Old Testament reading: Hosea 7-10
There are a number of notable quotes in today’s reading. First, the prophet condemns Ephraim (Israel) as one who “mixed himself among the peoples” and “a cake not turned” (7:8). This “mixing” refers to Israel’s failure to remain a distinct people, being indistinguishable from their pagan neighbors (cf Ps 106:35). “A cake not turned” refers to the practice of covering a lump of dough with coals and then turning it to cook evenly. Being unturned, Israel was scorched on one side and raw on the other, unfit to eat and beyond correction. Second, we find the commonly known, (though most likely don’t know it comes from the Bible), “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind” (8:7). One always expects to reap more than he sows. In sowing the sinful seeds of idolatry and apostasy, Israel would reap far more than she anticipated. Our final quote comes from Hosea 10:8. The text describes the helplessness of Samaria (Israel) as they are carried into captivity, “They shall say to the mountains, “Cover us!” and to the hills, “Fall on us!” This verse is quoted by Jesus in Luke 23:30 as He foretold the destruction of Jerusalem. It is also quoted by John in the same context in Revelation 6:16-17.
New Testament reading: Galatians 1-3
“My, how time flies!” One thing that is often overlooked in the Bible record, and particularly in the book of Acts, are the leaps in time from one passage to the next. We see Paul make mention of two time periods in today’s reading. The first is in Galatians 1:15-18, wherein Paul dates his conversion and his first trip to Jerusalem to meet with the apostles. Thus, there are three years between Paul’s conversion in Acts 9 and his journey to Jerusalem in Acts 11:29-30. A whole year went by in Acts 11:26 alone. The second is seen in Galatians 2:1, where Paul mentions that 14 years passed before he returned to Jerusalem. This trip is recorded in Acts 15, where Paul and Barnabas had to go to Jerusalem to confer with the apostles and elders concerning those who had come to Antioch and were teaching that the Law of Moses must be observed if one would be saved (Acts 15:1, 5; Gal 2:4). So we have 14 years of work recorded in Acts 13-14. (Other “leaps in Acts” include 18:11; 19:8-10; and 24:27.)