Bible Pathways - Sept. 19, 2008
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Hosea is commanded to marry a woman who becomes unfaithful (God knew what she would become) (1:2) to demonstrate the relationship God has with Israel. The Israelites originally were faithful to Him when Jacob entered Egypt; but after they were delivered, they committed spiritual adultery by worshiping Egypt's idols.
Israel becomes guilty of lawlessness, immorality, and idolatry; God could have destroyed her but He loved her and was patient and faithful. Sin is self-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 (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 God's command Hosea married a wife who became unfaithful to him. She left Hosea for all the pleasures she thought other men could give her. Hosea was heartbroken. He had a legal right to have her stoned; but he still loved her and chose to redeem her.
Hosea was an illustration of God the Father and the nation of Israel who was His unfaithful wife (see Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:14). 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): And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee (3:1-3).
At the time Hosea was proclaiming his message to Israel, often illustrated as the wife of God the Father, she was experiencing material prosperity. But she also became attached to 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 re-read every page of His inspired Book. How could any Christian who fails to consistently read through God's Word still assume he is living in subjection to all the will of God? You can't live something you choose to ignore or not read. He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me (John 14:21).
Thought for Today:
It is difficult to think that we act as spiritual adulterers when we put other “things” before our God and His Word.
Through Hosea's love for his unworthy, sinful wife (Hosea 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 (Romans 5:8; 8:32; II Peter 1:3). I will betroth thee unto Me for ever (Hosea 2:19).
2:3 (first) set =b> expose; (second) set =eave; 3:4 ephod =b> sleeveless priestly outer garment; teraphim =b> household idols; 4:16 slideth back =b> turns away, rebels; 5:7 portions =b> land, fields; 5:15 early =b> earnestly.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts for two days to Asia & SouthEast Asia sponsored by Mark Ziemba • Staff: Mike Moore • Government Officials: Del. Donna Christian-Christensen (Virgin Islands) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX) • Country: Gabon (1 million) in west-central Africa • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 66% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 3% animism and ancestor worship • Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayer of thanksgiving for the marvelous blessings of God (Psa. 18:1-3).
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Thessalonians 1:4