December 20, Sunday

Editor’s Note: Today’s devotional is written by Cami King of JCC.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Hosea 5:1-4

Hear this, O priests! Give heed, O house of Israel! Listen, O house of the king! For the judgment applies to you, For you have been a snare at Mizpah And a net spread out on Tabor. 2 The revolters have gone deep in depravity, but I will chastise all of them. 3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from Me; for now, O Ephraim, you have played the harlot, Israel has defiled itself. 4 Their deeds will not allow them to return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, and they do not know the Lord.

20One of my favorite descriptions of God in Scripture is “the God who sees” (Gen.16:13). Hagar says this of the Lord when she felt hopeless in the face of Sarah’s harsh treatment; and God found her and cared for her. Abraham said something similar of the Lord when He provided a ram to be the replacement sacrifice for his son Isaac on Mount Sinai. There is great comfort for the people of God in knowing that He is neither deaf, dumb, nor blind – He sees all and knows all – and regardless of what circumstances suggest, He is not only present, but also active in our lives.

Yet the comfort of God’s all-seeing eyes can quickly turn sour when we find ourselves wandering off the straight and narrow path. This reminds me of the new Christmas craze “the elf on a shelf”—a small toy in the shape of an elf with video capacity allowing parents to see what kids are up to when parents leave the room. The elf is placed in the room and kids are told that they better be good, because the elf is watching and will be reporting back to Santa. Any excitement from knowing that Santa will reward for all the nice things they’ve done turns into something quite different when kids give into the temptation to be naughty. For many kids, the elf has quickly become a scary thing.

In our passage for today, the Lord reminds His people that He is indeed a God who sees. He sees all and knows all, even when they’ve turned away from Him. Just because they’ve forgotten about God, doesn’t mean He’s forgotten about them. This is a fearsome truth for anyone who (like all of us) has ever found themselves in sin. But much like we find in the story of Hagar and of Abraham, God is a God who not only sees, but who also moves on behalf of His people. Even when they go astray, He moves on their behalf in judgment of their sin (as we’ve been reading in Hosea) towards the end of their ultimate redemption (if they would but turn to Him).

Apologist Ravi Zacharias puts it this way: “God’s sovereignty is not tyrannical when it is bounded by goodness. God’s holiness is not tortuous when it is tempered by grace. God’s omniscience is not daunting when it is coupled with mercy. And God’s immutability is far from stifling when it is certain of good will.” May we take comfort in knowing that even when we go astray, our God is a God who sees and knows. He will not leave us in our sin, but will come for us, judge our sin, and redeem us. What a faithful God we serve!

Prayer: Almighty God, thank you for Your faithfulness to me. Even in the times when I wish You weren’t mindful of me and want to live my own way, You continue to watch over me and provide for me. Thank you for Your loving judgment of my sin and for Your willingness to redeem me from it.

 Bible Reading for Today: Ecclesiastes 10

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