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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

SINS CAN RESULT IN CONSEQUENCES AND PUNISHMENT


 

Today’s Reading:

Hosea 4:1-19

“And there shall be, like people, and like priest and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings” (v. 9 NIV)

 


In our Today’s reading, we see that God brought a charge against the children of Israel, his chosen nation, which He used to teach the world lessons of life, relating to his nature, character and his judgement. The charge brought by God in V1, which amounted to sins against him, are listed as: unfaithfulness, lack of love, lack of acknowledgement of him in the land. Furthermore, all that God noticed were cursing, lying, murder, stealing, adultery, breaking of all bonds and continuous blood shedding (v. 2).


In verse 12, the people were also accused of consulting a wooden idol; and a diviner’s rod spoke to them; they were led astray by a spirit of prostitution, resulting in unfaithfulness to their God. They were found sacrificing on the mountain tops and burning offerings on the hills, under shades of oak, poplar and terebinth trees. As a result, their daughters turned to prostitution and daughters – in – law to adultery. In verse 16, God further accused the Israelites of stubbornness, and in particular, the tribe of Ephraim was said to be joined to idols (v.17). They deserted the Lord for prostitution and wine which took away their understanding. All the listed above are sins before God. Sin is severally and broadly defined and described. In Isaiah 59:2, anything that displeases God; that separates one from Him, that turns his face away from one; that angers Him; and so on. are all regarded as sins to Him. Based on specific classifications, the sins of Israel listed above, can be grouped under idolatry, murder, adultery, divination, hard heart, lack of love and regard for God, stealing, unfaithfulness. God warned and is still warning against them in his commandments. Of great concern is the fact that the priests and prophets of God in the land were also culpable, sinning to disgrace their position (vv. 5--8). Their rulers also were said to live shameful ways (v.18).


Contrary to the belief and wish of many, especially those that do not believe, sins attract consequences and punishment from God. Today’s reading passage clearly proves these. The sins listed in verse 1-2 attracted the consequences listed in verse 3 as – dryness of the land, the lives of those living in the land were wasting away, the animals, birds and fish were swept away. The sins of prostitution and idolatry listed in verse 12 -14, resulted in the people being banned from going up to Gilgal and Beth-Area in Judah for worship. Also, they were not to swear by the name of the Lord, that is “As surely as the Lord lives”. Their stubbornness resulted in God not willing to pasture (feed and guide) them like his lambs in a meadow. They were, therefore, on their own. Aside from the people, the consequences of the sins of the priests and prophets were grievous. God said because they rejected knowledge, He also rejected them as his prophets. This meant that the priests could not perform their spiritual functions in the temple as assigned to them by God (v8). God said the people collectively lacked knowledge and ignored his law, He said He too would ignore their children (v. 6).


It is obvious that the people, prophets and the priests did not repent of their sins and so did not return to God. He, therefore, pronounced punishment on them. In verse 9 of our Today’s reading, God said He would punish both the people and the priests, for their ways and repay them for their deeds. He said in verse 10 that they would eat but not have enough, engage in prostitution but not flourish. In verse 11, God said that the wine they took had taken away their understanding. In verse 14, it is said that because the people were without understanding, they would come to ruin. In verse 19, it is said that a whirlwind would sweep them away and their sacrifices would bring them shame. Our God is the forgiving God but He requires that we should realize that sins have consequences, and if unrepented of, will attract punishment. If repented of, He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us from them. (1John 1:9; Isaiah 59:20-21).

CHRISTIE KUPOLUYI


 

Prayer:

  1. Father, thank you for opening our eyes and giving understanding about sin and its consequences, in Jesus name.

  2. Father, we thank you for giving your Son, Jesus Christ as sacrifice for our sins, in Jesus name.

  3. Precious Lord, we appreciate your sacrifice for our sins and the cleansing by your blood, in Jesus name.

  4. Lord, please teach us to acknowledge and repent of all our sins, so that we may benefit from your forgiveness, in Jesus name.

  5. Father, lead Your Church to wholesome repentance and seeking for forgiveness and cleansing, rather than wait for punishment, in Jesus name.

  6. Father, in your mercy, forgive the sins of our nation as we individually and collectively repent of them, in Jesus name.

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