NIV DISCOVER GOD’S HEART DEVOTIONAL BIBLE

Duration: 365 days

THE GOD WHO TAKES US BACK

Hosea 1–3

God’s Story

The northern kingdom of Israel is about to be overtaken; God’s people are deeply sick. God sends Hosea to portray what is in God’s heart.

God tells Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman. It is a picture. God has entered into a covenant with his people, but they have done nothing but prostitute themselves.

Hosea marries Gomer, and they have two sons, separated by a daughter. God names Hosea’s first son Jezreel because the Lord is going to punish Israel for the blood that King Jehu shed at Jezreel. Reflecting how he feels about Israel, God names Hosea’s daughter “Not loved” and his second son “Not my people.” But God tells of a day in the future when Israel and Judah will be reunited. Then they will be referred to as “My loved one” and “My people.”

Israel’s covenant relationship with the Lord is broken. Even though God made her beautiful, she has squandered her beauty in prostitution. But God tells of a day when he is going to start over. He is going to court Israel again, and she will turn to him in love. She will call him “my husband,” and they’ll be married forever.

Although Hosea’s wife cheats on him, God tells him to take her back, like God has taken Israel back. God knows that, in time, his people will want to come back to him.

The King’s Heart

When God’s people gave their hearts to other gods, he called it adultery. The inventor of language is choosing his words accurately.

Adultery is a betrayal of the most intimate kind. Sex is an intimate action. But it is not just an act; it is a uniting. Jesus, quoting Genesis, described marriage as the choice of a man and woman to “become one flesh” (Matthew 19:5). Through their idolatry, God’s people were uniting themselves intimately with forces of darkness that were, ultimately, only out to destroy them.

God had been betrayed in the deepest of ways. And his omniscience made it so that not one “affair” was committed without his full knowledge. Granted, his people were often seduced and, in a way, raped. The forces of darkness are wily and deceptive. But regardless, he saw it all.

And yet, the Betrayed One took his adulterous people back. When they’re used and broken, realizing the emptiness of their sin, God promises to take them back. The deepest, ugliest betrayal was forgiven. Completely. Dirty pasts were cleansed as white as snow. Because our good God is just that good.

Insight

Hosea makes close to 150 statements about Israel’s sin; half of them have to do with idolatry.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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