2When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” (Hosea 1:2)
Wow! Friends, it is October. The rewarding journey of soaking in the presence and wisdom of the Word of God is almost over. Today we begin to read my favorite Epistle of the New Testament, the letter from James, the brother of Jesus. October is a great reading plan, the letters of James and Peter in the New Testament, and just three books from the Old. Feel free to sit down and read ahead. I read through Hosea in about one hour, split between last night and this morning. The Book of Hosea is a long metaphorical poem that stresses God’s impatience with the Israelite people due to their lack of obedience and faithfulness. As you read in the verse above, God instructs Hosea to marry a “promiscuous woman,” named Gomer, who’s sexual desires will bring Hosea three children that God beckons him to name significant names. Names that allude to God’s temperament with the Israelites, starting with the oldest, whose name meant “God sows,” as God had done with the Israelites, fulfilling His promise to Abraham. Hosea’s second child is named “not my people” and his daughter is “not loved,” as Israel’s continuous betrayal of God’s devotion has caused God to forget them and no longer hold them as His special people. This is the overarching theme of Hosea, and if I remember correctly, the rest of the Old Testament. You have now read the complete story of the recorded history of the ancient Israelites, when God used them to demonstrate His majesty to all people. With Hosea we take a step back in their story, about 150 years, a time recorded initially in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. If you want to know more about this prophet, a quick Google search produces many great resources.
What I was surprised to find, or more correctly, to not find, on the internet was information of the Archangel Michael, predating the Prophet Daniel. Michael is only mentioned in three books in the entire Bible. Daniel is the first to speak of this mighty angelic being. Jude mentions him, which we will read in November, and, finally, in the Book of Revelation, John’s final visions speak in detail of the importance of this “Highest of Angels.” I find it puzzling that no one has ever questioned why there was no historical reference of Michael prior to the prophet Daniel’s writings. And even more intriguing is that the Israelites just adopted this book and the prophecies within. Obviously, over time, we humans have invested a lot of imagination and research over this angelic being. The Catholic faith has a prayer to Saint Michael. He adores statues, posters, and religious icons all over the world. John Milton gained lasting fame with his epic poem, Paradise Lost, which featured the fall of satan and brought to life the mighty Angelic Host led by Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. Doing research for this caused me to ask the question, can we consider Milton a prophet? I learned that Milton did believe his writing was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
I do not have any new conclusions or truth to bring to you, except the truth that the Bible is a fascinating book that has endured the length of recorded human history. I hope that as you have read it this year, it has piqued your curiosity and causes you to look deeper into the history of mankind’s most important written work.
Today is another New Music Friday. As I mentioned yesterday, last week was an incredible release day for Christian Music. I’m going to list a handful below, in no particular order for my favorite. Click on each title for the link to the YouTube video (the link for the artist will take you to their websites). And finally, my favorite track from Bethel’s album, a beautiful ballad featuring Dante Bowe and speaking of the amazing love we should all strive to find with Jesus Christ, a love that is deep, unmeasurable, a love that is “Weathered.”
Some of my favorites from last week:
Honest – River Valley AGES
Light Work – Nu Tone, Jay Steezy, A. Ruiz
There’s fifteen new songs to add to your collection, all unique in their sound and all family friendly. With all these great singles plus two full albums (Red Rocks and Bethel’s), how could you find time to listen to anything but Christian music. More importantly, why would you want to listen to anything else? Finally, this song below, which now holds a special place in my heart. Click and listen and I think you will feel the same.
Reading plan: James 1:1-18
Deeper reading plan: Hosea 1