Reading

  • Hos. 1:1-2:23; 3:1-5

Devotional

GOD is love (1 John 4:8). He loved Israel so much that He went to great lengths to get them to see their wickedness, calling them to repent so that He might turn from His building anger. In the days of Jeroboam II, king of Israel, GOD sent the prophet Hosea. Hosea is a unique prophet in that GOD used Hosea's life as an object lesson to Israel. Today, and for the next two days, we read Hosea's message to Israel. People of GOD are sometimes called to suffering and persecution in order to help accomplish GOD's purpose at the time, and such is the case with Hosea.

When the LORD began to speak by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea: “Go, take yourself a wife of harlotry And children of harlotry, For the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the LORD.” [A harlot is a woman who is unfaithful to her husband and commits adultery—a great sin—with other men.] So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. Then the LORD said to him: “Call his name Jezreel, For in a little while I will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, And bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. It shall come to pass in that day That I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”

And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, But I will utterly take them away. Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah, Will save them by the LORD their God, And will not save them by bow, Nor by sword or battle, By horses or horsemen.”

Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. Then God said: “Call his name Lo-Ammi, For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.
(Hos. 1:2-9 NKJV)

GOD had been a good and faithful husband to Israel, yet Israel had continuously committed spiritual adultery against Him by worshiping and serving idols. Idols are sticks and rocks, objects that GOD Himself had created and obviously had no power within themselves. GOD created those things for man's use and enjoyment, but in their evil hearts, men rejected the GOD who gave them everything in order to serve some powerless creation which was smaller and less significant than they themselves.

After Gomer, Hosea's wife, left him to commit adultery with other lovers, GOD told Hosea to go and buy her back, which he did. This was an illustration of GOD's mercy which He had shown, and would once again show, to the people of Israel. Punishment was coming, but that never lessened GOD's love for His spiritual bride, the nation of Israel.

As Christians, we are collectively the bride of Jesus Christ (Eph. 5), and we are to keep ourselves pure for Him. A Christian commits spiritual adultery when we willfully sin against GOD. This makes us just like Hosea's wife Gomer and the nation of Israel to GOD. Adultery is a form of unfaithfulness, breaking a promise you made to your spouse at your wedding, and it frequently involves a lot more sins. Adultery causes terrible pain and heartache to loved ones in the situation, and it frequently destroys families and homes. It is a most heinous act and therefore the perfect representation of how GOD views sin by His people.

Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

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