December 10 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears.” ~Hosea 7:4

OLD TESTAMENT

There is a “spirit of prostitution” among God’s people (Hos. 4:12). Don’t take the word prostitution literally in this case (although that was an actual problem). The prophet means “a spirit of unfaithfulness,” which to their Lover, God, is tantamount to cheating. Their love for God is like the morning mist or the early dew. It doesn’t last long. They stay with God for a while, and then wander off to pursue something else.

The people’s heart of unfaithfulness is evidenced in their actions. They may attend worship services, but it really doesn’t change them much. They carry on with their foul mouths, their lying lips, their murderous ways, their adulterous deeds, and their greedy practices. The priests, for their part, are just concerned about keeping their jobs so they don’t preach the truth. They too will be judged. God’s people have failed to heed the call of Scripture to love God and each other!

God’s reaction to the His people’s wandering is to pursue them like a “hound from heaven.”[1] Even if He must chase us into the desert (times of need) or into Assyria (times of affliction), He will not give up. He will take us back when we “cry out to him from [our] hearts” (Hos. 7:14). Our cries must be real and from the heart. They must not simply be pleas for mercy, but also pleas for restoration. If you are being chased by your Lover, turn to Him and let Him satisfy you!

[1] Francis Thompson, “The Hound of Heaven,” (1909).

NEW TESTAMENT

While much of the language in Revelation is figurative, figurative language points us to something that is real (as I have often repeated). The “revelation from Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1) was revealed to the apostle John late in the first century. Already, some of the churches were in need of encouragement to stay true to Christ.

In this book, Jesus tells the churches that he is returning, but before He does, there will be more difficulty. Like the Old Testament prophets, the book is full of warnings, encouragements, and promises about future restoration. Jesus is the “first” and the “last”—the one who started everything and the one who will end everything. The end will actually be the beginning of a new heavens and a new earth. Now that John has our attention, he urges us to listen to what Jesus has to say.


Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.