July 4: when all else doesn’t work

What do you do when you have done everything else and it has not brought about the desired effect? Let’s say it is a child. You have talked and talked and scolded and taught and provided examples. And still no change in behavior. What do you do? You might bring in the expert – that’s is, ask the expert to do what you have been unable to do. Or you might allow the child to suffer the consequences. You’ve done all you can do.

We’ve been reading the history of the people of Israel. In a period of twenty-four years, they had six kings, and four of them came to power through the assassination of their predecessor. Surely, this is not what God had in mind when God called Samuel to annoint the first king of Israel. God has long been forgotten by the kings and the people. So God sends one prophet after another to call the people back to God and to warn of the judgment that will come if they do not have a relationship with God (i.e. a catastrophe is coming and you will need God, but you won’t even know God).

Today, we read of Hosea. He doesn’t just speak for God. His life is the message. God calls him to marry a prostitute and their three children are named “God scatters”, “not loved”, and “not my people”. The Assyrian army is moving ever closer to the capitol city of Samaria. Ultimately, God will not intervene and will allow the destruction to happen.

The writer of Hebrews will say to the people of the first century A.D.: as God spoke through the prophets so God now speaks through the Son. In Jesus, we hear the message of God and see the character of God. How will we respond?

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