DEVOTIONAL – OCT 20
COME BACK TO GOD
Leslie M. John
“The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us” (Hosea 10:8)
God expressed His deep sorrow, through prophet Hosea, over the divided heart of “House of Israel” who worshipped idols and simultaneously they were seeking help from God. He said to them, therefore, that He will break down their altars and their statues. Insomuch as they despised the Living God as their King they neither had Him as their protector nor a man as king to protect them. They used God’s provision to build altars and make images that are abomination to Him.
The first king over Northern Kingdom of Israel was Jeroboam, who set up a calf at “Bethel” on the border between Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom and said to his people that it was that calf, which was god, who brought them out of Egypt and also said to them to worship it. He also set up another idol in “Dan” at the northern end of his kingdom. He played this strategy in order that the children of Israel may not go to Jerusalem to worship God and offer sacrifices and oblation there during feast times, and become loyal to the king of “Judah”.
God saw the wickedness of people in honoring idols as their gods, and said “Bethel” is no more the “House of God” but it is “Beth-aven”, which means “house of wickedness”.
They worshipped idols and invited for themselves wrath of God. Assyrians came and carried away their calf, which was their god, and national symbol. “House of Israel” believed that it would protect them, but it could not protect itself when Assyrians carried away to present it as a gift to their king Jareb. The calf, which was called as their god, was made with the craftsmanship of man and it had no life in itself even if it was broken or carried over the shoulders of man.
God addressed the “House of Israel” very often as “Ephraim” and said Ephraim was put to shame and Israel was ashamed of his own counsel. The people mourned and the priests who rejoiced over it lamented because their god departed from them to be a gift to the king of their enemies. Just as foam could be cut off from the water the king of Samaria was cut off. Samaria was the capital city of Northern Kingdom of Israel.
“As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water (Hosea 10:7)
God said “Bethel” which turned into “Beth-aven” by the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed and when God chastises them they will cry to the mountains to cover them and to the hills to fall on them. They suffered under Assyrians, and this prophecy will also be fulfilled during “great tribulation”.
God is compassionate and He is longsuffering. He gave us His one and only Son, Lord Jesus Christ, who bore our sins on behalf of us and died on the cross of Calvary. It only takes one small commitment on the part of sinner to confess his sins to the Lord Jesus and accept Him as Savior, because there is no salvation except in Him. Believe in heart that God raised Him from the dead on the third day.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is calling back the backsliders also to come to Him and call upon His mercy just as He was calling Israel even though they disobeyed His commandments and statutes. Come back to God of Israel, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; otherwise, according to Scriptures, even the kings of the earth will not be spared.
“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17)