The Daily Fountain Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 24 January 2022 – Don’t Shift Blame

 


The Daily Fountain Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 24 January 2022 – Don’t Shift Blame

TOPIC: Don’t Shift Blame


READ: Hosea 4:1-16 (NKJV)


Hear the word of the LORD, You children of Israel, For the LORD [brings] a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land.

[By] swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery, They break all restraint, With bloodshed upon bloodshed.

Therefore the land will mourn; And everyone who dwells there will waste away With the beasts of the field And the birds of the air; Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.

“Now let no man contend, or rebuke another; For your people [are] like those who contend with the priest.

Therefore you shall stumble in the day; The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night; And I will destroy your mother.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

” The more they increased, The more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame.

They eat up the sin of My people; They set their heart on their iniquity.

And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, And reward them for their deeds.

For they shall eat, but not have enough; They shall commit harlotry, but not increase; Because they have ceased obeying the LORD.

” Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart.

My people ask counsel from their wooden [idols,] And their staff informs them. For the spirit of harlotry has caused [them] to stray, And they have played the harlot against their God.

They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops, And burn incense on the hills, Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths, Because their shade [is] good. Therefore your daughters commit harlotry, And your brides commit adultery.

“I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry, Nor your brides when they commit adultery; For [the men] themselves go apart with harlots, And offer sacrifices with a ritual harlot. Therefore people [who] do not understand will be trampled.

” Though you, Israel, play the harlot, Let not Judah offend. Do not come up to Gilgal, Nor go up to Beth Aven, Nor swear an oath, [saying,] ‘As the LORD lives’ —

“For Israel is stubborn Like a stubborn calf; Now the LORD will let them forage Like a lamb in open country.

THE MESSAGE:


Israel’s lawless behaviour had brought the twin judgements of increased violence and ecological crisis. The prophetic speeches of Hosea indicted Israel for unfaithfulness and announced the divine judgement. The prophet revealed that the Lord had an indictment against Israel. He warned the priests not to blame anyone else; the nation’s sins were largely their fault. Israel’s priests pointed out the people’s sins, but God would not allow them to overlook their own irresponsible actions. Instead of instructing the nation in religion and morality, they had led the way toward idolatry and immorality. Their failure to lead the people in God’s ways placed most of the blame for Israel’s destruction on them. The religious leaders had failed to turn the people to God, and ritual prostitution had replaced right worship. The nation had declined spiritually and morally, breaking the laws that God had given them. The people found it easy to condemn Hosea’s wife for her adultery but they were not so quick to see that they had been unfaithful to God.


God will not allow us to blame others for our own sinful actions. Beware of the tendency to blame others because it can stop you from feeling the need to repent. When we face difficulties, we should seriously ask: Have I done anything sinful or irresponsible that has caused my suffering? If we discover that we are at fault, even partially, we must change our ways before God will help us.


PRAYER: Lord, I humbly acknowledge that I am responsible for my unfaithfulness. Please, have mercy on me.

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