So now, come back to your God. Act with love and justice, and always depend on him. Hosea 12:6 NLT
The Advent season is a time of waiting. Christ came to earth as a child 2000 years ago and said He would return again. How should we live while we are waiting?
When I was growing up there was something unique that happened while shopping in Kmart stores- the Blue Light Special. “Shoppers, shoppers we have a blue light special in homewares for the next 5 minutes.” When you arrived in homewares there would be a line of people waiting to get the discounted items before the time ran out.
How did people react when arriving at the Blue Light Special? Some complained that they were too slow in getting to the line. Some were evaluating the worth of waiting for the valued item. Some complained that there should be a different way to distribute the items. Some were trying to figure out where the next blue light special was going to take place. Some were thankful for the special deal they received. All had to wait some length of time in order to receive the merchandise, and they spent their time in some way.
Hosea provides straightforward instruction for us to follow while we are waiting on God. First, our lives have to turn or return to God as the provider of all things – repent. In this passage, Hosea has been figuratively referring to Jacob and Ephraim as depending on their own strength and looking for idols to meet their needs. Like them, we need to repent.
Repentance means that we acknowledge we have been living life in and by our own strength, but now we follow God’s ways, all the time. Where there is no turning – there is no repentance. We are continuing to walk in our old path of living with thoughts that we should be better. Good thoughts are not repentance. Turning requires first a broken and contrite heart that we violated God’s path for our lives and then lifestyle actions reflecting our decision to turn. We change behavior and attitude.
Second, and probably the most instructive about what to do while we are waiting (living daily life), we are to keep covenant and justice. The phrase “act with love“ is the Hebrew word “hesed” which is the most intimate term of covenantal relationship that we share with God. Hosea is saying that above all guard, watch, keep, preserve, maintain, have actions in your life that nurture this love relationship with God as the primary activity in your life. Going to church each week is just showing up to the game. We need to daily worship, pray, read his word, talk with God, obey his voice, let Him be involved in EVERY arena of your life. When you do this, you are beginning to keep hesed. This is a rich word in the OT and worth more study.
Hosea also says that we should guard or act with justice. Intimacy with God (hesed) leads to following his ways of living (doing justice). He has provided his judgments that help us know how to conduct our affairs of living personally but more importantly with others. God wants us to interact with people that reveal that we are living by a higher standard of conduct(God’s). This means that we should be involved in our work, neighborhood, communities and city in such a way that invites God’s kingdom life upon us. We spread blessings in our words and actions. As Jesus walked and lived among us, He revealed much of the hypocrisy that was hidden in the way we treat people. God wants us to be involved with his justice while we are waiting.
Finally, Hosea tells us that we need to wait or depend on the Lord. What in your life are you waiting on God to fulfill? Family salvation, financial breakthrough, vocational opportunities, physical healing, or direction for your life are struggles that we all face while waiting on God to act. While you are waiting….act in love and justice. It’a nor something you do later. Love and justice is the choice of primary activity while you await the second coming of Christ.
Blessings Love y’all