Day 205 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. Hosea tells how God will punish Israel. Romans 8: Our Time of Glory is coming
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Israel’s Riches Led to Its Worship of Idols
Israel is like a vine
that grows plenty of fruit.
But as Israel got more and more things,
he built more and more altars to honor false gods.
His land became better and better,
so he put up better and better stones to honor false gods.
2 The people of Israel tried to trick God,
but now they must accept their guilt.
He will break down their altars
and destroy their memorial stones.
The Evil Decisions of the Israelites
3 Now the Israelites say, “We have no king. We don’t honor the Lord. And his king cannot do anything to us.”
4 They make promises, but they are only telling lies. They don’t keep their promises. They make agreements with other countries. God does not like those agreements. The judges are like poisonous weeds growing in a plowed field.
5 The people from Samaria worship the calves at Beth Aven. They will cry. The priests will cry, because their beautiful idol is gone. It was carried away. 6 It was carried away as a gift to the great king of Assyria. He will keep Ephraim’s shameful idol. Israel will be ashamed of its idol. 7 Samaria’s false god will be destroyed. It will be like a piece of wood floating away on the water’s surface.
8 Israel sinned and built many high places. The high places of Aven will be destroyed. Thorns and weeds will grow on their altars. Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!” and to the hills, “Fall on us!”
Israel Will Pay for Sin
9 “Israel, you have sinned since the time of Gibeah. (And the people have continued to sin there.) Those evil people at Gibeah will be trapped by war. 10 I will come to punish them. Armies will come together against them and punish the Israelites for both of their sins.
11 “Ephraim is like a trained young cow that loves to walk on grain on the threshing floor. I will put a good yoke on her neck. I will put the ropes on Ephraim. Then Judah will begin plowing. Jacob will break the ground himself.”
12 If you plant goodness, you will harvest faithful love. Plow your ground, and you will harvest with the Lord. He will come, and he will make goodness fall on you like rain.
13 But you planted evil, and you harvested trouble. You ate the fruit of your lies, because you had trusted in your power and your soldiers. 14 So your armies will hear the noise of battle, and all your fortresses will be destroyed. It will be like the time Shalman destroyed Beth Arbel. At that time of war, mothers were killed with their children. 15 And this will happen to you at Bethel, because you did so many evil things. When that day begins, the king of Israel will be fully destroyed.
Israel Rejected God’s Love
“I loved Israel when he was a child,
and I called my son out of Egypt.
2 But the more I† called my people, the farther they went from me.
They kept offering sacrifices to false gods.
8 “Israel, I can’t give you up. I can’t let you go.
I don’t want to destroy you,
as I did the cities of Admah and Ze- boiim.‡
My heart rejects the idea.
My love for you is too strong.
9 I will not act out of my terrible anger. I will not destroy Israel again.
I am God, not a human.
I am the Holy One among you. I will not come to you in anger.
10 I, the LORD, will roar like a lion,
and my children will follow me.
They will hear my roar
and hurry to me from the west.
11 They will come flying back to me
like birds from Egypt,
like doves from Assyria,
and I will take them back home.” This is what the LORD says.
God Complains About His People
12 “Israel has filled my ears with lies. They have tried to fool me.
And Judah still fights against God
Our Time of Glory Is Coming
18 But I consider that the ways we suffer now are nothing compared to the great glory we will soon enjoy. 19 Even creation is full of excitement, eagerly waiting for the time when he will show who the real “children of God” are. 20 Everything God made was put under a curse that kept it from becoming all that God created it to be. That was not its choice, but God made it happen with this hope in view: 21 that this creation would no longer be a slave to the powers that ruin it. God wanted creation to have the same freedom and glory that belong to God’s children.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in pain until now, like a woman ready to give birth. 23 Not only creation, but we also have been groaning with pain inside. We have the Spirit as the first part of God’s promise. So we are waiting eagerly for God to finish making us his own children. I mean we are waiting for our bodies to be made free. 24 We were saved to have this hope. It is not something we can see yet. If we could see it, it would not be hope. People don’t hope for something they already have. 25 But we are hoping for something we don’t have yet, and we are waiting for it patiently.
26 Also, the Spirit helps us with our weakness. We don’t know what to pray for, but the Spirit himself prays to God for us, using the groans we cannot put into words. 27 God knows our deepest thoughts. And he understands what the Spirit wants to say, because the Spirit prays for God’s people in a way that agrees with what God wants.
28 And we know that in everything God is working for the good of those who love him. These are the people God chose because that was his plan. 29 God knew them before he made the world. And he decided that they would be like his Son. Then Jesus would be the first-born of many brothers and sisters. 30 God planned for them to be like his Son. He chose them and made them right with him. And after he made them right, he gave them his glory.
God Shows Us His Love Through Jesus
31 So what should we say about all this? If God is for us, who can stand against us? 32 God even let his own Son suffer to save us. Yes, he gave up his Son for all of us. So now with Jesus, God will certainly give us everything else. 33 Who can accuse the people God has chosen? No one! God is the one who makes them right. 34 Who can say that God’s people are guilty? No one, because Christ Jesus died for us. And more than that, he was raised from death and is now at God’s right side, speaking to him for us. 35 Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble or problems or persecution separate us from his love? If we have no food or clothes or face danger or even death, will that separate us from his love? 36 As the Scriptures say,
“For you, we are in danger of death all the time. People think we are worth no more than sheep to be killed.”
37 But in all these troubles we have complete victory through God, who has shown his love for us. 38–39 Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not death or life, not angels or ruling spirits. I am sure that nothing now or in the future, no spiritual powers of any kind, nothing above us or below us—nothing in all creation—will ever be able to separate us from the love God has shown us through Christ Jesus our Lord.
A maskil from Ethan the Ezrahite.
I will sing forever about the LORD’s love.
I will sing about his faithfulness for ever and ever!
2 As I have said, “Your faithful love will
Your loyalty is like the sky—there is no end to it!”
3 You said, “I made an agreement with
my chosen king.
I made this promise to my servant David:
4 ‘There will always be someone from your family to rule.
I will make your kingdom continue for ever and ever.’” Selah
5 LORD, all the beings in heaven praise
you for the amazing things you do.
When they come together, they sing about your loyalty.
6 No one in heaven is equal to the LORD.
None of the beings there can compare to the LORD.
7 He is the God feared by those heavenly
beings when they come together.
He is more awesome than all those around him.
8 LORD God All-Powerful, there is no one
You are strong, LORD, and always faithful.
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