Hosea 13 (Listen)

13:1   When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;
    he was exalted in Israel,
    but he incurred guilt through Baal and died.
  And now they sin more and more,
    and make for themselves metal images,
  idols skillfully made of their silver,
    all of them the work of craftsmen.
  It is said of them,
    “Those who offer human sacrifice kiss calves!”
  Therefore they shall be like the morning mist
    or like the dew that goes early away,
  like the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor
    or like smoke from a window.
  But I am the LORD your God
    from the land of Egypt;
  you know no God but me,
    and besides me there is no savior.
  It was I who knew you in the wilderness,
    in the land of drought;
  but when they had grazed, they became full,
    they were filled, and their heart was lifted up;
    therefore they forgot me.
  So I am to them like a lion;
    like a leopard I will lurk beside the way.
  I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs;
    I will tear open their breast,
  and there I will devour them like a lion,
    as a wild beast would rip them open.
  He destroys you, O Israel,
    for you are against me, against your helper.
10   Where now is your king, to save you in all your cities?
    Where are all your rulers—
  those of whom you said,
    “Give me a king and princes”?
11   I gave you a king in my anger,
    and I took him away in my wrath.
12   The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up;
    his sin is kept in store.
13   The pangs of childbirth come for him,
    but he is an unwise son,
  for at the right time he does not present himself
    at the opening of the womb.
14   I shall ransom them from the power of Sheol;
    I shall redeem them from Death.
  O Death, where are your plagues?
    O Sheol, where is your sting?
    Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
15   Though he may flourish among his brothers,
    the east wind, the wind of the LORD, shall come,
    rising from the wilderness,
  and his fountain shall dry up;
    his spring shall be parched;
  it shall strip his treasury
    of every precious thing.
16   Samaria shall bear her guilt,
    because she has rebelled against her God;
  they shall fall by the sword;
    their little ones shall be dashed in pieces,
    and their pregnant women ripped open.




Devotional:

But I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me. (Hosea 13:4-6) 

God was with Israel in the wilderness, and He is with you when you are lost and alone. Unfortunately, we, like Israel, can be quick to forget God when life is good and worries are few. If your life is going great right now, don’t put your relationship with Jesus on the backburner. Don’t forget the God who brought you here. If you are struggling right now, cling to Jesus and the saving power of his cross.  Remember that Jesus suffered too, and in your pain, God is sanctifying and blessing you with a deeper, richer relationship with our one and only Savior.