Today’s Reading: Hos 11:1–12:14, Acts 5:1–42, Job 16:10–22
Today’s Theme: The attributes of God
Today we read about just some of the wonderful attributes of God which should fill us with awe and faith. In the New Testament we see God’s order, structure and life in the early church.
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. Hosea 11:1 (ESV)
This like much of the Old Testament has dual meanings on one hand it speaks of Israel but the New Testament also uses it to speak of Christ.
God has called us out of Egypt in a sense if we consider Egypt as representing the world system.
The motivation in all three cases (Israel, Jesus, us) is God’s love for us.
God, our loving Father
I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them. Hosea 11:4 (ESV)
God is a loving Father to His people Israel, be encouraged by this today that He loves you as a father, His leading in our lives is motivated by His love.
God is compassionate
How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. Hosea 11:8 (ESV)
God has great affection and compassion for His people, I just thank God that He is not like man.
We should be like God as Jesus showed us in His life and ministry. We should show compassion (compassion noun. – a deep awareness of and sympathy for another’s suffering.).
God, the true Lion
They shall go after the LORD; he will roar like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west; Hosea 11:10 (ESV)
God is the true Lion, He roars and His people come to Him. This is such a picture of authority and power, God is not some lonely man on a hill just wishing people would follow Him, He is a mighty, sovereign God in operation drawing and saving His people with all authority.
Don’t feed on wind
Ephraim feeds on the wind and pursues the east wind all day long; they multiply falsehood and violence; they make a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried to Egypt. Hosea 12:1 (ESV)
A picture of the futility of our pursuits without and against God. It is like feeding on wind, it will bring no satisfaction.
Also the winds of false doctrine are empty and cannot satisfy.
God the Wise One
I spoke to the prophets; it was I who multiplied visions, and through the prophets gave parables. Hosea 12:10 (ESV)
God declaring His glory as the revealer of visions and parables. Our God knows everything and is wise, these are two of His eternal attributes.
God’s guards for His people
By a prophet the LORD brought Israel up from Egypt, and by a prophet he was guarded. Hosea 12:13 (ESV)
The Prophet Moses was used as a guard for the people of Israel, this is also true today, our pastors are guards and shepherds over the flock. Paul admonishes the elders/pastors and leaders to watch over the doctrine, to guard and defend it. Doctrine matters.
Thank God for the guards he has given us.
Don’t be dishonest
and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Acts 5:2 (ESV)
It was not that they were obligated to give it all, the problem here is that they were acting as if they gave the full price of the land when they did not as Peter mentions later.
The lesson is simple, we should not be dishonest.
You can’t lie to God
While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” Acts 5:4 (ESV)
This is the most foolish position any man can take. God is all knowing and wise, how can man lie to Him and hope to get away with it… well it happens all the time and shows the depravity and unsound thinking of our fallen nature. We need to be regenerated. We need the Holy Spirit.
Discipline from God
When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. Acts 5:5 (ESV)
God still uses this sort of discipline today. This one was recorded for our instruction but God will judge and chastise severely and openly to cut out rot and deception in the church.
Jesus died to save the church and will move to preserve her when necessary, but as noted earlier in today’s reading this is done mostly through pastoral leadership, good elders, exposition of the Bible and biblical church discipline which all give the church biblical discernment.
My own thought (it is possible that the Lord so drastically cut off these deceivers because the church was in such early days and this culture of falsity needed to be dealt with, also that maybe the elders were not yet trained and mature enough to deal with this sort of manipulation etc).
The Fear of God
And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. Acts 5:11 (ESV)
God’s purpose in this judgement was that the fear of God would be established in and through the church.
Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. Acts 5:12 (ESV)
Again notice these are by the hand of the apostles and not just any believer.
None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. Acts 5:13 (ESV)
In those days joining the church was no casual thing. This is still the case in areas of the world where the church is persecuted. Let’s pray that the serious nature of church membership would be revived.
Delivered by Angels
“Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” Acts 5:20 (ESV)
The command of the angels shows the purpose in their mission to free the apostles was not for them to escape into hiding on this occasion but to Go, Stand and Speak the gospel.
Thank God that he sends angels in answer to our prayers to deliver His people.
Teaching the people
And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” Acts 5:25 (ESV)
Like Jesus, this was often the mission of the apostles. Man has been so deceived that teaching in the truth is one of his greatest needs.
The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” Acts 5:30–32 (ESV)
Peters third sermon as it were and in it we find some good definition and summary of the beliefs of the early church.
The enduring Church
but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, Acts 5:39 (ESV)
…and time has proven that this is of God because we are still here today.
Elected to suffer
Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. Acts 5:41 (ESV)
Do we rejoice in being elected to suffer for His name, if not we need to check our hearts.
that he would argue the case of a man with God, as a son of man does with his neighbor. Job 16:21 (ESV)
Here is a nod to the Old Testament understanding / revelation of the trinity (God bringing a case before God).
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Acts 5