“Come, let us return to the Lord. For he has torn us, and he will heal us; he has wounded us, and he will bind up our wounds. He will revive us after two days, and on the third day he will raise us up so we can live in his presence.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
If you’ve been working through Hosea with me over the past couple of weeks, think about what we have seen in the last few chapters. God has been blasting the people for their faithlessness. They had turned from Him over and over again. In spite of everything He had promised them, they still went looking for help in other places. And they were going to pay for it. After all His anger and rage, what should we expect next? Not this.
This past Sunday morning we wrapped up our series, Bible Stories to Make You Squirm, by looking at another doozy. When Jesus entered the world as a baby and King Herod found out about it, he murdered all the boys two years and under in Bethlehem. What we are supposed to do with this and what it means for us is what we talk about here. Keep reading to learn more.
Also, this week I am going to make some changes to my posting schedule. Producing two posts, three days a week isn’t such a big deal for me on the writing side, but as someone who reads other blogs, I know that trying to read two posts on any given day is a lot. You’ve hung in here with me as I keep learning how to do this better over the last couple of years, and I am supremely grateful. Going forward, I am going to move to five weekly posts–one each day, Monday through Friday, all at 8:00 am. Mondays will be the previous day’s sermon or a Digging in Deeper post if I’ve had the weekend off. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be the usual Morning Musings. Wednesdays and Fridays will be Digging in Deeper posts (usually just a bit longer than the Morning Musings or else a chance to go a little deeper into a conversation we have started on Tuesday or Thursday). Saturdays and Sundays will still be off, although I may start adding some guests posts on the weekends in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully this will make for better pacing for you, the faithful reader, while keeping you still interested in making connections between the Word and the world. Thanks for sticking with me all this time. I’m looking forward to many more good conversations in the days ahead. Blessings to you!
The Hard Road
Most cultures have a set of proverbs, adages, axioms that form the popular foundation on which the bulk of its people stand when it comes to thinking about how they are going to get by and get along with one another. Many of our culture’s most popular proverbs come from the wit and wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, one of our Founding Fathers. Many of these you probably know well: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man…healthy, wealthy, and wise. A penny saved is…a penny earned. Don’t put off for tomorrow…what you can accomplish today. Some of his proverbs are a little less familiar, but still really good: He who sows thorns should not go barefoot. The one who is content has enough; the one who complains has too much. Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.
“For since he himself has suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Nobody else knows how this feels. No one can imagine how hard this temptation is for me to resist. If they did, they’d understand why I fall to it as often as I do. Ever thought something along those lines? One of the tricks the devil uses to keep us falling into temptation as often as we do is isolation. If we are—or better yet feel like—we are alone, we are far more likely to succumb to temptation than when we are in community. The truth, though, is that feelings are not always reality. That’s particularly the case here.
“Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Jesus was not the first one to say something like this. Did you know that? This basic moral idea predated Jesus by several hundreds of years. You can find a similar idea expressed in numerous other ancient religions. Okay, well doesn’t that seem to give credence to the idea that Jesus is just another moral teacher like so many others have been? Not so fast.
“Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Have you ever wanted more? Your first thought to that question was probably: More of what? Well, anything for now. Have you ever wanted more? I sure have. I’ve wanted more of a lot of things. In fact, there are not many things I haven’t wanted more of. The real question to answer seems to be not, do we want more, but how do we get more? Jesus has a thought here.