Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law (Psalm 119:49-51).
TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE
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Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.
One of the simple lessons my wife learned from her father was that every task has three parts, “make ready”, “do”, and “put away”. That lesson has been repeated over and over again to our family. Why is it that the simple lessons of life seem to be the ones that need the most repeating? In today’s chapter we find three simple lessons that have been repeated over and over again throughout the Scripture. May God give us the ears to hear and the resolve to learn these simple lessons.
This chapter opens with the reign of the 19th and last king over Israel, Hoshea. Like many before him, we are told that he did evil in the sight of the Lord (v. 2). Feeling his kingdom was threatened, he submitted himself to the rule of the Assyrian king rather than the King of the universe. In the 7th year of Hoshea’s reign, the King of Assyria came with his army and besieged Samaria. In judgment God was about to destroy the Kingdom of Israel for her disobedience.
1. Disobeyed Commandments. This history of the children of Israel was that they sinned against the Lord their God (v. 7). Read together verses 7-12; 16-17 and make a list of Israel’s acts of disobedience. The prophets Hosea and Amos give a graphic description of their wickedness in such passages (Hos. 4:1, 2, 11; 6:9; Amos 2:7; 8:5).
2. Disregarded Warnings. Our God is a longsuffering God. He had sent Israel many prophets to rebuke sin and call them to repentance. In Israel the prophets included men like Ahijah, Jehu, Elijah, Elisha, Micah, Jonah, Hosea, Amos and Oded. God always has His witnesses calling His people to “turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the Law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants and prophets” (v. 13). Sadly, however, Israel would not hear and instead hardened their necks and remained in unbelief (v. 14).
3. Destruction of the Kingdom of Israel. Continued unrepentant sin brings forth God’s hand of judgment. The Puritan, Walter Cradock, rightly concluded, “It is the manner of God, throughout the Scripture, to defer judgments a long while before they come, and when the come He sends them in degrees.” The Lord became very angry with Israel and He removed them out of His sight (v. 18)! The Lord rejected all the seed of Israel and delivered them into the hands of their enemies (v. 20). The ten tribes were gone. The land was gone at the hand of the Assyrians under the sovereign direction of God Himself. God frequently punishes the wicked at the hands of the wicked.
Click here for Matthew Henry’s Commentary.
Truth in Practice
Although the lessons that come from this chapter are simple, compliance with them is impossible without the enabling grace of God. Perhaps this is why they are repeated over and over again throughout the Scripture. This chapter first teaches that wicked leaders produce wickedness. Frequently, wicked kings produce wicked kingdoms; wicked parents produce wicked children; and wicked office bearers produce wicked churches. There is no greater qualification for leadership than godliness (1 Tim. 3; Titus 1). Give thanks to God today if you have been blessed with godly leaders and parents. Secondly, it is God’s will that His redeemed people delight in keeping His Law. As a professing Christian, be resolved to keep the whole Law of God with a joyful heart! Listen and heed the warnings from God’s Word and those that He sends your way. One final simple lesson – unrepentant sin brings judgment and chastening. God’s arm of correction may even come from the hand of the ungodly. Don’t confuse God’s longsuffering with a lack of resolve to judge. Turn from your wicked ways today and fly into the merciful and saving arms of the Lord Jesus Christ. God in His kindness has brought you these three simple truths one more time.
Q. What shall be done to the wicked at the day of judgment?
A. At the day of judgment the bodies of the wicked being raised out of their graves, shall be sentenced, together with their souls, to unspeakable torments with the devil and his angels for ever (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28,29; 2 Th. 1:9; Mt. 25:41).