DEVOTIONAL – OCT 21
LOVE THE LORD
Leslie M. John
“Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images” (Hosea 10:2)
God saw how the children of Israel drifted from the paths of righteousness, time and again, and said to them through Hosea the prophet that their heart was divided and they worshipped idols. They lived in pleasure to meet their fleshly demands alongside pleasing God. They gave part of their heart to God and part of it to idols.
This reminds of how God said to John to write unto the angel of the church of Laodicea that God knew their works that they were neither cold nor hot. He wished if they were either cold or hot but because they were neither cold nor hot but were lukewarm, He said He will spew them out from His mouth (Ref. Revelation 3:14-16)
The very first commandment of the Ten Commandments that God gave to the children of Israel was:
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3)
God said to the children of Israel that he will send an Angel before them to keep them in the way and to bring them into the place which He prepared for them. He cautioned them that if they obeyed his voice and did all that He spoke to them He will be enemy to their enemies, and adversary to their adversaries. God promised them that He will cut off the six gentile nations, and give their land as Promised Land to them. The six nations were Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites (Ref. Exodus 23:20-23)
God was very particular that they should not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works; but should break down their images and utterly overthrow them. He promised them bread, water, and said He will take away sickness from their midst. He also said He will give their land with plentiful of fruit, and will not allow it to become desolate by sudden removal of their enemies from it; but He said He will remove them gradually according to His meticulous plan. He reiterated that they should not make any covenant with them, nor with their gods. He warned them severely that if they served their gods, it will be a snare unto them. (Ref. Exodus 23:23-33)
Not once but several times Israel failed to keep God’s commandments, and the consequence was that they were chastised each time they disobeyed God, and they were given over to their enemies. Their disobedience was perpetual until their kingdom was divided and they were taken captive by Assyrians and Babylonians.
During the period of Judges Israel was under theocracy, but they cried to God to give them a king to rule them, thus rejecting God’s direct reign over them. God fulfilled their desire in anger by giving them Saul as their king; but they repented over their choice later. They made false covenant with God that they will keep His statutes but they drifted away from honoring God’s statutes.
God chastised them time and again. David kept the statutes of God and it pleased the LORD to bless him; but Solomon, his son deviated from the commandments of God, and His statutes resulting in the division of Kingdom after his days were over on this earth. Subsequently after the days of Solomon, Jeroboam instituted idol worship and incurred God’s wrath. None of the kings of Northern Kingdom did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and, therefore, God scattered the “House of Israel”.
This is a great lesson for us, the New Testament believers, to love the Lord and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40)