Day 203 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. Israel hopes for God's mercy, but their evil is too great. Hosea calls Israel a pancake that is burned on one side. Romans 7: How Sin uses the Law

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Hosea 6

Hosea 7

Romans 7:7-25

Psalm 88:9-18

You're listening to the "Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE" with Master Storyteller, Michael Wood. Featuring the Holy Bible Easy-to-Read version and used by permission from Bible League International

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Show Transcript

Hosea 6

God’s People Expect His Blessing

“Come, let’s go back to the LORD. He tore us to pieces, but he will heal us.

He wounded us, but he will bandage our wounds.

2 In a very short time* he will heal us.

Soon he will give us new life. Then we can live with him.

3 Let’s all come to know the LORD.

Let’s do our best to know him. He will come to us!

It is as sure as the rising of the sun. He will come to us like the rain,

like the spring rains that water the land.”

God Replies to His People

4 “Israel,‡ what should I do with you?

And Judah, what should I do with you? Your love for me vanishes like the morning mist,

like the dew that disappears at dawn.

5 So I have sent my prophets to cut you down,

to speak words from me that will mean death for you.

And everyone will see that my judgment is fair.

This is as clear as the morning sun.

6 I want you to show love

more than I want your sacrifices.

I want you to know me

more than I want burnt offerings.

7 “As at Adam,§ my people broke my agreement.

There they were unfaithful to me.

8 Gilead is a city full of people who do evil,

known for trickery and murder.

9 The priests are like gangs of robbers who hide and wait to attack someone.

They murder people who are on their way to Shechem.

They do the most horrible things.

10 I have seen a disgusting thing happen in the nation of Israel.

Like a prostitute, my people†† have been unfaithful to me.

They have made themselves unfit to come near me.

11 “And also for you, Judah, a time of

harvest is coming.

Hosea 7

I have often wanted to bring back the good times for my people.

“So many times I have wanted to heal Israel!

But all I can see is the evil there. I see Samaria filled with crime. They cheat each other.

Thieves break into houses,

and bandits roam the streets.

2 They don’t think about the fact

that I will remember their crimes. They are covered in their sins,

and I see them all.

3 “Their evil makes the king happy. Their lies make his officials laugh. 4 They are all unfaithful traitors,

just waiting to cause trouble.

They are like an oven that quietly heats up

while the baker prepares the dough.

5 During a royal holiday,

the king’s officials get drunk with wine.

Then the leader of some traitors gives them the signal

that it is time to attack the king.

6 As they make their secret plans, they burn with anger

like fire in an oven.

All night their anger heats up,

and by morning it is a blazing fire.

7 And while they are as hot as an oven, they destroy their rulers.

All their kings are gone.

And they have done all this without me.

Israel and the Other Nations

8 “Israel has mixed itself with other nations

and is ruined, like a pancake left to burn on one side.

9 Foreigners have taken Israel’s strength,

but he does not know it.

He is covered with grey hair,† but he does not know it.

10 My people’s pride tells me they will fall.

They have had many troubles,

but they will not return to the LORD their God.

They don’t look to me for help.

11 “They are like a silly dove that has no sense.

First they called to Egypt for help;

then they asked Assyria to protect them.

12 But as they fly from one place to another,

I will catch them.

I will throw my net over them

and bring them down the way a hunter traps birds.

When I hear of their agreements with those nations,

I will punish them.

13 “It will be bad for those who left me.

They will be destroyed for refusing to obey me.

I wanted to save them,

but all I hear from them is lies!

14 They never pray to me from their hearts,

but they cry out on their beds.

They cut themselves to offer their blood for grain and wine,

but they turn away from me.

15 I trained them and made them strong, but they made evil plans against me.

16 They are always changing directions,

but never towards me.

They are as useless as a bow with a loose string.

Their officials will be killed with swords because they have insulted me.

So when they are in Egypt,

the people will laugh at them.

Romans 7:7-25

How Sin Uses the Law

7 You might think I am saying that sin and the law are the same. That is not true. But the law was the only way I could learn what sin means. I would never have known that it is wrong to want something that is not mine. But the law said, “You must not want what belongs to someone else.”* 8 And sin found a way to use that command and make me want all kinds of things that were not mine. So sin came to me because of the command. But without the law, sin lies dead and powerless. 9 Before the law came, I was alive. But when I heard the law’s command, sin came alive, 10 and that meant death for me. The command was meant to bring life, but for me it brought death. 11 Sin found a way to fool me by using the command to make me die.

12 So the law is holy, and the command is holy and right and good. 13 Does this mean that something that is good brought death to me? No, it was sin that used the good command to bring me death. This shows how terrible sin really is. It can use a good command to produce a result that shows sin at its very worst.

The War Inside Us

14 So we know that the law is spiritual, but I am not. I am so human. Sin rules me as if I were its slave. 15 I don’t understand why I act the way I do. I don’t do the good I want to do, and I do the evil I hate. 16 And if I don’t want to do what I do, that means I agree that the law is good. 17 But I am not really the one doing the evil. It is sin living in me that does it. 18 Yes, I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in the part of me that is not spiritual. I want to do what is good, but I don’t do it. 19 I don’t do the good that I want to do. I do the evil that I don’t want to do. 20 So if I do what I don’t want to do, then I am not really the one doing it. It is the sin living in me that does it.

21 So this is what I have learned about the law: when I want to do the good that the law commands, evil is there with me. 22 In my mind I am happy to follow God’s law. 23 But I see another “law” working within me, and it is at war against the law that my mind accepts. This other “law” is the rule of sin that defeats me and makes me its prisoner. 24 What a miserable person I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death? 25 I thank God, who saves us through Jesus Christ our Lord! So in my mind I am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful self I am a slave to the law of sin.

Psalm 88:9-18

My eyes hurt from crying.
Lord, I pray to you constantly!
    I lift my arms in prayer to you.
10 Do you do miracles for the dead?
    Do ghosts rise up and praise you? No! Selah

11 The dead in their graves cannot talk about your faithful love.
    People in the world of the dead cannot talk about your faithfulness.
12 The dead who lie in darkness cannot see the amazing things you do.
    Those in the world of the forgotten cannot talk about your goodness.
13 Lord, I am asking you to help me!
    Early each morning I pray to you.
14 Lord, why have you abandoned me?
    Why do you refuse to listen to me?
15 I have been sick and weak since I was young.
    I have suffered your anger, and I am helpless.
16 Your anger covers me like a flood.
    Your attacks are killing me.
17 They surround me on every side.
    I feel like a drowning man.
18 You caused my friends and loved ones to leave me.
    Now darkness is my closest friend.