God Complains

So here’s the question – How does God correct people who need correcting? Check out what God says in Hosea 5: 1-7.

Hear this, you priests! Pay attention, you Israelites! Listen, O royal house! This judgment is against you: You have been a snare at Mizpah, a net spread out on Tabor. The rebels are deep in slaughter. I will discipline all of them. I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from me. Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt. Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the LORD.Israel’s arrogance testifies against them; the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble in their sin; Judah also stumbles with them.When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the LORD, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them. They are unfaithful to the LORD; they give birth to illegitimate children. Now their New Moon festivals will devour them and their fields.

God spoke to the condition of His people with brutal honesty. He had a bone to pick with Israel’s religious and political leaders who’d led the people astray. When God complained, “You have spread a snare at Mizpah – a net on Tabor” He was referring to the ways Israel’s leaders had nationalized the sickly Baal fertility cultic practices at Mizpah and Tabor – practices that snared the people in sexualized, demonically evil lifestyles. In addition God complained,  “My people have become prostitutes.” As horrific as this sounds, Israel had in fact given their sons and daughters as religious prostitutes for Baal. Yes, that’s how toxic the culture of Israel has become. God had one another complaint. He said, “My people stumble in their sin.” The word “stumble” literally means “to totter in between.” It was a very accurate description of Israel. The people went to Baal to milk him for all they could get out of him, then if that didn’t work they would turn back to God. Israel kept going back and forth, back and forth, between Baal and God. At the end of the day, Israel simply wanted gods they could bilk, not gods they could love!

Do you understand the essence of what God is saying? He’s saying, “You’re more interested in using me for your personal benefit than loving me!” So here’s how God deals with people who need correcting –  God starts by stating His complaints about us!  It’s called “conviction of sin.” In this particular case, God brought His people together for “an intervention” of love where He told them, “You’re more interested in using me than in loving me!”

About Andy Lewis

Andy is an author, pastor, and musician who lives in Santa Cruz California. Currently he serves as lead pastor at Faith Community Church in Santa Cruz
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