Hosea 13:1 Worshiping the World’s Way

Hosea 13:1 (KJV)
When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died.

Several companion passages come to mind:
Proverbs 16:18 (KJV)
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. 

Luke 14:11 (KJV)
For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. 

What seems interesting is what might be called the pride of Hosea’s passage – “when he offended in Baal…” Cambridge Bible Notes claims that this is not the worship of the Phoenician god, but of ascribing to Jehovah the worship of the false gods of the northern regions. They had not technically abandoned the God of Israel; they had merely begun to worship Him the way the pagans had worshipped their false gods.

The destructive pride of Ephraim assumed that God could be pleased with a contemporary form of worship – one that was more like what the culture and norms of the location were used to. 

Does this not seem to be the nature of worship these days?

  • Missionaries often make Christianity fit in with the culture of the land
  • Americans conform their services to the music, dress and visual preferences of the people they hope to attract. 

It is pride that assumes God will accept it as genuine worship. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Hosea 13:1 Worshiping the World’s Way

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Hosea 11:7-9 The Depth of God’s Mercy

Hosea 11:7-9 (KJV)
And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.
How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.
I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter into the city.

At the risk of overwhelming this visit with the words of another I present Albert Barnes Notes, 

“God is infinitely just and infinitely merciful. The two attributes are so united in Him, yea, so one in Him who is always one, and in whose counsels “there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning,” that the one doth not ever thwart the proceeding of the other. Yet, in order to shew that our ills are from our own ill-deserts, not from any pleasure of His in inflicting ill, and that what mercy He sheweth, is from His own goodness, not from any in us, God is represented in this empassioned expression as in doubt, and (so to say) divided between justice and mercy, the one pleading against the other. At the last, God so determines, that both should have their share in the issue, and that Israel should be both justly punished and mercifully spared and relieved.

God pronounces on the evil deserts of Israel, even while He mitigates His sentence. The depth of the sinner’s guilt reflects the more vividly the depth of God’s mercy.”

God’s wisdom and will are without wavering. Just as He is represented as a hen, gathering her babies under her wings,[1](but we know He is not a hen and has no wings) so He is represented as “divided between justice and mercy.” We know He is not divided but for our sakes He says it. 

“The depth of the sinner’s guilt reflects the more vividly the depth of God’s mercy.”


[1]Matthew 23:37 (KJV)
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Hosea 11:7-9 The Depth of God’s Mercy

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Hosea 10:1 Phoney Fruit

Hosea 10:1 (KJV)
Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.

What a powerful and picturesque passage. Albert Barnes describes it as a vine that has luxurious leaves, splendid to look at, but void of fruit. It has expended all its growth on vines but has nothing left for fruit.

This is so often the case with modern Christianity. We have developed systems so that we grow to ourselves. We have: 

  • Preaching with eloquence, 
  • Buildings of splendor, 
  • Congregations in the multitudes. 

We have professing believers, and money to finance our projects. We advertise our programs in periodicals and invite others to come learn from us. But we are shallow, without doctrine, of little influence in the world.

In many cases we have defined our own fruit. We have decided for ourselves what is valuable produce. In so doing we have avoided the hard truth that we are without that which the Lord values. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Hosea 10:1 Phoney Fruit

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Hosea 7:9 We Must Give Account to God

Hosea 7:9 (KJV)
Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not.

God addresses two issues concerning Ephraim:[1]

  • Compromise had weakened them
  • The end was nearing them

The thing about each of these is that they did not realize it.

Like Samson, whose lust had left him powerless, but he did not know it, Ephraim’s relationships with pagans, pagan religion, and reliance on pagan strength, had drained them of the power of God. Samson thought he would rise up and defeat his enemies as he always had. He wist not that his power was gone[2]. The same was true of Israel.

Day after day they continued on as they always had. Day after day they believed themselves to be safe, to be in good hands, to have God, if you will, forever at their disposal. In reality, each passing day left them with fewer days to survive. Day by day a new gray hair came on, here and there, a little at a time, slowly, imperceptibly. They could not see, or refused to acknowledge, that their time was drawing to a close.

Now learn a lesson. 

  • Though we may ignore God’s Word and keep up relations with worldliness. 
  • Though we may think we have gotten away with our disobedience and 
  • Though we may believe we can continue in our disobedient course “forever”

Day by day, just as our body wears out a little bit at a time, so does the liberty and the grace of God. Those acts of disobedience drain us of the blessings of God and our cup of iniquity fills. Our strength grows less, and our days grow fewer until one day, sooner than any of us might expect, we must give an account to God.


[1]In this case, a reference to the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

[2]Judges 16:20 (KJV)
And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Hosea 7:9 We Must Give Account to God

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Hosea 6:6 Not Sacrifice

Hosea 6:6 (KJV)
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

I know some folks who need to get this. While the Old Testament law had some benefit[1]it was never God’s intention, God’s desire for men to hold to it. God desires mercy and not sacrifice, a relationship with Him and not religious ritual.

There have always been those who, in one form or another, fall back on religion: sacrifice and offerings. It seems, in our modern rebellion against the faith of our fathers, many are turning back to the old heresy of the Judaizers; those who attempted to mix Christianity with Judaism.

To them I present these passages:

1 Samuel 15:22 (KJV)
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Psalms 40:6 (KJV)
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

Psalms 51:16 (KJV)
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

Proverbs 21:3 (KJV)
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Isaiah 1:11 (KJV)
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

Jeremiah 7:22-23 (KJV)
For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.


[1]It was to point to Christ; its precepts picture the perfection of Christ and its demands teach us that righteousness cannot come by the Law. We need an advocate – Jesus Christ.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Hosea 6:6 Not Sacrifice

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Hosea 3:1 A Reason To Love

Hosea 3:1 (KJV)
Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.

The passage is speaking ultimately of Israel and the setting, as I understand it, includes today. It refers to a time when the children of Israel[1] is without:

  • King
  • Prince
  • Sacrifice or
  • Fellowship with God

Though they seem so far away from God, still He loves Israel and is for Israel. One day, under God’s directing hand, they will return to Him. 

I see in this verse a secondary lesson; a reason for us all to love the unlovely, to reach out in kindness to the worse of us. I see a reason to be for the wicked, the sinner, the prisoner, and the one who has offended us. Because God loves them. 

I am not saying that we forget what they have done. Hosea didn’t with his wife. God doesn’t with Israel. There was a process of restoration and a time of proving. I am only saying that we ought: 

  • Never to give up on them, 
  • Never to quit praying for them, 
  • Never to quit loving them, 

never stop being willing to restore them if they will but return to seek and fear the Lord. 


[1]To include both Israel, the Northern Kingdom and Judah, the Southern.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Hosea 3:1 A Reason To Love

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Hosea 2:19-20 Give It To God

Hosea 2:19-20 (KJV)
And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.

This is a prophetical passage. It concerns Israel (all twelve tribes) in the Millennial Kingdom. But there is application for us all. The final verse of the chapter says in part, “I will say to them which are not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

I note these marks of those who are “betrothed” to the Lord:

  • Righteousness
  • Judgment
  • Loving kindness 
  • Mercies
  • Faithfulness

I take it that these are not the marks of those betrothed to the Lord but of the Lord toward the betrothed. The difference between the religious and the Christian (a true one) is this perspective. The religious always assign the work to the man. Biblical Christianity ascribes it to God.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Hosea 2:19-20 Give It To God

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Daniel 9:3 Settle This First

Daniel 9:3 (KJV)
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

There are reasons to set our face to the Lord in prayer.

Daniel began his prayer where I think we have lost it in prayer so often today. We don’t see ourselves as unworthy. Rather, our culture has taught us to see ourselves as deserving:

  • We deserve a new car
  • We deserve the best things
  • We deserve a nice vacation
  • We deserve to be happy
  • We deserve a living wage
  • We deserve a good cup of coffee and, in most people’s opinion,
  • We deserve for God to answer our prayers the way we want

Truth is, we don’t deserve anything. 

The very best of us (remember, Daniel is one of the very best of us we have record of) have sins to confess. As Daniel expresses it, 

Daniel 9:5-6 (KJV)
We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

I know we have reasons to set our face to the Lord in prayer. But I call believers everywhere first to stay in the presence of God until we have settled this in our hearts, 

Daniel 9:7 (KJV)
O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

We are a mess these days because, while most Christians would say these words with their mouth, we don’t believe it in our hearts.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Daniel 9:3 Settle This First

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John 19:7 A Deadly Faith

John 19:7 (KJV)
The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

Romans 8:2
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 

2 Corinthians 3:6
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life 

1 Corinthians 9:21
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

I understand and agree with obedience. I see: 

  • The virtue
  • The importance and 
  • The value 

of taking the Word of God literally and applying its instructions, commandments and principles to our Christian life today. 

But there are certain professing Christians of the Judaizing sort whose application of Old Testament law is deadly. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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John 19:7 A Deadly Faith

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Daniel 7:28 Keep It To Yourself

Daniel 7:28 (KJV)
Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

Daniel has received a vision that troubled him, I think, for a number of reasons:

  • It was ominous to say the least
  • Its fulfillment would be disastrous to the world
  • It seemed like there was little he could do about it 
  • It was only one of a number of similar visions he was to receive

Then he said this vision troubled him so much that his countenance changed. It made a visible impression upon his appearance. But he said that he kept the matter in his heart. 

There is a lesson here for all of us that experience troubling and difficult things. 

  • Some of us are troubled by the circumstances life throws at us. 
  • Some are troubled at the terrible news we hear about the condition of the world
  • Some are troubled at thoughts of a failing economy 
  • Some are rightly troubled at the turning away from God we see today

What do we do about our troubled thoughts?

  • Many people break down in fear and panic. 
  • Others dump their troubles on others.
  • Some these days vent over social media. 

Daniel did, I think, three things:

First, he wrote it out
This was not the typical vent of today’s generation. He was reporting what God had given him for the benefit of others. Venting is for the benefit of the venter. It can be toxic to those upon whom it falls. What Daniel did was beneficial to those who heard and read. 

Secondly, he prayed
And in prayer God gave him the meaning of the vision. Sometimes knowing why there is trouble helps us get through a troublesome time. 

Thirdly, he kept the matter in his heart
Far from venting, he did the very opposite. He kept it to himself. He did not panic or explode in anger. He kept the matter in his heart. 

I know people say it’s okay to “get it out”. They tell us it’s unhealthy to keep our burdens locked inside. God says just the opposite. Take it to God, find answers from heaven, use those answers to help others. But keep your venting to yourself. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Daniel 7:28 Keep It To Yourself

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