Day 204 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. Hosea describes Israel as a broken plate. Romans 8: Life in the Spirit
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Idol Worship Leads to Destruction
“Take your trumpet and sound the warning!
Like an eagle the enemy circles over the LORD’s people.
They have broken my agreement and refused to obey my law.
2 They cry out to me,
‘Our God, we, the people of Israel, know you!’
3 But Israel has rejected all that is good,
so their enemies will chase after them.
4 They chose their kings without asking my advice. They chose leaders without my help.
They used their silver and gold to make idols
that would lead to their own ruin.
5 Samaria, I reject this calf-shaped idol* that you have made.
It makes me very angry with you! When will you ever be free from guilt? 6 This idol is from Israel.
It was made by hand. It is not God.
So this calf of Samaria will be broken to pieces.
7 “Israel is like a foolish farmer
who plants nothing but the wind.
Like the farmer, who will harvest a whirlwind,
Israel can expect only troubles.
They are like stalks of wheat without grain,
which will never produce any flour. And even if they did produce food, foreigners would eat it.
8 Israel’s people are lost among the other nations.
They are as useless as a broken dish.
9 Like a wild donkey that wanders away on its own,
Israel has gone off to Assyria.
They are looking for someone to care for them,
like a man who pays a prostitute.
10 Even if they have paid for friends among the nations,
I will bring them to an end.
They will become weaker and weaker, suffering under Assyria’s mighty king.
Israel Forgets God and Worships Idols
11 “Israel built more and more altars for sin offerings,
but they have become places for them to sin.
12 Every bit of my law is written down for them,
but they act as if they can’t understand a word.
13 They offer sacrifices as gifts to me,
and they eat the meat they offer.
But I, the LORD, do not accept their sacrifices.
I have not forgotten their sins, and I will punish them.
They will go back to slavery in Egypt.
14 Israel has built palaces for its kings,
and Judah has built many walled cities. But they have forgotten their Maker.
So I will send fire to destroy their cities and the walls that protect them!”
The Sadness of Captivity
Israel, don’t shout for joy like other nations.
You have no reason to celebrate!
Like an unfaithful wife, you have left your God.
You love what your lovers have given you,
the piles of grain on your threshing floors.
2 But soon there will not be enough grain
to feed your people,
and there will not be enough wine.
3 So your people will not be able to stay in the LORD’s land.
Israel* will go back to Egypt.
And they will go to Assyria and eat forbidden food.
4 They will not make wine offerings to the LORD.
They will not offer sacrifices of any kind to him.
And everything they eat will be like food at a funeral—
it will make anyone who eats it unclean.
Their only use for food will be to satisfy their hunger.
They will not be able to offer it at the LORD’s Temple.
5 Your people will have no way to pre-
no way to celebrate any of the LORD’s festivals.
6 And even if they escape this disaster,
Egypt will capture them,
and Memphis† will bury them.
Weeds will grow over their silver treasures,
and thorns will cover the places where they lived.
7 The time for punishment has come,
the time to pay for sins.
And Israel will know they were wrong to say,
“The prophet is a fool;
this man who speaks for God is crazy.” You will be punished for your terrible sin and the hate you have shown.
8 God has sent this prophet to warn Israel
but wherever he goes, people set traps to hurt him,
and they show their hate for him, even in the house of his God.
9 My people have sunk deep into sin,
as much as they did at Gibeah.
God will not forget the evil they have done,
and he will punish them for their sins.
Sin Has Ruined Israel’s Hopes
10 “When I found Israel,
it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert.
When I first saw your ancestors,
it was like seeing the first fruit on a fig tree.
But then they came to Baal Peor‡
and offered themselves to that shameful idol.
They became as disgusting as that idol they loved.
11 “Israel’s glory will fly away like a bird.
You will stop having children.
No woman will ever be expecting a baby or even get pregnant.
12 But even if they ever have grown
I will make sure they never have a grandchild.
When I leave them,
they will have nothing but trouble and shame.
13 I once saw Israel as a young palm
planted in a meadow.
But now Israel will soon lead their chil- dren out to be killed.”
14 LORD, give them what you will.
And what should that be?
Make their women unable to have children
or to nurse their babies.
The Lord Judges Israel
15 “All their evil began at Gilgal; I began hating them there.
I will force them to leave my land because of the evil things they do. I will not love them any more.
All their leaders have turned against me.
16 Israel is dying, like a tree with a disease.
Its roots are dried up,
and it cannot produce fruit.
Even if they are able to have children, I will kill their precious babies.”
17 The people of Israel have not obeyed my God,
so he will reject them.
And they will wander among the nations without a home.
Life in the Spirit
So now anyone who belongs to Christ Jesus has escaped the death
sentence. 2 That is because through
Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit that brings life made you† free from the law that brings sin and death. 3 Yes, the law was powerless to help us because it was made weak by our sinful selves. But God did what the law could not do: he sent his own Son to earth with the same kind of body that we use to sin. God sent him to be an offering to pay for sin. So God used a human life to give sin the death sentence. 4 God did this so that we could be right just as the law said we must be. Now we don’t live following our sinful selves. We live following the Spirit.
5 People who let their sinful selves lead
them think only about what they want. But those who let the Spirit lead them are thinking about what the Spirit wants. 6 If your thoughts are under the control of your sinful self, the result is death. But if your thoughts are under the control of the Spirit, the result is life and peace. 7 Why is this true? Because anyone whose thoughts are controlled by their sinful self is fighting against God. They refuse to obey God’s law. And re- ally they are not able to obey it. 8 Those who are ruled by their sinful selves can- not please God.
9 But you are not ruled by your sinful selves. If the Spirit of God lives in you, you are under the Spirit’s control. Of course, anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 Your body will always be dead because of sin. But if Christ is in you, then the Spirit gives you life, because Christ made you right with God. 11 God raised Jesus from death. And if God’s Spirit lives in you, he will also give life to your dying bodies. Yes, the One who raised Christ from death will raise you to life through his Spirit living in you.
12 So, my brothers and sisters, we must not be ruled by our sinful selves so that we follow its desires. 13 If you let your sinful selves control your life, you will die. But if you let the Spirit help you put an end to the wrong things you do with your body, you will have true life.
14 The true children of God are those who are led by God’s Spirit. 15 The Spirit that we received is not a spirit that makes us slaves again and causes us to fear. The Spirit that we have makes us God’s chosen children. And with that Spirit we cry out, “Abba,* Father.” 16 And the Spirit himself speaks to our spirits to make us sure that we are God’s children. 17 And as God’s children, we will receive the blessings he has for his people. He will give us all that he has given Christ.
We who suffer now as he suffered will share in his glory.
25 Foolish children upset their parents
and make them sad.
26 It is wrong to punish an innocent person
or attack leaders for doing what is right.
27 Wise people choose their words carefully.
Those who know what they are doing re- main calm.
28 Even fools seem wise if they are silent.
They say nothing and appear to be smart.
Some people like to do things their own way,
and they get upset when people give them advice.
2 Fools don’t want to learn from others;
they only want to share their own ideas.
3 Do something evil, and people will hate you.
Do something shameful, and they will have no respect for you.
4 Words from wise people are like a flowing stream
or a deep well—the well of wisdom.
5 It is wrong to favor the guilty and rob the innocent of justice.
6 Fools say things to start arguments.
They are just asking for a beating.
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