5 December 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s reading begins our study of Hosea. Hosea lived in the Northern Kingdom of Israel c. 780–725 b.C.
Hosea prophesied during reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (Judah) and Jeroboam (Israel). God commands Hosea to marry a prostitute to illustrate that the land has committed great harlotry by departing from the Lord. Hosea dutifully marries Gomer. Hosea is commanded to call his son Jezreel – referring to the valley where Jehu murdered all the descendants of Ahab. God says he will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu. Hosea also has a daughter, called Lo-Ruhamah (no mercy). There will be no mercy for Israel, and mercy on the house of Judah. A second son is called Lo-Ammi (not my people). Judah and Israel will finally be reunified, however.
1 Yahweh’s word that came to Hosea the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. 2 When Yahweh spoke at first by Hosea, Yahweh said to Hosea, “Go, take for yourself a wife of prostitution and children of unfaithfulness; for the land commits great adultery, forsaking Yahweh.”
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bore him a son.
4 Yahweh said to him, “Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and will cause the kingdom of the house of Israel to cease. 5 It will happen in that day that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.”
6 She conceived again, and bore a daughter.
Then he said to him, “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah for I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, that I should in any way pardon them. 7 But I will have mercy on the house of Judah, and will save them by Yahweh their God, and will not save them by bow, sword, battle, horses, or horsemen.”
8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived, and bore a son.
9 He said, “Call his name Lo-Ammi; for you are not my people, and I will not be yours. 10 Yet the number of the children of Israel will be as the sand of the sea, which can’t be measured nor numbered; and it will come to pass that, in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ 11 The children of Judah and the children of Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint themselves one head, and will go up from the land; for great will be the day of Jezreel.
2 “Say to your brothers, ‘My people!’
and to your sisters, ‘My loved one!’ 2 Contend with your mother!
Contend, for she is not my wife,
neither am I her husband;
and let her put away her prostitution from her face,
and her adulteries from between her breasts;
3 Lest I strip her naked,
and make her bare as in the day that she was born,
and make her like a wilderness,
and set her like a dry land,
and kill her with thirst.
4 Indeed, on her children I will have no mercy;
for they are children of unfaithfulness;
5 For their mother has played the prostitute.
She who conceived them has done shamefully;
for she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
who give me my bread and my water,
my wool and my flax,
my oil and my drink.’
6 Therefore behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns,
and I will build a wall against her,
that she can’t find her way.
7 She will follow after her lovers,
but she won’t overtake them;
and she will seek them,
but won’t find them.
Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband;
for then was it better with me than now.’
8 For she did not know that I gave her the grain, the new wine, and the oil,
and multiplied to her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.
9 Therefore I will take back my grain in its time,
and my new wine in its season,
and will pluck away my wool and my flax which should have covered her nakedness.
10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers,
and no one will deliver her out of my hand.
11 I will also cause all her celebrations to cease:
her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her solemn assemblies.
12 I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,
about which she has said, ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me;
and I will make them a forest,’
and the animals of the field shall eat them.
13 I will visit on her the days of the Baals,
to which she burned incense,
when she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels,
and went after her lovers,
and forgot me,” says Yahweh.
14 “Therefore behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
15 I will give her vineyards from there,
and the valley of Achor for a door of hope;
and she will respond there,
as in the days of her youth,
and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
16 It will be in that day,” says Yahweh,
“that you will call me ‘my husband,’
and no longer call me ‘my master.’
17 For I will take away the names of the Baals out of her mouth,
and they will no longer be mentioned by name.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the animals of the field,
and with the birds of the sky,
and with the creeping things of the ground.
I will break the bow, the sword, and the battle out of the land,
and will make them lie down safely.
19 I will betroth you to me forever.
Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in loving kindness, and in compassion.
20 I will even betroth you to me in faithfulness;
and you shall know Yahweh.
21 It will happen in that day, I will respond,” says Yahweh,
“I will respond to the heavens,
and they will respond to the earth;
22 and the earth will respond to the grain, and the new wine, and the oil;
and they will respond to Jezreel.
23 I will sow her to me in the earth;
and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy;
and I will tell those who were not my people, ‘You are my people;’
and they will say, ‘My God!’”
3 Yahweh said to me, “Go again, love a woman loved by another, and an adulteress, even as Yahweh loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods, and love cakes of raisins.”
2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley. 3 I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days. You shall not play the prostitute, and you shall not be with any other man. I will also be so toward you.”
4 For the children of Israel shall live many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without sacred stone, and without ephod or idols. 5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return, and seek Yahweh their God, and David their king, and shall come with trembling to Yahweh and to his blessings in the last days.
1 John 5
5 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. Whoever loves the Father also loves the child who is born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three who testify[a]: 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three agree as one. 9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is God’s testimony which he has testified concerning his Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who doesn’t believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. 11 The testimony is this, that God gave to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life. He who doesn’t have God’s Son doesn’t have the life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
14 This is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he listens to us. 15 And if we know that he listens to us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him.
16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life for those who sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death. I don’t say that he should make a request concerning this. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death. 18 We know that whoever is born of God doesn’t sin, but he who was born of God keeps himself, and the evil one doesn’t touch him. 19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 20 We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
A Song of Ascents. By David.
124 If it had not been Yahweh who was on our side,
let Israel now say,
2 if it had not been Yahweh who was on our side,
when men rose up against us;
3 then they would have swallowed us up alive,
when their wrath was kindled against us;
4 then the waters would have overwhelmed us,
the stream would have gone over our soul;
5 then the proud waters would have gone over our soul.
6 Blessed be Yahweh,
who has not given us as a prey to their teeth.
7 Our soul has escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare.
The snare is broken, and we have escaped.
8 Our help is in Yahweh’s name,
who made heaven and earth.
5 A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.
6 An evil man is snared by his sin,
but the righteous can sing and be glad.
7 The righteous care about justice for the poor.
The wicked aren’t concerned about knowledge.
8 Mockers stir up a city,
but wise men turn away anger.