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November 10, 2019 – Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost – Prophetic Hindsight

Hosea 11:1-9                                                         Hosea
(Mark 10:13-14)

           The benefit of hindsight is great. Often we see things we had no way of seeing before, or we see things whose significance we did not recognize in the past, or in the moment. We receive warnings in advance, and yet we do not heed those warnings. We say that we’ll never do that, and then when we’re there, we do just that.

           This passage in Hosea comes to us from a prophetic point of view. Hosea is, after all, a prophet, who comes to speak to the people of Israel. Often viewed as a prophet of doom, during the decline and fall of the northern kingdom, Hosea’s name means salvation. It’s not a book of comfortable metaphor or message, as it describes a faithful God married to a whore in the people of Israel.

           By the time we get to this chapter and this passage, we have heard a lot of negative prophetic warning happening. We hear it in the beginning of this passage as well. Often we view those negatives as threats. But hear the tone of the rest of the passage, in which God describes being unable to destroy God’s people. Can you hear in this passage the words we say about ourselves, and our own children? Can you hear the echoes of hindsight in the words of prophecy?