Vs. 4, “I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.” Before Jacob would go down to Egypt, he went to Beersheba, which had quite significance for both Abraham and Isaac before him. It was a place where they called upon the Lord (Genesis 21, 26), and so Jacob via the route to Egypt would bring a sacrifice to the Lord at Beersheba. It was here that God spoke to him in a dream and reassured him that He would be with him. Though it would take 430 years for them to exit (Exodus) Egypt, God would certainly bless them as they would continue to increase in numbers. Jacob’s descendants listed in the genealogy (vs. 8-26) give us a reminder that this family line was not a perfect one, but a chosen one. How appropriate for us too! Goshen was chosen for a number of things: It was fertile place, a place to keep them separated from the Egyptians, a place to tend to their flocks (they were shepherds).
Regarding application…Acknowledging God. Vs. 1, “So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.” God did an amazing thing for old Jacob! Not only did His covenant (vs. 3) continue with Jacob, but he got to see his son Joseph again. I think in the midst of all the busyness and excitement to seize those blessings, it is awesome to see Jacob stop to acknowledge the Lord. Question: Do you take the time to acknowledge God enough? God is relational, and He created us to be relational beings. Let us take time to build that relationship with the Lord so that we are able to consistently be reminded of His presence in our lives. I’m blessed to have my wife and her family a part of my life. It would be crazy for me to go home every day and never acknowledge them or say “hi” to them. Yet, many who call themselves Christians don’t acknowledge God enough. Turn to the Lord today!
Vs. 3, “Therefore they will be like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears, like chaff swirling from a threshing floor, like smoke escaping through a window.” Hosea is looking back at how Israel used to be (vs. 1). But they not only turned from God, they were sacrificing to pagan God’s like Baal (vs. 2). If they had only turned back to God, but they were putting their trust in the things of this world. But what stands out more than anything is the fact that it is God who directs the outcome of our life. We would do far better if we feared God more. Yet, once again, we see the grace of our God as He will one day ransom us from death itself (vs. 14).
Regarding application…Remember God’s Goodness. Vs. 4 “But I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me.” Question: How do we remember God’s goodness today? Jesus would tell us and Paul would remind us that when we meet we are to remember Jesus’ goodness and sacrifice (I Cor. 11) with the Lord’s Supper. This is just one reminder of why we meet. Of course, we are a forgetful people. That is why the Word of God exhorts us to spend time daily. That is why He gave us the incredible gift called the church! Think about something God has done for you this past week, month or year. Acknowledge it and give thanks to the Lord!
Vs. 3, “Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Yesterday, we were reminded that God allows us to be broken down. But in the Word today, we are given hope! God calls His people to return to him. This is an astounding show of love. Just as Hosea called Gomer to come back to him (Hosea 3), God is now calling Israel to Him. Remember that Hosea is a prophet, so this also has a future meaning to it.
Regarding application…What God Desires. Vs. 6, “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” On the outside, Israel could bring all her proper sacrifices to Yahweh but it didn’t cut to the heart of the matter. There’s a contemporary Christian song that talks about “Going through the motions”. This is what God did not want. The people thought they were acknowledging God by reverting back to the do’s and don’ts. But, their hearts were still not completely there. When we cut through it all, it’s about a relationship. God desires a rich and loving relationship with us. Question: Will you turn to our merciful and loving God today?