Week 35 Friday

Truth or Consequences

Today’s scripture selection: Hosea 8-14

Key verses: Hosea 8:7a

Do you remember a wildly popular game show from some years ago named “Truth or Consequences”?  It featured trivia questions and wacky stunts and it ran for years – first on radio then on television.

But the phrase “truth or consequences” could be described for something far more serious than a game show.  It describes ancient Israel’s history.

Time and again the people vacillated between faithfulness and idolatry; between drawing close to and pulling away from the God who had called them forth from slavery.

And, the truth was, they often suffered the consequences of those choices.

We can too.

God is loving and amazingly patient.  And yet, as a holy and righteous God there are also often painful consequences that must be suffered for our unfaithful choices.

It’s not that God is cruel or sadistic.  He doesn’t enjoy seeing His people suffer.

But the cosmos would be an unbearable place if there was no justice; no order that helps mediate things when people go too far afield of God’s purposes for them.

The consequences may not always be apparent or even immediate – but they are real nonetheless.

So choose carefully.  Wrong choices can result in what is aptly described in the book of Hosea:

“They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”

What’s the alternative?

To seek God’s guidance and do our best to align our wills with His.

Life, as God intends, is no game show.  Let’s live it well.

Prayer: Almighty God, help me to follow your will and your way each day.  AMEN.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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