POINT OF NO RETURN
And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, for I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, but I will utterly take them away. Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword or battle, by horses or horsemen.” Hosea 1:6-7
It is the nature of rebellious people to need more than one warning. Throughout history, God raised up prophets to sound numerous alerts. He never, as far as I know, spoke just once against the people’s sin and then delivered a judgment. He was gracious and never left them wondering what in the world they had done wrong. Chapter after chapter highlighted the wrong course they were taking and showed them the way back into God’s favor.
Hosea’s first child, Jezreel, was a reminder that they were about to be scattered and rendered powerless. His second child’s name, Lo-Ruhamah, was to render a second message. “I have run out of mercy for Israel but will eventually save the house of Judah.” Even God has a breaking point. He will not restrain His hand forever when sin is repeatedly ignored. Lest we think that He is a vengeful God, we must understand that their rebellion spanned generations. His merciful hand had reached out many times to show them their sin, give them a chance to repent, so that they could be restored.
The life of Hosea’s daughter, and the message she bore through her name, would yield its fruit. God is a God of His Word. The armies of Assyria destroyed Israel. But when the same army attacked Judah, they did not conquer them. Instead, God miraculously fought on behalf of Judah when the angel of the LORD killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night. Why did He spare one nation on not the other? The kings of Judah had been more faithful to God through King Hezekiah. 2 Kings 18-19
No matter what portion of the Bible you read, the themes are the same. Obey my commandments and you will prosper. Disobey and you will be led into captivity. God’s Spirit will leave the land; His hovering presence will vanish. Captivity will serve as a cruel teacher but lead into repentance those who are teachable.
I walk away from today’s scripture and vow to stay openminded about my sin. That way, I never need forfeit the warmth of God’s smile on my shoulder.
Your patience with Your children far exceeds human levels. Thank you for mercy, undeserved favor, throughout my lifetime. I even thank you for times of captivity. In Jesus’ name, Amen