TEXT: Hosea 8(NKJV)
8:1. "Set the trumpet to your mouth! [He shall come] like an eagle against the house of the LORD, Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law.
8:2. Israel will cry to Me, 'My God, we know You!'
8:3. Israel has rejected the good; The enemy will pursue him.
8:4. "They set up kings, but not by Me; They made princes, but I did not acknowledge [them.] From their silver and gold They made idols for themselves -- That they might be cut off.
8:5. Your calf is rejected, O Samaria! My anger is aroused against them -- How long until they attain to innocence?
8:6. For from Israel [is] even this: A workman made it, and it [is] not God; But the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces.
8:7. " They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no bud; It shall never produce meal. If it should produce, Aliens would swallow it up.
8:8. Israel is swallowed up; Now they are among the Gentiles Like a vessel in which [is] no pleasure.
8:9. For they have gone up to Assyria, [Like] a wild donkey alone by itself; Ephraim has hired lovers.
8:10. Yes, though they have hired among the nations, Now I will gather them; And they shall sorrow a little, Because of the burden of the king of princes.
8:11. " Because Ephraim has made many altars for sin, They have become for him altars for sinning.
8:12. I have written for him the great things of My law, [But] they were considered a strange thing.
8:13. [For] the sacrifices of My offerings they sacrifice flesh and eat [it,] [But] the LORD does not accept them. Now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sins. They shall return to Egypt.
8:14. "For Israel has forgotten his Maker, And has built temples; Judah also has multiplied fortified cities; But I will send fire upon his cities, And it shall devour his palaces."

STUDY: While growing up I realised that there are times we may not receive mercy and forgiveness until we serve out our punishments. This happens when we have been warned severally and counselled to no avail. Israel had forgotten his maker and Ephraim had made many altars to sin, therefore, GOD would send fire to devour. God's anger had been kindled and there wouldn't be any mercy left.

Is the above scenario, in most cases, not our situation as a nation and families? More so, is this not the situation of the Church? The Church seems to be asleep in her duties. The world seems to be swallowing us up gradually. We have profaned the name of the LORD and have done wickedness in the land. We must not hide our sins because the LORD is coming as an eagle and nothing can be hidden from Him. We must gather to pray and seek the forgiveness of our God. He will hear and heal our land.

PRAYER: O Lord, forgive us and heal our land.

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