DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-11-25
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
BIBLE REFERENCE: Hosea 2:8
TRANSLATION: New English Translation (NET)
BIBLE TEXT: 8 “Yet[y] until now[z] she has refused to acknowledge[aa] that I[ab] was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil; and that it was I who[ac] lavished on her the silver and gold — that they[ad] used in worshiping Baal![ae]
OBSERVATION: Through many miracles, God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, fed them and provided for them during their journey, and had a new country prepared for them to live – filled with milk and honey. One would imagine that everyday was a day of Thanksgiving for the Israelites, but the biblical account is quite different. In our Scripture today God lashed out at the lack of appreciation, and in the verses that follow this, God threatened all that He would withdraw from the Israelites. Meditating with me today may help us to better prepare for Thanksgiving Day this year, for I fear that we are very similar to our ancestors.
APPLICATION: I believe parents will agree that in the very early stages of child rearing, we tend to teach the idea of our kids saying thank you to anyone who gives them something. We have very special days of the year set aside to celebrate gifts given to us: 1). Christmas – gifts under the tree, and Christians also choose to give specials thanks to God for sending His one and only Son, born in deepest humility; 2). Easter – a special opportunity to thank God for raising His Son from the dead so that we may always know that we serve a risen and Savior who is alive! 3). Thanksgiving – although set aside as a time to celebrate our founding fathers who stopped and gave thanks for the new world and for God who directed their path and kept them safe, yet this has become a natural time of thanksgiving by Christians who recognize that it is only because of Jesus that we could celebrate our freedom to worship, live in prosperity and peace here on earth, and worship without government interference each Sunday. Unfortunately this has also become known as ‘Turkey Day’ because of the number of turkeys eaten by families on this day, but I pray that we will never forget to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day! So might we be drifting into being anything like the Israelites? Might God feel in the slightest that we are ungrateful, or that we worship other gods before Him? I believe that these are questions that each reader should strive to answer personally on the days above. What do you do on those days? How often each day do you strive to lift up holy hands and thank God for all that He has done, and is doing in your life? In Hosea 2:9 and following, God said that He would withdraw the things that He gave; He would put an end to the vain celebrations and that He would bring His people to their knees. Might He also do the same to us? Could God already be talking to us? I would suggest that you ponder the following events and see if you think God might be talking to us already in very bold ways: The 9-11 bombing; COVID-19; The increase of earthquakes (some in very strange and unbelievable places); The increase in hurricanes this year, etc, etc. There was a dad who once told his disobedient son ‘I brought you into the world, and I could easily take you out’! I’ve always heard people kid around about that, but don’t you know that statement applies to the God of this universe better than any man? We see story after story in the Old Testament where thousands of inhabitants were taken out by God, for various sins committed. We must be reminded that this is the same God that we serve today, so there is no question about whether He could follow through with what He says He will do. Friends, look up, for your redemption draweth nigh. Give thanks with a grateful heart this Thanksgiving Day!
PRAYER: With a heart of thanksgiving I come to You Lord Jesus and acknowledge all that You have blessed me with. Lord You are good and Your mercies are from everlasting to everlasting. Please forgive my readers and I for our bad manners – our ungrateful and unappreciative hearts, for way too often we take for granted how good You have been, and are, to us. Lord, if we will ever influence our circle of friends and family for the kingdom, we must learn to be a people who recognize You, Your awesome gifts to us, and Your promise of life eternally in heaven with You and the Father. May we be found faithful dear Lord. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!