Hosea: God will Heal His People
By Sarah Snyder
One of my favorite books of the Bible is Hosea; not only does it contain typical prophetic poetry, but it also has a story line. It was written during the reign of Jeroboam II, probably the worst king in all of Israel (2 Kings 14). Throughout this story and through Hosea’s prophecy from God, we hear an incredible message: God will heal and save His people despite constant rebellion.
The book begins by God instructing Hosea to take a prostitute as a wife. It says in 1:2 “Go marry a prostitute who will bear illegitimate children conceived through prostitution, because the nation continually commits spiritual prostitution by turning away from the Lord.” So Hosea takes Gomer as his wife and she gives him three children. However, just as God said, Gomer returns to her ways and begins prostituting again.
One of the most beautiful moments in this passage is chapter 3. In this short chapter, God calls Hosea to go and retrieve Gomer and rescue her from her sinful ways. So Hosea goes and finds his wife and brings her home. Verse 1 says, “The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show your love to your wife again, even though she loves another man and continually commits adultery. Likewise, the Lord loves the Israelites although they turn to other gods and love to offer raisin cakes to idols.’” The end of this verse is very telling, though the Israelites continue to worship other god, God loves them and will bring them home. The story of Hosea and Gomer is a reflection into the story of God and the Israelites. Though they continue to rebel, God will bring them back to him.
There are two final moments in this book where God shows his love to Israel. Starting in chapter 4, Hosea announces Israel’s ruin if they do not repent. This is how the rest of the book flows, prophecies of Israel's doom if they do not repent. However, in chapter 11, God reminds the Israelites that he will restore them. Then again in chapter 14, the very last chapter, God says “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely” (14:4). Though this book is compelling Israel to repent from their wicked ways, God will continue to love his people and restore them.
The final verse of the book offers us great insight into God’s desire to heal and restore not only Israel, but all of humanity. This verse is from the author, the one who compiled Hosea’s writings. He starts by asking who is wise and discerning. Then he says, “For the ways of the Lord are right; the godly walks in them, but in them the rebellious stumble.” The author is telling us that this message from Hosea applies even today. God will continue to heal his people, despite their constant rebellion.
For more information watch this video.
- Calvary Baptist Temple posted an announcement
Online-Only This Sunday, August 16thIn an effort to ensure everyone's safety, we will continue to remain online-only this Sunday, August 16th. Pastor Kenny is feeling much better and so far no one else has gotten sick! As long as this remains to be the case, we will return Sunday, August 23rd!
- ReadUpdate Regarding Services
August 7, 2020
Dear Calvary Family
Let us first start off by saying that Pastor Kenny is continuing to recover well and has made improvements. While he is not 100%, he is doing much better and hopes to return to Calvary soon!
Per our last update, we have decided that it was best to cancel on-site services for this Sunday and have them online-only. In an effort to follow the protocol from the CDC, we will have online-only services next Sunday, August 16th, as well. This will give us the proper 14-day break needed to ensure no one else has gotten sick.
On that note, we are encouraged that no other staff or our members have gotten sick in light of this Pastor Kenny's case! Praise be to God!
Here are a few updates as we transition to online-only for the next two weeks:
- We will continue to have Vincent Whelan's Connect Class online.
- The Paper Goods Drive for the Living Vine will be pushed back two weeks making the last drop off September 13th.
- You can continue to get Walmart Gift Cards for the Baxely Children's Home that can either be mailed into the church or a donation can be designated in your giving. The final drop off for the gift cards will be September 13th.
As long as the staff continue to remain healthy, the church office will open on Monday, August 10th.
We thank you for you thoughts and prayers during this time! We are blessed to continue to have services and we can't wait to see you all again in a few weeks!
The Calvary Staff
- ReadUpdate Regarding Pastor Kenny
August 5, 2020
We have just learned that Pastor Kenny tested positive for Covid19. While he assures us he has turned a corner and the worst is behind him, he will be recovering for another week or so. Please continue to pray for him!
Meanwhile, for the benefit of the church staff and all of our members, we have begun working on our plan to ensure the Church follows all protocols in temporarily closing and cleaning. While the plan is still being formulated, we do know for certain we will return to online services this Sunday.
Our church staff will be working from home at least through this coming Monday. None of our staff have shown any symptoms, for which we thank the Lord. Note that the office itself will be closed but the phones will be forwarded and still covered.
We will be working diligently to provide you the details for changes in all activities that may be effected during this time.
In His Grip,
The Calvary Staff
- ReadMen's Revival Postponed
August 2, 2020
Dear Calvary Family,
In light of Tropical Storm Isaias, we have decided to postpone the Real Momentum Men's Revival to the week of August 31-September 4.
Thank you for your patience and understanding! Please be in prayer for this Revival and that the storm will be minimal.
Pastor Kenny Grant
The Justice of God
By Chris Watson
In this week’s Bible readings we find ourselves arriving at a very familiar Bible story, the story of Jonah. Oftentimes when his life’s story is taught, we discuss obedience vs. disobedience to God. The story goes that the Word of the Lord came to Jonah to speak to the evil city of Ninevah. Jonah rather than carry out the Word of the Lord to these people, boards a boat headed thousands of miles the other direction. God exercises His authority over the winds and seas to cause the ship’s crew to throw Jonah overboard. God saves Jonah and after 3 days in the belly of a fish, Jonah repents and is sent back to Ninevah to carry out the Word of the Lord. We find that the people of this dreadful city repent and God spares them. It is at this point that we typically finish with the story of Jonah and marvel at God’s power, grace, and mercy.
There’s a second part of the story of Jonah that I don’t want us to miss. Let’s not forget Jonah’s response to the grace and mercy shown to the Ninevites. Jonah wants justice for the actions of the Ninevites. In fact, he tells God in Jonah 4:2, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.” He wants justice to be served on the people of Ninevah. He wishes that grace wouldn’t be bestowed upon them because he doesn’t believe they deserve it. So, as if spending 3 days in the belly of a fish wasn’t enough to teach Jonah about the grace of God, the Lord teaches him another lesson. As Jonah goes to sit outside the city and wait to see what God is going to do with them, God allows a plant to grow up over Jonah to give him shade and avoid discomfort in the heat of the day. The next day, God has a worm go eat the plant so that the plant is no longer there to give him relief from the heat and sun. As Jonah is filled with anger about the plant, God shows Jonah why this happened. There is nothing Jonah did to “earn” the right to have the plant to provide him shade. He did not plant it. He did not water it. He did not toil to prevent the weeds from growing up alongside it. However, God allowed the plant to grow, and then be taken away.
Is God’s Justice not being carried out to your liking? Do you often wonder why bad things happen to “good people,” while wicked people continue to prosper? 2 Peter 3:8-9 says, But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.