John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I’ll bet most of us have thought about our own salvation in terms of surrendering our circumstances and behavior to God. There may be as many stories of personal conversion as there are saved people. That testimony almost always states the effects, the blessings, of “our” surrender to him.
This quote from My Utmost for His Highest reminded me of the “cause” of my surrender: “The fact that He [Jesus] saves from sin and makes us holy is actually part of the effect of His wonderful and total surrender to us.”
It’s a blessing to live with the effects of our surrender but there would be no blessing without the reality of John 3:16. It was God’s “total surrender” of his own son Jesus on our behalf that caused our surrender to effect his blessings in our life. We surrender to God because he first surrendered to us!
Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites, because the Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land…”6…my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge…14…a people without understanding will come to ruin!
Hosea 5:”… I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them.
15 Then I will return to my lair until they have borne their guilt and seek my face—in their misery they will earnestly seek me.”
There’s no way to avoid the message in Chapters 4 and 5. They’re heading for trouble. The Israelites did not lack information. They lacked making what they knew about God their priority. The charges that the Lord says are their downfall seem like a Cause and Effect story to me. The Cause?..”lack of knowledge.” The Effect? “…no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.”
That repeated “no” the prophet uses is a record of proof for us today that information about God doesn’t automatically convert to knowledge and understanding. Information is good but it’s really just ideas to consider, it doesn’t save us. Hosea reminds us of the most important of our priorities…to earnestly seek the Lord that can save us.