Fickle props, broken people and living with integrity

In our Old Testament reading today we hear a harsh rebuke of God against the priests, the royal family and Israel more generally. Hosea does not mince his words and likens the hearts of Israel to prostitution, turning to their own ways and forsaking their savior and God. Even in the face of judgement…

Ephraim saw his sickness and Judah his sores,

They STILL refuse to turn to God and instead…

turned to Asssyria, and sent to the “great king” for help.

But this is a fickle prop that does not result in relief of their afflictions. It appears that Israel continues to refuse to turn to God… until they have hit rock bottom

In their misery they will earnestly seek me

This scripture certainly rings true in my experience. Sometimes we have to be broken before we can acknowledge our need of a savior. Perhaps you, like me, have attempted to prop up your life with things that don’t give answers, don’t satisfy and only aggravate our ‘misery’. For me, I attempted to prop up my life with possessions, relationships, ever more extreme experiences, a sense of belonging – always searching for something more. It took till I was broken beyond my ability to recover to acknowledge my brokenness and turn to Christ.

 

In our gospel reading several things stand out for me.

  • We gain a glimpse of the spiritual world beyond the physical one. Jesus demonstrates his absolute authority over the spiritual realm

I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not

 

We are reminded to take our role as Christ’s ambassadors seriously.

  • We are to humbly walk in the world and with our brothers and sisters in Christ

Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and servant of all

  • We are to extend hospitality and look after those entrusted to us

Whoever welcomes on of these little children in my name welcomes me

  • Our lives are to reflect our saviour with all integrity

Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again?

 

What stands out for you?

I pray as we reflect as a nation today regarding the sacrifices made for us in war that we would also reflect on the ultimate sacrifice for us in Jesus

The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise

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2 thoughts on “Fickle props, broken people and living with integrity

  1. Thank you Steve for your encouragement from both passages and your personal sharing of your decision to follow the ‘better’way. May God help us all to choose as you did and to trust our Lord.

  2. Thank you Steve. Yes as we look back as to how God got our attention i often think that I could have saved myself so much heartache by just following Christ from an early age. But God doesn’t make mistakes, He then uses those past experiences to help others who are trying to fill that God shaped hole with “stuff”. Oh, to stay broken and in desperate need of Christ daily.
    I am reminded in Revelation where the church at Ephesus is reminded as to how far they have fallen and they are instructed to return to their first love. This is definitely a call for the church of today.

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