Friday, July 08, 2011

Soul-Destroying Lies and My Real Identity

Nobody can deny the powerful imagery that is all throughout Hosea. It makes my heart soar at times and makes my gut wrench at times. Hosea 12 is one of those chapters that definitely does both. I have been reading the Bible in The Message for the past two years (sometimes checking the translation with the NIV and ESV) and I love some of the interpretations he gives. Peterson actually thinks this section should start back in the last verse of chapter 11 where he puts the title “Soul Destroying Lies” From 11:12 to 12:11 we read that gut wrenching description of someone who is literally hell bent and then in 12:12 God puts the question to his people in light of the description he has just given. He says, “are you going to repeat the life of your ancestor Jacob? He ran off guilty to Aram, Then sold his soul to get ahead, and made it big through treachery and deceit.” I was reminded yesterday how most of us find our identity in what we do. We think our job or "making it big" defines who we are and when we believe that, we will not stop at any amount of treachery and deceit to gain and improve our value. God, knowing that, tells them where their real identity is found. In The Message, Hosea 12:13 says “Your real identity is formed through God-sent prophets, who led you out of Egypt and served as faithful pastors.” The ESV says, “By a prophet the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt, and by a prophet he was guarded.” So, I fused those two translations together to get this “The Lord forms your real identity through a God-sent prophet who led you out of Egypt and served and guarded you as your faithful pastor.” That is overflowing with Christology. Jesus is the real and true prophet who is the Lord who leads his children out of Egypt. He doesnt grumble about them but guards them and serves them as the faithful pastor.

Prayer for today:
God, even though I am hell bent to repeat the life of my ancestor Jacob let me see and embrace that my real identity is formed by you, the one who brought me out of slavery to sin and who serves me and guards me as my faithful pastor.