Hitting the Target

Israel was falling into moral decline because none of the leaders called the people back to God. Reading in Hosea 7-8, the nation missed the target and is portrayed as a cake not turned over. On one side, they were overdone which describes their religious activity. On the other side, they were not well done which describes their attitude and activity towards God.

Another metaphor used to describe Israel is a dove because the people were easily deceived and senseless (v. 11). This reveals how they were deceived by not turning to God for protection but senselessly turning to other nations; making alliances with Egypt and Assyria.

The metaphor of a bow that misses the intended target in verse 16 reveals that God wanted wonderful things for Israel but they didn’t give glory to Him. Instead, they took His blessings and used them for their own ends. They could not see their sin because of pride and they neglected God’s Way for their own way.

There is great freedom in obeying God’s Way because He cares for us more than we care for ourselves. He understands our needs more than we do. The only way we can guard against our own blindness to sin and hit the target is to repent of our own sin, give up our pride, and work to improve our own character by developing ways to look for and store up lessons from the Bible.

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Lord, we come to You today … hoping to store up lessons from Your Word and from life experiences. We pray that we share these lessons with others. Some of these lessons can make us look bad but they can be used for your glory if they help others to see You more clearly. Sometimes, we have to drop our pride. This can hurt in the short term but in the long term eternal blessings are gained. For this, we give You the glory. Amen.

About Mark Shields

Mark volunteers as a member of the media ministry team at his church. A few years ago, he started an on-line Bible study guide called “This Day with God Devotional”. He uses this as a tool in his journey through the Bible. We live in a very busy world with busy schedules so this tool has helped him continue with daily Bible reading and study. Each of the studies are designed to help apply our faith in the work place, at school, or at home. Join him on this journey or check in every so often to read his thoughts.
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