Hosea 11: Learning from Our History
It is interesting that in Hosea 11, we basically get the story of Israel in a nutshell.
Hos 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
Hos 11:2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
They were people that were called by God, but they were also people who continually wandered away. Even though they had this history of miraculous happenings and seemingly obvious signs of divine Providence, they started to follow other gods, particularly Baal.
I think about this in relation to our own life stories. For example, how easy is it for us to slide away just like the people of Israel despite the fact that I am sure that we all can identify some times where God was clearly at work? It becomes more about what we think God has done for us lately than all that He has done for years.
Of course, there is no easy answer for this one. I think that we can get too caught up in the present. Obviously, it is good to live in the now. It isn’t helpful to live in the past. However, at the same time we need to remember that it also is not good to totally disregard our history.
History is important because it can help us make better decisions in the future. It can help us understand that maybe something went well in the past. The people of Israel would have known that perhaps it was a good thing to follow God. It counts as evidence. On the flip side, it also points out that there are plenty of things that can go wrong, and we can avoid those. Israel had plenty of blemishes as well.
In either situation, history would have been useful as either a reinforcement or correction. Like the people of Israel, we can certainly learn.