Monday: A Trained Heifer
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Read Hosea 10:11-13.

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

What message is the Lord giving to His people here? How do we understand the phrase, “until he comes and showers righteousness on you”? (NIV).

In Hosea 10, God’s child Ephraim is compared to a trained heifer who loves to thresh grain because she could eat as she threshed. Thus, instead of being productive, Israel’s existence had become self-centered. When God yokes Israel to work in open fields as the nation should, righteousness and kindness will grow.

In Bible times, the yoke was an instrument of service. Young beasts of burden were trained to be docile by working first on the threshing floor (Jer. 50:11). While yoked, they simply would tread out corn with their feet. At the next stage, they pulled a threshing sledge over the corn (2 Sam. 24:22, NIV). This type of work prepared them for the more disciplined task of plowing a furrow in a field (1 Kings 19:19Jer. 4:3). God had a similar plan in His training of Israel. He would put a yoke on Ephraim’s fair neck to make him work hard in the plowing and breaking up of the soil.

In Hosea 10:12 the prophet presents what the Lord desires Israel to be through obedience to His word. Righteousness and steadfast love are the gifts promised by God to His wife when the covenant is renewed (Hos. 2:19). If people sow righteousness, they will reap kindness in return. Only by searching for the Lord and His will can Israel be delivered from the coming punishment. The door of mercy is still open for possible repentance on the part of God’s chosen people.

The admonition to sow righteousness concerns people-to-people relationships; the search for God concerns the relation between God and His people. The breaking up of the soil represents spiritual and social reform and renewal. The Lord and His people will work together in a mutual relationship to bring blessings back to the land. The results will be a glorious blossoming that will fill the whole earth (Hos. 14:5-7).

Read Christ’s invitation to take His yoke upon ourselves (Matt. 11:28-30). How can learning from Christ to be “gentle and humble in heart” (NIV) help us to find rest for our souls?

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Monday: A Trained Heifer — 11 Comments

  1. God's word is really sure in describing the Israelites in the book of Hosea, it is true to our generations we are faithful but slow in sharing and showing our true God we serve

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  2. When I relax and do what I know God wants me to do in a day, I can consentrate on Him and doing the good things. I have peace in my heart and I am moving forward even though my situation may not be "good" and I may be walking through very tough circumstances. The working and trusting bring me peace in a chaotic and stressful world. I love this illustration that Jesus gave and is found here in Hosea about the methodical work under a yoke being a light burden for me in my journey through my day and life. Steady as she goes!

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  3. When we humble ourself to God will for our lives there is peace. This peace is different cause it looks beyond the bad of our situation and show us a future that is going to be better. It also allows us to trewat others with kindness and that helps with making peace.

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  4. The lighter the cross i bear, The heavier the road i travel.
    The heavier the cross i bear, the lighter the road i travel.
    I like Jesus' illustration 'Take my yoke'. And 'My burden is light'.

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  5. Here again the Lord is speaking to people who have known God, ( taught in His ways) sustained and provided for them, but have willfully decided to live in their own power.
    The desire of the Lord is for me and you to return to Him, walk in His power and light, then and only then can we manage to sow seeds of mercy,kindness and love.He desires to restore our relationship with Him.
    This relationship can only be restored through revil and reformation in our individual lives.
    Thank God that despite our waywardness, He is still calling us to be partners in soul winning and He wants us to share and mantain this relationship beyond this life.

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  6. When God places a yoke upon you, He surely places His arms underneath you. All we need to learn is to follow Him closely as he leads. Be blessed.

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  7. [Moderator Note: Please use full name when commenting]

    In Isaiah 45:8 God pours down righteousness as the rain, and if and when God pours down righteousness it should open our hearts to bring forth salvation and righteousness together. Hosea also assures his people of the abundant blessings that would revive and nourish their spiritual life. Ask God to open your eyes to see all His many blessings all around you. Just listen to your heart beat and being able to breath and if you can read this message you are blessed with a tool(internet) to serve God and learn all about Him. God wants to pur our His blessings His righteousness on us too today.

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  8. [Moderator Note: Please use full name when commenting]

    I'm not so clear about the concept in the lesson. Is it teaching us that Jesus has taught us his ways but we decide to chose our own wrong paths? Can somebody please help me understand?

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  9. [Moderator note: please use first and last names when commenting on this site. Thanks!]

    By taking on Jesus yoke, we take the focus off ourselves with all our worldly selfishness & are able to help others.

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