ain't what it used to be.

Hosea 9:1–6 (NKJV)

Do not rejoice, O Israel, with joy like other peoples,
For you have played the harlot against your God.
You have made love for hire on every threshing floor.
The threshing floor and the winepress
Shall not feed them,
And the new wine shall fail in her.
They shall not dwell in the LORD's land,
But Ephraim shall return to Egypt,
And shall eat unclean things in Assyria.
They shall not offer wine offerings to the LORD,
Nor shall their sacrifices be pleasing to Him.
It shall be like bread of mourners to them;
All who eat it shall be defiled.
For their bread shall be for their own life;
It shall not come into the house of the LORD.
What will you do in the appointed day,
And in the day of the feast of the LORD?
For indeed they are gone because of destruction.
Egypt shall gather them up;
Memphis shall bury them.
Nettles shall possess their valuables of silver;
Thorns shall be in their tents.

For the nation of Israel to come around, they’re going to have to be horrified by what they’ve done. God is setting that up in this passage by describing how profoundly unhappy they’ll be.

Do not rejoice, O Israel, with joy like other peoples.

Even though they see themselves (correctly) as God’s people, they’ll be the least happy folks in the neighborhood.

When this comes to pass, they should get the point—if they remember the words of Hosea.

Accurate prophesy gets people’s attention. False prophesy should get their attention too, though not in a good way.

But that hasn’t been the rule of late. Bad predictions are now so common few people even notice. Good predictions tend to drown in all the noise and get forgotten.

One of the best evidences of the truth of scripture is what it says about human nature. The Bible “predicts” that people acting sinfully—stupidly selfish—will be the norm.

Stupid selfishness is everywhere for everyone to see, just like the Bible says it would be. That validates the Bible. Does it convert anyone?

Not really. People cling to the belief that we’re basically good, despite the evidence. A neutral observer would instantly conclude that the Bible’s description of human nature is on the money.

But folks need the theory of good people to be true. The alternative is just too painful.

"There are none so blind as those who will not see." — John Heywood (paraphrasing Jeremiah 5:21)

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

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

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.

Latest from Mike Slay