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30 JANUARY 2023 - Stay Faithful To God

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

Hosea 9:1 – ‘Rejoice not, O Israel! Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God. You have loved a prostitute’s wages on all threshing floors.’

This morning’s Lectionary reading takes us to the book of Hosea, and in 9:1, we have one of the most striking rebukes in all of Scripture – ‘you have played the whore!’ In other words – ‘you are unfaithful! You have made yourself a prostitute!’

Ouch! These are terribly harsh words of indictment, aren’t they? What was it that warranted such a strong admonition? Well, you see, Israel had tried to be like other nations by seeking prosperity and good harvest through the fertility cult. Like the surrounding nations, they participated in orgies and animal sacrifices to the Canaanite fertility Goddess in hope that they would receive blessings in return. However, Scripture calls these ‘blessings’ a ‘prostitute’s wages’ instead.

It was tragic and sad. Israel had forgotten its own identity. They were supposed to be God’s chosen and treasured people; a people through whom God would display His glory and draw the nations to Himself. However, instead of remaining faithful and trusting in God’s goodness, they turned to other gods. What we have here is the image of a lustful spouse running into the embrace of another man/woman for satisfaction.

My friends, there is an important reminder for us today. We must not forget our identity – who we are; and to whom we belong. Our satisfaction is found in God. As Christians, we are called to be salt and light to the people around us. We are to worship God and make Him the center of our lives. We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. We are to trust in God’s ways and in His provision for our lives. We are to enjoy an intimate relationship with our good and loving heavenly Father.

Sure, the ways of the world do reap certain benefits, but they are temporal and unreliable. If we have been tempted, or have turned to ‘other gods’ to find our identity or satisfaction, we need to repent. These ‘other gods’ can come in the form of money, career, status, relationships, hobbies etc.

Today, let us renew our commitment to walk in God’s ways and to remain steadfast towards Him. God is good and His heart is always to bring blessings and growth to His children.

Ps Kelvin Chua


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