing in from the desert; his spring will fail and his well dry up. His storehouse will be plundered of all its treasures.  The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy is the Lord so angry with these people?
Past greatness is no guarantee of future blessing (1), for we cannot store up grace and favor with God as we do money in a bank. We cannot live off our past experiences of God, but rather we are called to enjoy new and greater experiences. This is our responsibility.
God is angered by Israel’s complacency, as this leaves little room for him in their thoughts; indeed, it allows for worship of false gods (2). As responsible disciples, we should not attempt to square a God of love with a God who appears to permit the violent death of women and children (16), but ask instead what we can do to limit human suffering. What we see here is the outworking of irresponsibility, wherein people reap the whirlwind of what they sowed. God does not take pleasure in the death of anyone, but he is holy and must punish sin wherever it is found.
It is our responsibility to share his love so that few will be lost. We know the one true God and have the responsibility to ensure that others do not become complacent, since we have seen the consequences of that today.
Do you know anyone who has become dangerously complacent toward God? What can you do for them?
Pray to gain or regain passion for the lost. Consider one way you can do something about reaching out this week.
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