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rebellious teen July 2 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Hosea 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Rebellion and Unrequited Love

Many times we, in our youth, forget all the things good parents do for us. We are embarrassed to introduce mom or dad to our friends. For some reason during that period of time, being with them is not cool and we want independence. Yet it is good parents that provide for all our needs and many of our wants. They consol us and hold us when we are sad. They bandage our physical and emotional wounds, read us a story, play baseball in the back yard with us or take us shopping. Good parents are our cheerleaders at special events. They also teach us to hunt and fish, or to sew and cook, and a myriad of other things. Good parents make many deposits into our lives. They would like to think they might receive some returns from their investments. But after all that most parents do for their children, many times teens or their adult children still turn their backs on them. Most come back to their parents to appreciate and honor them but not all. Some turn out to be rebels. This causes anger, frustration and grief to their parents. If we understand this, we understand how God feels. How do we deal with rebellion and unrequited love?

In today’s chronological Bible reading, Israel is on the precipice of judgment for her extreme wickedness and idolatry. The sirens of God's prophets have sounded warning them of an impending flood of judgment, the attack of Assyria. Instead of turning to God their spiritual parent for help, however, they seek aid from other nations.

In Judah, Ahaz is the new king and is also wicked. When Assyria threatens Israel and Judah, Ahaz looks to Egypt and Assyria for help. He even adopts the worship of Baal and offers his own sons up for a burnt offering to the detestable god, Molech. He closes God’s temple and sets up altars for worship in Jerusalem. For her sins, Israel will be destroyed and its people deported to Assyria, and then Assyria will move south and also attack many Judean towns. When the flood of Assyrian conquests threatens to carry Judah away, however, God will mercifully save Jerusalem, exercising His grace to her for 136 more years. God message to Israel and Judah for that time will be,

Judah must plow, and Jacob (Israel) must break up the ground. Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.

But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors, the roar of battle will rise against your people, so that all your fortresses will be devastated-- as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle, when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children. Thus will it happen to you, O Bethel [Israel], because your wickedness is great. When that day dawns, the king of Israel will be completely destroyed. (Hosea 10:11b-15, NIV)

Are we rebellious teens or adults? The remedy for Israel and Judah is our remedy: plow and break up the ground of your rebellious hearts, sow righteousness [which is only available through Christ] and reap God’s unfailing love (more...). Do not go on in your rebellious ways or you will be disciplined or destroyed. The time to act is now before judgment comes.

God (as a parent) reminisces about earlier times,

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim [Israel] to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them [they fell down a lot]. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck [in Egypt] and bent down to feed them [in the wilderness].” (Hosea 11:1-5, NIV)

Because of Israel’s refusal to repent, however, she will be destroyed by Assyria and taken captive for exile. There her captors will rule over her people instead of her kind spiritual parent, God. Certain destruction is determined for them.

“Swords will flash in their cities, will destroy the bars of their gates and put an end to their plans. My people are determined to turn from me.” Even if they call to the Most High, he will by no means exalt them, (Hosea 11:6-7, NIV).

Is God happy with the destruction of His people, His rebellious children? Not at all. There will be a future deliverance. In God’s mercy a remnant of His people will be saved. They will be brought back like trembling birds from Assyria and from other nations where they will be scattered. Once again they will be at home in their own land (Hosea 11:8-11).

But now [God says] “Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, the house of Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God, even against the faithful Holy One,” (Hosea 11:12, NIV).

Israel and Judah both look to other nations to deliver them from foreign invaders, but instead of help they receive harm. What does God require if His people want to return to him? Hosea 12:6 says “… you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.” Are we faithful or rebellious? What God requires of Israel and Judah, He also requires of us: we must live for Him, cling to Him, and wait for Him to deliver. He is the Faithful Holy One.

Ephraim [Israel] is proud, She is rich and feels secure, but she is also wicked. She cheats the poor and is guilty of murdering her own leaders. Furthermore, Ephraim shows contempt for God and His prophets. She is also idolatrous. Do we listen to God’s messengers or show contempt for God when He tries to intervene in our lives? Do we love our wealth and comfort more than we love God? Be sure, judgment will come (Hosea 12:7- 13:8). God says, “you are destroyed, O Israel, because you are against me, against your helper,” (Hosea 13:9, NIV). Are we unthankful? Are we against our helper, the very one who wants to bless us?

How do we repent and return to God? Hosea gives us the answer:

Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! [We must acknowledge our sin is the problem]. Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.” (Hosea 14:1-2, NIV)
We must confess our sins to God in a spirit of sincere contrition and ask His forgiveness if we would return to Him and be granted favor. If we do this, God promises to forgive us as He will forgive Israel (Hosea 14:4; 1 John 1:9, more...).

We, like Israel, have a choice - will we be rebellious or righteous? “Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them,” (Hosea 14:9, NIV).

Lessons to Live By (How to deal with rebellion and unrequited love)

  • Do not be against your helper (God), the very one who wants to bless you.
  • After giving warnings to others and urging repentance, sometimes we must let the consequences of wickedness take their course.
  • Give God, His servants, and your parents the respect and honor they deserve.
  • Israel and Judah's remedy for sin is our remedy: plow and break up the ground of your rebellious hearts, sow righteousness [which is only available through Christ] and reap God’s unfailing love. Do not go on in your rebellious ways or you will be disciplined or destroyed. The time to act is now before judgment comes.
  • How do we repent? Confess our sins to God in a spirit of sincere contrition and ask His forgiveness. If we do this, God promises to forgive us as He will forgive Israel (Hosea 14:4; 1 John 1:9, more...).
  • Are we faithful or rebellious? What God requires of Israel and Judah, His rebellious children, He also requires of us: We must live for Him, cling to Him, and wait for Him to deliver. He is the Faithful Holy One.

Today’s Bible Memory Verse

“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you,” (Hosea 10:12, NIV).

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

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