He is faithful to discipline us.
“Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.”
Hosea 14:9 (ESV)
This verse wraps up all fourteen chapters of Hosea. It is a plea to the reader to understand what God through Hosea is trying to tell us. Often, especially in the prophets, we can read the text and see pain and suffering inflicted by God. We see a picture of a God who differs from our idea of who God is. We hear in church and read in the New Testament of a God who is loving and caring. One who is patient and kind. Often, we picture Jesus as someone who is approachable. All of this is true of God, but we must understand what the writer of Hosea is trying to tell us. When it comes to God’s people, there is a higher standard. The Israelites were given the gift of the Law. It was God speaking to His people and showing them how to live for God and for others and be a light to the world, so that all nations may come to know God. For us as Christians, we are given the Holy Spirit and the New Testament. We are shown the sacrifice Christ made for us in the gospels. That sacrifice is explained and applied to our lives in the Epistles. Christ’s return is then showed to us in Revelation. We also have the Holy Spirit in our lives. He guides us, convicts us and makes us more like Christ.
All that to say that when we stumble, God holds us to what He has given us. This is not because God is angry all the time or that He wants us to suffer, but because He loves us. There is an aspect of love that is often overlooked when it comes to our relationship with God. We think of God’s love as being gentle and giving. We think that as long as we are good, God will lavish us with blessings. However, God is so loving, that He is faithful to discipline us. Parents show this same love when disciplining their children. If a parent loves their child and desires the best for that child, they will discipline them in some way. It is to show the child and teach them how to live a life free from danger and to teach them to love and interact with those around them. This is what God does. He is a good Father and a loving Father and is faithful to discipline His people, so that they learn how to worship God well, to interact with others in a way that shows God’s love, and to build up His church.
This week, remember that God is a loving Father. Share that love with those around you. Walk in the ways of the Lord and teach others to do the same.