Is it true - that we reap what we sow? Can we look at the fruit of our lives today and see what we have been sowing?
Am I dry and thirsty because I am looking to ‘consumerism’ to satisfy me? Am I poor because I earn my keep with dishonesty? Do I give the Lord what is His? Do I stumble in the way because I have not loved His Word enough? Have I not been in the priestly place of prayer? Have I loved earthly things of beauty and splendour more than God? Have worldly interests devoured my strength? Have I walked in my own wisdom? Have I gloried in my own achievements? Has the Lord’s presence almost departed because of worldly compromise?
Who can claim that none of these things apply to our lives? I can’t - and yet, the Lord shows Hosea how merciful He is. When Israel had turned to idols, the Lord said, ‘How can I give you up, how can I let you go? I will heal your backsliding, I will love you freely.’
He drew them back with the gentle cords of His love and set them free, as He will do for us. It’s the Lord’s goodness that leads us to repentance. His mercy outweighs His justice. So His heart cries out to us through Hosea that He doesn’t want our sacrifices but our love. He doesn’t want our offerings, but for us to know Him; ‘For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings’ (Hosea 6.6, NKJV).
As this very old hymn says:
Idols once that won thee, charmed thee, lovely things of time and sense;
Gilded thus, does sin disarm thee, honeyed less thou turn thee hence.
What has stripped the seeming beauty, from the idols of the earth?
Not a sense of right of duty, but the sight of peerless worth.
‘Tis that look that melted Peter, ‘tis that face that Stephen saw,
‘Tis that heart that wept with Mary, can alone from idols draw.
Draw and win and fill completely, till the cup o’erflows the brim’
What have we to do with idols, who have companied with him?
Ora Rowan (1834 – 1879)
Prayer: Lord, have mercy on me. Help me to break up the fallow ground in my own heart and tear down the idols that stand between me and you. Revive me that I may love You deeply and bear much fruit. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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