The DEEP

The Essence of Hell

is letting them have exactly what they want.

Hosea 5:6-11 (NKJV)

“With their flocks and herds
They shall go to seek the LORD,
But they will not find Him;
He has withdrawn Himself from them.
They have dealt treacherously with the LORD,
For they have begotten pagan children.
Now a New Moon shall devour them and their heritage.

“Blow the ram's horn in Gibeah,
The trumpet in Ramah!
Cry aloud at Beth Aven,
‘Look behind you, O Benjamin!’
Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke;
Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure.
“The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark;
I will pour out My wrath on them like water.
Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment,
Because he willingly walked by human precept.”

“You want to live the secular life? Fine then, you can have the secular life, but count me out.”

With their flocks and herd
Tthey shall go to seek the LORD,
But they will not find Him;
He has withdrawn Himself from them.

“And getting along with the neighbors might get a little rough.” Blow the ram's horn in Gibeah, the trumpet in Ramah! Cry aloud at Beth Aven, ‘Look behind you, O Benjamin!’ Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke.

God tried to warn you—but no. Israel (AKA Ephraim) just has to learn the hard way,

Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment,
Because he willingly walked by human precept.

Being disciplined by the LORD is no picnic, but it can be curiously comforting. Feeling the wrath of God normally also means feeling the presence of God.

But Israel’s punishment includes not feeling the presence of God. That’s the essence of hell.


When things seem to be going wrong, look for God’s hand. Some of the biggest, and most important, miracles in life are the ones that start out looking like anything but a miracle—the things that go wrong in amazing ways.

But they’re clues. If it looks supernatural, maybe it is supernatural. Just because it’s unpleasant, doesn’t mean it can’t be God’s doing. He’s always up to something. The challenge is to figure out what.

Discern the LORD’s will, and you’ll find great peace—and growth.


All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

The Job book is on Amazon and is eligible for Amazon Prime. The Kindle edition will be out soon.

https://www.amazon.com/Higher-Purposes-Lesson-God-Job/dp/1684719534

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.