Will God have mercy? What do you think? When lies are spouted from every fountain of misinformation, when judgment is as twisted as a corkscrew, when the people have no discernment of character, when the pretend prophets fawn upon the royal candidate, and he (yes, he) thinks in his heart, These fools will get me elected. The name of Christ is profaned among us and we don't know the Old Testament prophets well enough to get it. We think we are right with our might, and our guns, and our violence, and our prejudice against anyone who is not like us.
When judgment flourishes as venom, then judgment, not mercy, from the one who is Above, is called for. The pretenders will bear their guilt. Let us hope that the shame will be redemptive and that we will turn away from the militarized violence that is in our hands. We are no different from those we despise. How else could we see into their hearts?
Reread Hosea 10. And then read 11.
|כִּ֛י נַ֥עַר יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וָאֹהֲבֵ֑הוּ |
וּמִמִּצְרַ֖יִם קָרָ֥אתִי לִבְנִֽי
|1||When Israel was a youth I loved him, |
and out of Egypt I called my child.
|קָרְא֖וּ לָהֶ֑ם |
כֵּ֚ן הָלְכ֣וּ מִפְּנֵיהֶ֔ם לַבְּעָלִ֣ים יְזַבֵּ֔חוּ וְלַפְּסִלִ֖ים יְקַטֵּרֽוּן
|2||They called to them? So they went away from their presence. |
To the Baals they sacrifice. To the graven images they burn incense.
|וְאָנֹכִ֤י תִרְגַּ֙לְתִּי֙ לְאֶפְרַ֔יִם קָחָ֖ם עַל־זְרֽוֹעֹתָ֑יו |
וְלֹ֥א יָדְע֖וּ כִּ֥י רְפָאתִֽים
|3||And I myself made Ephraim stride, taking them on his arm, |
but they did not know that I healed them.
|בְּחַבְלֵ֨י אָדָ֤ם אֶמְשְׁכֵם֙ בַּעֲבֹת֣וֹת אַהֲבָ֔ה וָאֶהְיֶ֥ה לָהֶ֛ם כִּמְרִ֥ימֵי עֹ֖ל עַ֣ל לְחֵיהֶ֑ם |
וְאַ֥ט אֵלָ֖יו אוֹכִֽיל
|4||With human ropes I drew them out, with cords of love. And I became to them as one who contributes a shackle on their cheeks, |
though I stretched out to him to provide food.
|לֹ֤א יָשׁוּב֙ אֶל־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם וְאַשּׁ֖וּר ה֣וּא מַלְכּ֑וֹ |
כִּ֥י מֵאֲנ֖וּ לָשֽׁוּב
|5||Not he will return to the land of Egypt but Ashur himself will be his king, |
for they would not return.
|וְחָלָ֥ה חֶ֙רֶב֙ בְּעָרָ֔יו וְכִלְּתָ֥ה בַדָּ֖יו וְאָכָ֑לָה |
|6||And sword will dance on his cities and will consume his shafts and feed on them, |
from their conspiracies.
|וְעַמִּ֥י תְלוּאִ֖ים לִמְשֽׁוּבָתִ֑י |
וְאֶל־עַל֙ יִקְרָאֻ֔הוּ יַ֖חַד לֹ֥א יְרוֹמֵם
|7||And my people, uncertain whether to turn away from me, |
though to the Above they call together, he will not exalt them.
|אֵ֞יךְ אֶתֶּנְךָ֣ אֶפְרַ֗יִם אֲמַגֶּנְךָ֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֵ֚יךְ אֶתֶּנְךָ֣ כְאַדְמָ֔ה אֲשִֽׂימְךָ֖ כִּצְבֹאיִ֑ם |
נֶהְפַּ֤ךְ עָלַי֙ לִבִּ֔י יַ֖חַד נִכְמְר֥וּ נִחוּמָֽי
|8||How will I yield you Ephraim? I shield you, Israel? How will I yield you as Admah? I set you as Tseboym? |
Changed against me is my heart. Together fevered are my sighs.
|לֹ֤א אֶֽעֱשֶׂה֙ חֲר֣וֹן אַפִּ֔י לֹ֥א אָשׁ֖וּב לְשַׁחֵ֣ת אֶפְרָ֑יִם |
כִּ֣י אֵ֤ל אָֽנֹכִי֙ וְלֹא־אִ֔ישׁ בְּקִרְבְּךָ֣ קָד֔וֹשׁ וְלֹ֥א אָב֖וֹא בְּעִֽיר
|9||I will not undertake my fierce anger nor return Ephraim to destruction, |
for I am God and not man, and near you is the Holy One, so I will not enter into into the city.
|אַחֲרֵ֧י יְהוָ֛ה יֵלְכ֖וּ כְּאַרְיֵ֣ה יִשְׁאָ֑ג |
כִּֽי־ה֣וּא יִשְׁאַ֔ג וְיֶחֶרְד֥וּ בָנִ֖ים מִיָּֽם
|10||After Yahweh they will walk. As a lion he roars. |
For he himself roars, and children from the sea are apprehensive.
|יֶחֶרְד֤וּ כְצִפּוֹר֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם וּכְיוֹנָ֖ה מֵאֶ֣רֶץ אַשּׁ֑וּר |
וְהוֹשַׁבְתִּ֥ים עַל־בָּתֵּיהֶ֖ם נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה ס
|11||They are apprehensive as a bird from Egypt, and as a dove from the land of Ashur, |
and I will have them settle in their houses. An oracle of Yahweh.