“But no, the people are like crafty merchants selling from dishonest scales— they love to cheat. Israel boasts, “I am rich! I’ve made a fortune all by myself! No one has caught me cheating! My record is spotless!”” Hosea 12:7-8 NLT
“I took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me.”Hosea 13:5-6 NLT
“Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths, sinners stumble and fall.” Hosea 14:9 NLT
Satisfied – Proud
Ahhhhh. What a tragic commentary. Crafty merchants, loving to cheat and celebrating their success and innocence – simply because their lying and deceit hadn’t been exposed. Feeling like they made it all happen. Through their own wisdom. By their own power. Shutting their ears to God’s quiet voice that said, “I took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me.” (Hosea 13:5-6)
It’s the same story over and over, isn’t it? We find ourselves broken and weary and out of control, so we cry out to God for His help. In our brokenness, He reminds us that we’re His children and He loves us and beckons us back into a relationship with Him. So we repent (for the time being) and fall back into His arms and enjoy the calm and peace found in His embrace.
Until the next deal. Until the next opportunity. Until the next adventure. How is it that we can so quickly forget who we are? Whose we are? From Whom the calm and peace are given to us? Dan Stone chronicles his own journey from depression, defeat, and brokenness into that place of solid Union.
Until we grasp the reality, the pervasiveness, the comprehensiveness of our identity in Christ and begin to lean into that new identity every day, we keep rolling in and out of the cycle of sin; repent; peace and calm; arrogance and pride; forgetting our place in God’s family and favor . . . and starting the crushing cycle one more time.
When we became Jesus-followers, we literally became new people (2 Cor 5:17). We were given new names. Shame and guilt gone! New citizenship papers. Filled with an eternal, never-emptying bucket of hope. Seated alongside Him in the “heavenly realms” (wherever that is!). Given the mind of Christ. Invited to exercise our new commissions as priests and ambassadors, representing the King of Kings. Rankin Wilbourne artfully and beautifully articulates the journey!
And then we once again choose mediocrity and failure, forgetting the admonishment that ends the book of Hosea, “Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them.“
Today, let’s choose to once again reckon ourselves dead to sin – but alive to Him! And let us walk in confidence and peace, celebrating our union with – and complete identity as children of the King.