Editor’s Note: Today’s devotional is written by Cami King of JCC.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, for the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness
or knowledge of God in the land.
2 There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, and also the fish of the sea disappear.
Have you watched the news lately? If you have, then you know that one hour of the news is enough to break your heart. From the atrocities committed by ISIS to the refugee crisis in Syria, from the ever-present sex trafficking around the world to issues of hunger, particularly in the Global South, from the racial divide that continues to plague America to abuse of power at all levels (this list could go on forever); yes, our world is a hot mess! And when I sit and watch and think upon all these things, I always find myself asking, “Why do things have to be this way? And how did we even get here?”
It’s hard to read the list in verse two of the passage above without thinking of the present state of our world. While we know Hosea was speaking to a people group worlds away from our own (and thousands of years prior), his message seems to transcend time and speak right into situations we are currently facing. In this passage, God is judging His people and a wicked people at that – they swear, deceive, murder, steal, and commit adultery. Sound familiar? They are violent bloodshedders who cause even nature itself to mourn under their sin and brokenness. As I look at the world around me—full of racism, sexism, classism, as well as terrorism—I see us in these verses and in God’s pronouncement of judgment.
But the question remains – how did we get here (and how did Israel get there)? Our passage for today answers just that – we forsook faithfulness, kindness and the knowledge of God. It’s that simple. When people fail to remain faithful to the life God created us to live, when we refuse to love one another and do kindness, and when we turn away from knowledge of the Lord and lean upon our own understanding – we end up right where we are today – wicked and condemned. It’s easy to criticize the state of things without seeing the sickness that leads to these ailments in our own hearts. But the sickness is there in each of us.
With this in mind, may we today commit ourselves anew to faithfulness to the way of the Lord, choose kindness toward our neighbor no matter what, and pursue knowledge of the Lord above all things. As we do, we will find the Spirit at work in us making our world whole again.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your righteous judgment against the sin and brokenness in the world. Thank You for keeping us from hurting one another and destroying the world You created. Thank You for Your Son Jesus who is making all things new through those who choose to follow You. May I be in that number. Help me to walk in faithfulness, do kindness, and pursue knowledge of You today and every day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ecclesiastes 8-9