The faithfulness of God versus people's unfaithfulness. Who wins (Hos. chap. 1)? Redemption (2:14). Charges against a sinful nation (chap. 4). God withdraws (chap. 5). Repent (chap 6)! Reaping what you sow (8:7). Punishment will come (chap. 9).
Israel was guilty of lawlessness, immorality, and idolatry. Although there were many times God could have destroyed her, He loved her and was patient and faithful. But the time came when Israel learned that sin is destructive to the true values of life. The real reason for Israel's defeat is unmistakably clear: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Still true today!) . . . seeing thou hast forgotten the Law of thy God, I will also forget thy children (Hos. 4:6). God chose Israel to be His own nation, and showered love and blessing upon her. But she turned away from Him to other gods. Then He spoke through the prophets to make her realize her unfaithfulness.
At the Lord's command, Hosea married a wife who became unfaithful to him. She left Hosea for the pleasures she thought other men could give her. Hosea was heartbroken. Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend (Hosea), yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. (Eventually Hosea redeemed her from a slave trader.) So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley (a total value of 30 pieces of silver) (Hos. 3:1-2). Hosea had a legal right to have her stoned; but he still loved her and chose to redeem her.
Hosea and his unfaithful wife were an illustration of God the Father and the nation of Israel, His unfaithful people (see Is. 54:5; Jer. 3:14). At the time Hosea was proclaiming his message to Israel, she was experiencing material prosperity. But she also entered into binding relationships with various peoples from other nations and their idols. God exposed this unfaithfulness: My people . . . have gone a whoring from under their God. . . . therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery (4:12-13).
Our Creator has written one Guide telling us how He expects us to live our brief lives on earth. We call it the Bible. One would assume that everyone would want to read and reread every page of His inspired Book. How could any Christian who fails to consistently read through the Word of God still assume he is living in subjection to all the will of God? You can't live something you choose to ignore or not even read. He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me (John 14:21).
Thought for Today:
Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God (James 4:4).
Through Hosea's love for his unworthy, sinful wife (Hos. 3:1-5). Our Lord Jesus not only loved us while we were yet sinners, but He also died the death of shame for us on Calvary so that all He possessed might become ours (Rom. 5:8; 8:32; II Pet. 1:3-4). I will betroth thee unto Me for ever (Hos. 2:19).
2:3 (first) set expose; (second) set leave; 3:4 ephod sleeveless priestly outer garment; 4:16 slideth back is stubborn, obstinate. Israel has committed whoredom and sacrificed to idols.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Government Officials: Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX) • Country: Zambia (10 million) in south-central Africa • Major languages: English and 70 indigenous languages • Religious freedom • 30% Roman Catholic; 25% Protestant; 24% ancestor worship, magic, and witchcraft; 19% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and thank God for all His blessings (Ps. 68:19).
Memory Verse for the Week: