“I love to live on the brink of eternity.”

David Brainerd

TODAY’S READING: Hosea 8–14

Hosea’s pain came from Israel committing adultery against God, soiling His knowledge and violating their covenant to bring the pure knowledge of Jehovah to nations. Adultery always traumatizes the children, and what spiritual descendants from among the nations can we possibly bless if we cheat on their Father?

Hosea often spoke against the priests, the ones who confused or abused knowledge about God. The priests in Israel were to steward the knowledge of God as a microcosm of what Israel itself was to do. “As the people of YHWH they would have the historical task of bringing the knowledge of God to the nations, and bringing the nations to the means of atonement with God… Just as it was the role of priests to bless the Israelites, so it would be the role of Israel as a whole ultimately to be a blessing to all the nations.” [1]

When Israel committed adultery against Jehovah, they became an abomination like the thing they loved. “It was as Israel violated the first three commandments by having other gods, making images for worship, and misusing the name of the Lord that it abandoned the world view of the Pentateuch and adopted the limited worldview of its pagan neighbors… Hosea 4:7 speaks of Israel exchanging ‘their Glory for something disgraceful’ meaning an idol… Only as Israel held a high view of God, such as is taught in the Pentateuch and Psalms, did it maintain any sense of its destiny…of radiating God’s glory among the nations.” [2] We all become like what we worship/love, and to truly worship the God of all peoples is to become someone who always thinks about all peoples. Sensuality and idolatry always have the effect of removing our attention from the global other to the indulgent self.

If we reverse-engineer an interpretation of Hosea through a missionary lens and apply it to today’s context, the logic is straightforward, even if searing. Our destiny as the people of God is to radiate His glory among the nations. We do this by being in love with Him, by enjoying His intimate presence among us, and by actively inviting all peoples of the world to partake in the same joy. We realize that intimacy with Jesus demands and is defined by being His passionate missionary people. Ergo, if we are not fixated on radiating the glory of God to every people, we are not in love with Him, we are only enjoying an idolatrous and self-created version of His intimate presence, He does not really dwell among us, and we are no better than the prostitutes we despise, for our inwardness does nothing to rescue over 58,000,000 Yadav lost in Hinduism in India. Sound shocking? Well, yes. And that’s the whole point of Hosea.

[1] Christopher J. H. Wright. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2006. 330–331.
[2] John V. York. Missions in the Age of the Spirit. Springfield, MO: Logion Press, 2001. 47.

Prayer Focus: India (2,292 UPGs)

Today’s Unreached People Group: Yadav (Hindu Traditions)
Population: 58,339,000
Language: Hindi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Evangelical: 0.0%
Estimated Workers Needed: 1,167

[Source: Joshua Project]

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