Wanderers Among the Nations

Hosea 9:16-17.

Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.

My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto Him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.

Silver string of hearts long, beautiful plant

I’m not much good with houseplants–or outdoor ones, either, for that matter, but I do enjoy them. I love flowers, and I wish I had a green thumb. Anyway, when I was pretty young, I remember hearing someone talking about their “wandering jew” plant, and I was surprised and bothered by that name. I didn’t understand it.

Now, of course, it makes a lot of sense. The plant tends to send out long tendrils that wander wherever they can find something to which to cling. The outdoor plants, in my understanding, quickly fill up a flower bed with their off-shoots.

So v. 17 makes a lot of sense to me now! Part of the judgment against Israel for her disobedience is that she would wander among other nations, trying to find a place to put down roots. And so it has been down through the centuries as the nation of Israel has been dispersed time and time again. Often, when a Jewish community does take root, they prosper and are a blessing to the community and the economy–until another round of persecution begins to brew, as it always does.

These final two verses of chapter 9 repeat the coming judgment on Israel. She will not escape, because in spite of repeated warnings, she has continued to follow the idolatry of the surrounding nations, falling into the evil and immoral practices that accompanied the idolatry. God gave them prophets down through the centuries, warning them of judgment to come, but they refused to hear.

Often, even as judgment fell, they took a long time to repent and seek God.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Moods

I’m not generally moody. I was, as a teen, but that was a very long time ago. Moods are, after all, a state of mind. That’s where our emotions begin–in the mind. These days, I usually keep my mind occupied so there’s not much, if any, room for gloom and doom.

Moody Mama With Icons Feeling Symbol Shirt, hoodie, sweater, long sleeve  and tank top
No, I’m not selling tee shirts. I just thought this was funny!

So where is this coming from? I know the answer. My three sons, with their wives and families, are all SO far away. Germany, England, South Dakota. Our daughter and her family are only 45 minutes away, so we do have family for the holidays.

I talked to the son who lives in England via Facebook video messenger yesterday. It helps, but it also makes me miss him more. The other two are likely to check in soon, as well. But I miss them so much. I miss my grandkids, who are all growing up and finding their own lives now. As they should be. I’m proud of their choices, and it’s good to watch them try their wings and become strong young adults.

We’ve lost some dear old friends in the past couple of years. They’re in heaven now, and we’re glad for that. But still, we miss them. We’re at an age when we have to expect this kind of loss, and who knows? It could be us next, crossing over into Glory Land.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not unhappy. And I say that even as my eyes are filled with tears. They’re not tears of misery. I’ve had a wonderful life, with all the bumps and bruises that life often brings. We have been blessed, Terry and I, and we are so thankful for all that God has allowed to come into our lives.

It’s probably just the season. The stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas, while busy, can also stir memories that are fading into the mists of the past.

Well, look at me, letting my emotions drip out through my fingers :).

I hope I haven’t dampened your mood! I’ll get past this, and will probably feel silly that I wrote something so sentimental and sloppy!

“For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4: 11.

I Will Love them No More!

Hosea 9:15. “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of Mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.”

3 21 2010 Seeking God Part 6

Sometimes we are inclined to believe that God will love us no matter how evil we are, no matter how disobedient, how ungodly. This verse and the next two verses in this chapter make it clear that there is a limit to the love of God. That limit is closely tied with our turning our backs on Him; and with idolatry and the sinful behavior that goes with it. He warns often and repeatedly that judgment is coming. He gives far more mercy and grace than we deserve, and because of that we go on behaving as if He will love us no matter what.

Why does God specifically mention Gilgal? At one time, it had been the place where the prophets of God were trained under Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:14:38). It was a center for the worship of God, and had been blessed by Him. Now, it was the center for the worst kind of immorality and other evil that went hand-in-hand with idolatry, and God says, “I hated them there, for the wickedness of their doings.”

Furthermore, God hates a rebellious spirit, and He says here that all the princes (leaders, rulers) in Gilgal were rebellious against Him.

One wonders why they weren’t shaking in their sandals, until we stop to think of the America that used to be, not so very long ago, compared to America today. It is we who should be shaking in our shoes!

Barren and Dry

Hosea 9:13-14.

Ephraim, as I saw Tyrus, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring forth his children to the murderer.

Give them, O LORD: what wilt Thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

Hosea 9:14 WEB

I looked through several translations of this verse, and they all were stated exactly the same. What a terrible example of desolation.

Verse 13 tells us that Ephraim (Israel) had been built, like Tyrus, in a pleasant place. Water, fertile ground, plenty for life and comfort. But when God’s judgment fell, they would bring forth children only to see them murdered.

Hosea is praying in v. 14. He hesitates, as if he’s not sure what to ask from God. Finally, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, He prays for miscarrying wombs and dried up breasts. Why? I believe, in part, it was to prevent the murders of little ones who would not survive the womb; and if they did, their mothers would have no milk with which to feed them, and they would die.

Israel seemed not to have any idea what Hosea was telling them, and I think it was because they just didn’t want to hear.

I Will Bereave Them

Hosea 9:11-12.

As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.

Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!

Hosea 9:11 ASV Desktop Wallpaper - As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly  away like a

One of God’s early promises to Israel was that they would multiply until they were like the stars in the sky, or the grains of sand on the seashore (Genesis 22:17). It was a terrible thing for a woman to be barren in Israel, for if she could have no children, then there was no chance she would bear the prophesied Messiah.

Now, in God’s coming judgment, the glory of many children would fly away like a bird. There would be no conception, no pregnancies, no births. Some believe God made this so in order to protect possible children from His coming judgment. I don’t know. I do know that having children was considered a great blessing, and that blessing would be removed for a time.

There would be some who would escape the sorrow of childlessness, but even those who were born and brought up under His judgment would not come to manhood, or adulthood. This awful curse would come about because the people had departed from God; therefore, He had withdrawn from them.

We need to understand the danger in which we place ourselves when we grow weak and careless in serving God. We leave ourselves open to temptation, to impure thoughts, to wanting to be like everyone else. And therein lies the danger. Being like “everyone else” is the broad path that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13).

Sunday Morning Coffee: Brains are Good :)

Have you ever stopped to think about what a blessing it is to have a brain?

No, really, I’m serious. Without them we’d be dead, for one thing.

I’ve been doing some physical therapy over the last month (my foot is much better!) and, as always, I’m a people watcher. In the facility I use, there is regular physical therapy, and across the lobby they do neurological physical therapy. That’s for people who’ve had traumatic brain injuries, or really severe strokes, or maybe a brain cancer that robbed them of knowing how to walk, sit, stand, or lie down.

The Anatomy of the Human Brain

Last week while I was stretching my toes (yes, that’s right. Harder than you’d think) I was watching a young therapist. Well, he looked young to me. Anyway, he was working with an elderly lady who was about as big around as a matchstick. She was wearing a wide brace or belt around her waist, and the therapist held her by the back of the belt, just with his thumb and first finger, supporting her if she needed it while they did some walking. He spoke softly, so I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but he seemed incredibly patient and kind. Then he took her through what I suppose you’d call an obstacle course, in which she started by sitting, then standing, then taking maybe three or four steps, then raising one leg, then the other, to climb over a low step. She kept going, dealing with each obstacle. At one point she just stopped. I don’t know if she was worn out, or couldn’t do the next challenge, but she wouldn’t move. Her therapist gave her a pat on the shoulder, encouraged her, turned her around to go back to the beginning.

I couldn’t hear a word he said to her, but it must have helped. She turned back and wanted to try again. And she succeeded.

About this time, my therapist tapped me on the shoulder. “You getting anything done, Linda? You’re pretty absorbed in what’s going on over there.”

we got to talking about the amazing human brain, that can relearn a lot more than we used to give it credit for. The injured part doesn’t regenerate, but the brain has something like a back-up system. When Plan A is no longer possible, sometimes Plan B works because the brain can be retrained. It takes time, and patience, but it can be done.

I love to learn. Even at my advanced old age, I take so much joy out of learning things like that, and my therapist was delighted to talk with me about it.

Your brain is in charge of everything in your body. sight, smell, hearing, sensation, muscle movement, pain–which tells you something is wrong–and pleasure. Digestion. Appetite. Typing. Even your dreams come from the brain. All those nooks and crannies are stuffed full of your lifetime, and that same brain keeps your heart pumping and your lungs and liver doing their jobs. It’s amazing. We are just scratching the surface of what there is to know about the brain.

So if, on Thanksgiving Day, someone asks you to share what you’re thankful for, tell him you’re thankful for your brain. It’s miraculous.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14)


Hosea 9:10. ” I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.

Hosea 9:10 WEB

It took some searching and then confirming before I was certain of the meaning of grapes in the wilderness. It seems God was remembering a time when Israel loved Him, and obeyed His commands. At that time, they were as refreshing to Him as it would be for a thirsty traveler to find ripe, luscious grapes in the desert. The same applies to the first ripe figs on a fig tree that is bearing for the first time. Sweet, but not too sweet; and very satisfying to a hungry and thirsty traveler. They were unexpected blessings.

But then, His people were pulled away into Baal-Peor, where idolatry was like a magnet pulling them away from God. They took part in shameful practices, and became abominable by the idolatry that replaced their love of God.

In other scriptures, the words abominable, abomination are defined as having the stench of a dead body (Proverbs 12:22, for example). I have never smelled that awful odor, but my understanding is that it’s something you never forget. In the verse in Proverbs, God says that a lying tongue is an abomination to Him. That should give us something to think about.

God’s chosen people, the people with whom He covenanted to bless beyond all others, had forsaken Him to worship pure evil.

Deeply Corrupted

Hosea 9:8-9.

The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.

They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore He will remember their iniquity, He will visit their sins.

Hosea 9:9 ESV
Hosea 9 - Holy Bible English - BibleWordings.com

One of these days I’m going to figure out how to put my graphics wherever I want them on the page. I suspect it’s not that hard. I just don’t have the patience to figure it out while I’m writing! (These two got switched when I published this. The blue is verse 8; the grey one is v. 9)

I chose to use the two pictures side by side, because the verses really do go together. They are a continuation of verse 7 from yesterday’s post, in which Israel considers Hosea to be hateful, even insane, to prophesy such doom and gloom when they’re in the middle of a bountiful harvest. It would seem that they have forgotten about other prophets in their history who warned them repeatedly that they needed to clean up their act if they wanted God’s continued blessing.

I was thinking of 9/11 this morning, remembering how the churches were full for about a month afterward, and how often we heard the song God Bless America. As things returned to normal for most of us (it will never be normal again for those who lost loved ones) we quickly forgot about church, about God, except to invoke His blessing on a nation that has turned its back on Him.

The people of Israel had become wicked, corrupt in their ways. God compares them to Gibeah, which you can read about in Judges 19. The people were guilty of horrific crimes of perversion and violence in the days of the Judges. The last verse in that book tells us that “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” No one was safe. Lawlessness prevailed, and judgment was sure to come.