God will change your name, just like he did for the wives of Hosea.
The call of Hosea was to experience the broken heart of God personally. His call was to take a wife, Gomer, who would become unfaithful in marriage. And yet, Hosea was to remain bound to her in covenant faithfulness as a sign of God covenant love for His people.
It would seem that the first child she bore was likely in faithfulness. His name was to be called Jezreel as a sign of the judgment on King Jehu for taking his role as an instrument of judgment too far. The second two children were children born in unfaithfulness, Lo- ruhama (No Mercy) and Lo-Ammi (Not My People).
The children’s names conveyed YHWH’s concern for Israel’s spiritual adultery. The people had broken covenant faithfulness with YHWH and worshiped and served foreign gods and lords in Baal. They had placed their hope in foreign alliances and kings. Because of their spiritual and worldly adultery, they had given birth to judgment (no mercy) and divorce (not my people).
However, in spite of the people’s unfaithfulness and the coming judgment for their sin, YHWH will remain faithful to His covenant promises to them. He promises to restore and reunite His people (Hosea 1:10-11). God will redeem His marriage: “And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal’ (My Master)” (2:16). God changed their names and their status in Him.
The apostles and prophets of the New Testament will reflect on these verses in two ways. First, Jesus is the faithful Messianic Husband to the unfaithful Samaritan woman (See John 2:1-12; 3:29; 4:1-45). The descendants of Judah may have written off Samaria (the former capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel), but God had remembered His covenant with Israel and the promise of restoration through Hosea.
Also, Paul and Peter surprisingly apply the “not my people/my people” reversal to the inclusion of the Gentiles with the people of Israel in salvation under the one Messiah Jesus (See Romans 9:25-26; 11:25-32; 1 Peter 2:10).
The Apostle Peter says to the combined Jewish-Gentile church in Asia Minor:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people,, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” –1 Peter 2:9-10
To this day, God has remained steadfast in keeping His promises to restore and forgive. God will your name.
Lord, your love reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness stretches to the sky. Thank you for calling me, even when I was not calling to you. Thank you for changing my name.
This post originally appeared on The Bible Challenge.
My Great-Grandfather (my paternal grandmother’s father) Charles A. Tutewiler (1884-1922) wrote a beautiful Thanksgiving Day prayer which has been passed down in the family historic documents. He was marketing and advertising man working for several newspapers in Indianapolis and Jacksonville. In Jacksonville he started a well respected printing company, The Tutewiler Press. He lived a short life, 38 years young. His crowning achievement was my grandmother, Sally T. Holt, (affectionately known as “Muff” to us grandkids). Truly we have a great cloud of witnesses that has gone before who bear testimony to faith, love and family. The Holt’s extend to you a blessed Thanksgiving Day! May the Lord bless you and your families as you give thanks for all the Lord has done for you!
Thanksgiving Day Nov. 28th, 1918
A Thanksgiving Prayer
We thank Thee Lord, for this repast,
May all our Blessings, last and last.
To all those loved ones gathered here
Thou hast cast Thy gleam of Heavenly cheer.
Our love and faith will for’er last
In Thee, Dear Lord, Thy blessing cast.
Yea many loved ones are absent here,
We will not, Dear Savior, have a fear.
We know in Heaven, wherein they rest,
Thy vigilant watch doth guard their rest.
Written by Chas. Tutewiler, Sr. and offered by Charley Jr. at
Thanksgiving dinner. The guests on this pleasant occasion
were, Mr. & Mrs. Hollingsworth & sons, Harry & Charles,
Mr. Orcan Jihnson, Grandpa Goode & The Tutewilers.
There are times in life where we have to make tough choices between faithfulness to God and faithfulness to other powers and authorities. The more corrupt the society and environment around us become, the greater the likelihood that we will face such a choice as Daniel was faced with in Daniel chapter 6. Like Daniel, we live in a fallen world where the adversaries of the people of God are active and intentional in their desire to entrap and ensnare. One of the biggest traps is that of competing loyalties. Taking a stand for the right choice in the right moment requires clarity of self.
Would Daniel as a faithful adviser to the King AND a worshiping, God-fearing man choose to forsake faithfulness to one in order to obey the other? Obey the king, and you must renounce prayer to the Lord; obey the Lord’s call to prayer, and you disobey the edict of the king. Daniel was a person of deep integrity; his adversaries “could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent” (Daniel 6:5). So they purposed to create a conflict between loyalties between king and God. They passed a “decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to [the King] shall be thrown into the lions’ den” (Daniel 6:7).
Daniel’s principles governed his decisions, the Lord’s command always trumps the edicts of human governance. He would continue to pray three times a day to the Lord despite the threat of certain punishment to the lion’s den. Jesus faced a similar “catch 22” as He stood before Pilate and was asked if He was a King. To answer “yes” would mean a certain death sentence for opposition to Caesar; to say “no” would be a denial of His true calling. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.” He entrusted Himself to the heavenly Father.
To make such a stand in service of a Kingdom that is not of this world—to an unseen God—often seems ludicrous and foolish to a proud world. But, such self-sacrifice and humiliation in the service of God’s kingdom may serve to further His Divine plan in some unknown way. This has been the history of redemption through the ages. God uses the folly of self-sacrifice to redeem and transform the world. We may never know who will be inspired by our stand for what is right, but we should know that we are always being watched by those around us. We should never underestimate the power of the leader who is upright and walks with integrity to inspire others to the same. Daniel’s willingness to be martyred for his faith and subsequent vindication at the hand of God impressed the king himself. He decreed and proclaimed that Daniel’s God is the Living God whose Kingdom will not be destroyed, and whose dominion will never end! (Daniel 6:26)
In Christian terms, this is called our witness. Are we willing to make our witness to truth and righteousness, and most importantly are we willing to make our witness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? The witness of any one follower of God is costly in ways that no other person will ever fully be able to understand—financially, relationally, physically, and spiritually. And no one can dictate for another the manner of another’s sacrifice. The disciple is free to lay down his life of his own volition. A life laid down for Jesus will never be in vain.
Featured image: “Daniellion” by After Briton Rivière – Manchester City Art Gallery [sic!]. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Daniellion.jpg#/media/File:Daniellion.jpg
In the book of Philippians, both Paul and the Philippians were experiencing difficult situations of persecution in their lives due to their commitment to the Gospel. Paul was imprisoned for the Gospel by the imperial guard in Rome. From an earthly perspective, this could become the occasion of tremendous stress, worry, and despair. Paul used the example of his own sufferings to help the Philippians see a different way of looking at the trials of life.
First, Paul sees the incredible fruit that is being brought forth by his imprisonment (1:12-18). The entire guard is hearing Christ proclaimed; the faithful are being encouraged to boldness because of Paul’s witness; and Paul’s rivals are seeing an opportunity to gain a place in the pulpit for their own selfish gain. Yet, in all of these things Paul rejoices because “Christ is proclaimed” (1:18).
Secondly, Paul has a different way of looking at the sufferings of this life because of the glorious resurrection life to come (1:19-26). In a “to be or not to be” reflection, Paul reveals that whether he lives or dies, he knows that he is blessed in Jesus Christ. He knows that if he dies, it will result in being with Christ. His continued life means more fruitful labor for the church. So either way Paul is filled with joy. Live or die, he simply can’t lose!
In chapter 4:6-9, Paul will encourage the Philippians to lay aside their own anxiety in their struggles by turning their worries over to God in prayer with thanksgiving and by setting their mind on that which is glorious and good. If they will give God their troubles in prayer, God will protect their hearts from anxiety.
Even though Paul is under guard of Rome, his heart and mind are guarded by the peace of God, so he can rejoice in the LORD. The same Peace of God will guard the members of the Philippian Church as they focus their attention away from their trials and onto the Lord and the blessings of their lives:
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7
As citizens in a fallen world, you are guarded in persecution because of the Gospel. As citizens of heaven, you are guarded for eternal life in the unfathomable peace of God.
Prayer: Almighty God, today I am concerned about many things, yet you are in control of all of them. You are sovereign. Help me LORD that I may rest under divine guard and protection with my heart and mind trusting you for the outworking of your plan for my life. Amen.
This post originally appeared on The Bible Challenge.