Thursday, May 2, 2013

A New Pair of Pants Won't Fix a Broken Leg

  When the Lord rebukes Israel through the prophet Hosea, Israel recognizes that she is sick (Hosea 5:13). She can see that something is wrong. But instead of turning to the Lord who can heal they turn to Assyria. Israel flees to man and the strength of man to cure her disease. Yet the Lord says that Assyria cannot heal her and cannot make her whole again (Hosea 5:13).

                Israel was under political oppression. Their enemies were closing in. But their enemies were not the problem. Their sin was. Instead of getting to the root of the problem, their covenant disobedience, they focused on the symptoms of the problem. They thought the disease would be cured if they just had a bigger army. They thought the answer was in an alliance with other nations. The problem however, was their disobedient heart, not their lack of chariots. 

                The Lord says in Hosea 5:15 that he wants them to acknowledge their offense or their guilt.  The answer for Israel is not more chariots or horses. The answer is not getting in bed with Assyria. The answer is repentance. Here is what Israel refuses to do. They are willing to try to fix things. They are not willing to repent and confess that they are wrong.

                We are all this way. God in his mercy disciplines us. He gives us consequences for our sins. It might be a broken relationship, the loss of a job, a child that is in rebellion, a rebuke from a parent or friend, etc. But like Israel we are not interested in repentance. We are interested in alleviating the consequences of our sins. We want to remove the embarrassment of our sin, but not the sin itself. We believe that if we just put on a new pair of pants our broken leg will be fixed.   But in the end the leg will only get worse until we cure the real problem. We must learn to confess our sins and turn to God and not trust in the strength of man to deliver us. 

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8