Israel’s Love for Wickedness
1 “I want to heal Israel,[a] but its sins are too great.
Samaria is filled with liars.
Thieves are on the inside
and bandits on the outside!
2 Its people don’t realize
that I am watching them.
Their sinful deeds are all around them,
and I see them all.
Father, I am so ashamed. I know You see all my sins…yet they never stop. What can I do? You are all I have. Nothing else really means anything. I am completely hopeless without You, and yet I fail You again and again. Life is so hard Lord, but You do not leave me. Why? Father, help me remember that You are with me, and watching me. Help me to remember I am never alone. That is so good! Thank-you Father.
3 “The people entertain the king with their wickedness,
and the princes laugh at their lies.
4 They are all adulterers,
always aflame with lust.
They are like an oven that is kept hot
while the baker is kneading the dough.
5 On royal holidays, the princes get drunk with wine,
carousing with those who mock them.
6 Their hearts are like an oven
blazing with intrigue.
Their plot smolders[b] through the night,
and in the morning it breaks out like a raging fire.
7 Burning like an oven,
they consume their leaders.
They kill their kings one after another,
and no one cries to me for help.
Holy Spirit, instead of burning with lust and wickedness, make my heart burn with love for You and the desire to do Your will. Change me so I am on fire for You. Keep my passion for You hot day and night.
8 “The people of Israel mingle with godless foreigners,
making themselves as worthless as a half-baked cake!
9 Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength,
but they don’t even know it.
Their hair is gray,
but they don’t realize they’re old and weak.
10 Their arrogance testifies against them,
yet they don’t return to the Lord their God
or even try to find him.
Father, my hair is turning gray, I am getting old. But I am searching for You, and You are here. I have committed all the sins. I have failed and still do today. But I know You love me and look over me. Somehow You forgive me. I am searching, but I do it poorly. Help me to search You out always and in everyone. You are our hope and salvation.
11 “The people of Israel have become like silly, witless doves,
first calling to Egypt, then flying to Assyria for help.
12 But as they fly about,
I will throw my net over them
and bring them down like a bird from the sky.
I will punish them for all the evil they do.[c]
13 “What sorrow awaits those who have deserted me!
Let them die, for they have rebelled against me.
I wanted to redeem them,
but they have told lies about me.
14 They do not cry out to me with sincere hearts.
Father, I know how insincere I can be…I am human. Please Father, help me to cry to You with a pure and sincere heart. I feel like I am now sincere, and I know You are here. Help me to cry only to You and turn only to You. Father, change me. Help me to never sin again.
Instead, they sit on their couches and wail.
They cut themselves,[d] begging foreign gods for grain and new wine,
and they turn away from me.
15 I trained them and made them strong,
yet now they plot evil against me.
16 They look everywhere except to the Most High.
They are as useless as a crooked bow.
Their leaders will be killed by their enemies
because of their insolence toward me.
Then the people of Egypt
will laugh at them.
Father, change me so I do not bring You shame. Help me to not be a hypocrite and an embarrassment to You. If they laugh at me because I am true to You, so be it. But please, don’t let me fall and bring You shame. I do not want them to laugh at You because of me.