We just finished the first part of our Hosea study. I enjoyed the study. It’s very different from the New Testament study. The language is very extreme, but behind the language I see a beautiful picture of the truth about God. I think Hosea captured the message very clearly and very emotionally. Hosea’s message is simply verse 8.
She shall pursue her lovers, but not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them. Then she shall say, “I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better with me then than now.” She did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished upon her silver and gold that they used for Baal.
Main Message of Hosea
This is the main message of Hosea. It is God who lavished upon Israelites, but the Israelites did not know that it was God, and they went to Baal and they gave gold and silver to Baal for a blessing.
God Gave us Abundance
My friends, it is God who has provided all we need and beyond. God lavished upon us all the good things that we enjoy in life. Not just the material things, the totality of life. I was thinking, would God be able to give more than what he gave? Is there any more things to give on God’s part? And I realized that there’s nothing more he could give. He gave all the abundance.
When I was young, I could only imagine going to heaven. I could not imagine beyond this. You can eat whatever you want, there are all kinds of abundance, all kinds of things that you enjoy. That’s what heaven was like when I was young. So God has provided all good things for us, but it’s not just material things. We have to remember, God did not just give you material things. God gave you peace, God gave you happiness. God gave you good friends, good family and good people who will always there for you. Life is not just material. Life is more than a lot of things, and God gave all of us all good things. In that sense, life is a gift from God. Yes, life is a gift from God. He provided all good things, so I believe that says that life is a gift from God.
Peace Through Chaos
Last week and the week before were tough for me because I had two retreats back to back and I had two funerals back to back. First I had a funeral on Thursday night, and then a funeral on Saturday, a Friday morning funeral, a Friday evening funeral, Saturday morning. Too many funerals. Too many reflections on death. It was tough. But you know what? In the midst of a very busy and hectic schedule, I had peace of mind. Where did that peace come from? I don’t know. I could very well be frustrated and stressed out. I didn’t even try to make myself feel good, but peace was there. So I sit down, I’m stressed out, I’m frustrated and all that, but where did that peace come from? I realized that life is like that. That’s what life is. When you face hardships, difficulties, and problems in life, life has it’s own way of finding peace. That’s what I realized. Life moves into that direction. Life knows how to find peace and happiness on it’s own. I don’t have to even try anything, life just moves towards that. That’s what I realized about life. Because life is a gift from God, it is made to be that way.
Whether you’re religious or not, you will find peace, comfort and assurance if you don’t ruin it yourself by being angry and frustrated. We are often the culprit of our own unhappiness. We are the ones who block the way. We are the ones who don’t let our lives find peace and comfort and assurance. We are the problem. If we just move ourselves outside of it, life will find it’s way, but we are the ones who make ourselves frustrated, angry and stressed out. Life is a gift from God and it will know how to find it’s own giftedness and its own peace and it’s own happiness, and yet we are in the middle and we are making ourselves very unhappy. We are the problem.
The 7th, Most Important Day
About the nature of life, and our life force, I realized that God made our life that way. I thank God for that. For six days God created heaven and earth. The material things. First day, second day, third day, he created all of these things, mountains and oceans, and all material things. After he created all those material things for six days on the seventh day, what did he do? He rested. Why? Was it because he was tired? Can God be tired? Since he worked so much for six days, on the 7th day he had to take a rest? I don’t think so. He left the seventh day to rest and he let every creation on the seventh day rest. He created rest, and without peace there is no rest. Just because you physically rest, that doesn’t mean that you’re rested. If you don’t have peace, then you don’t have true rest. In other words, God gave peace on the seventh day.
Peace was builtin in God’s creation from the beginning. The 7th day is more important than the six days. In six days, he created all the material things. On the seventh day he created the crucial thing that we need, which is rest, peace and all those things that make us happy.
When you look at the scripture of Genesis, God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it because on it, God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. God not only created all the trees, flowers, oceans, mountains, rivers, animals and human beings, on the seventh day, God blessed them. In other words, he added blessing to the materials. So what you get is not just materials. What you get is blessed materials. You have all the materials, but don’t have joy. What good is it? God not only gave materials, but blessed materials. The happiness with it, the joy with it so that you can have appreciation for the abundance you enjoy. That is what God wants.
God Gave Enough
Then how come people don’t seem to be very happy with life when they have all the abundance they can get? You can’t get any better. You can’t get any more than this. If you want more than this, that’s greed. Wake up. If you want more material than this, that’s greed. We have more than enough. God gave enough.
The reason we human beings are not happy is because, Hosea saw it this way; verse 8, she did not know that it was I. That’s a problem. (She is Israelites). She did not know that it was I who gave her the green, the wine and the oil, who lavished upon her silver and gold that they used for Baal. The problem is she did not know that it was God. The reason we cannot enjoy all the abundance and live with happiness is because we don’t know it is God who provided all these good things for us. She used silver and gold for Baal. That’s an idol. She went to Baal thinking that Baal can give her true happiness. How true that is for us right now. When God gave all the abundance, we turned to something else and asked for blessing. Asked for happiness. We often forget that God is the source of all the blessings and all the good things that we enjoy. We try to create our own happiness. Try it. You can never. Our autonomy has become our own Baal. Our ability and capability have become our own Baal. But you don’t realize that your self centeredness kills your soul and takes away the true joy you’re supposed to experience. The more we try to create our own happiness, the more miserable we become, because the source of happiness is in God. It is God who created all that. It is God who gives all that.
Two Things Humans Have Done
There are two things human beings did. One, they have forgotten that it is God who has provided all the good things in our lives. Two, they have become self centered and self absorbed to create their own happiness. The result, we have become very unhappy and feel very empty. That’s exactly what happened. That’s what happened to people in history. That’s what’s happening to people right now, and that’s what will happen to people in the future because that isn’t how God made life.
Two Things Humans Must Do
If life is a gift, we need to do two things. One, be thankful to those who gave the gift. Be thankful to God who gave you the gift of life. Two, share the gift of life with others. Share. If it is a gift, share it. Don’t take it all. Share it with others. Be thankful and share, those two things. Very simple. If life is a gift, then we always live with thankfulness that will drive away all our worries, anxieties, frustration, all that. Two, share it. By sharing it, you will experience the abundance of life. When you are thankful and you share your life, that’s when you become the happiest. Life when it is shared shows it’s best, and you start enjoying the beauty of life. If you remember these two things, your life will only get better.
A good life is not a good life because nothing bad happens. A good life is a good life because in the midst of all the bad things that happen in life, we will never lose hope and the beauty of life. That’s when life becomes good.
Life is Beautiful
When I watch the movie, I’m sure most of you watched it, Life is Beautiful, I heard the message very clearly and strongly. This Jewish man who was about to be executed is so bright. He takes care of his son. He talks with him, he plays with him as though nothing bad will happen. He celebrates how beautiful life is, and the title of the movie of is Life is Beautiful.
Life is good, not because nothing bad happens, but because in the midst of all the bad things that happened in your life, you never lose hope. You never lose perspective. You never lose the beauty of life.
We will only discover a deeper taste of life. As wine gets better. As it matures, you will taste the deeper taste of life as you get mature about life. Don’t forget that life is good. And what is good you share. Don’t forget the life is gift. Celebrate it, enjoy it, and don’t ever ever forget that it is God who gave you all the good things in life. I want you to enjoy the maximum joy of life. That’s what I want for everyone, to enjoy the maximum joy of life. Remember those two things, one, be thankful and two, share.