ESOCS Devotional 3 April 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “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.” Hosea 1:2
TEXT: HOSEA 1:1–11
1 The word of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash king of Israel.
2 When the Lord first spoke with and through Hosea, the Lord said to him, Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of [her] harlotry, for the land commits great whoredom by departing from the Lord.
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and bore him a son.
4 And the Lord said to him, Call his name Jezreel or God-sows, for yet a little while and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel and visit the punishment for it upon the house of Jehu, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.
5 And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.
6 And [Gomer] conceived again and bore a daughter. And the Lord said to Hosea, Call her name Lo-Ruhamah or Not-pitied, for I will no more have love, pity, and mercy on the house of Israel, that I should in any way pardon them.
7 But I will have love, pity, and mercy on the house of Judah and will deliver them by the Lord their God and will [a]not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by equipment of war, nor by horses, nor by horsemen.
8 Now when [Gomer] had weaned Lo-Ruhamah [Not-pitied], she became pregnant [again] and bore a son.
9 And the Lord said, Call his name Lo-Ammi [Not-my-people], for you are not My people and I am not your God.
10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered; and instead of it being said to them, You are not My people, it shall be said to them, Sons of the Living God!
11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together and appoint themselves one head, and they shall go up out of the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel [for the spiritually reborn Israel, a divine offspring, the people whom the Lord has blessed.]
Certain terms are used in the scripture to denote God’s relationship with His people. Sometimes they are portrayed as servants of God; sometimes His children; at other times His sheep. In New Testament terms, these are those who have been redeemed; who as Christ told Nicodemus, are born again. They are the Church, and the body of Christ. This category of people is special unto God; they are sanctified and separated unto Him; and God values their relationship with Him greatly.
In Hosea, God accuses the Children of Israel of whoredom, which in simple language is adultery; and by this is showing the kind of relationship He has with them. It is a personal and intimate relationship, which can only be likened to the relationship between a man and his wife.
Like in marriage, where the woman who was created from a part of man is reunited with him and bonded to him in marriage where both become one, man is a product of the breath of God and can only exist properly and rightly in God. God expects all men to return to Him and be bonded to Him in a covenant relationship. God’s people are therefore shown here as being married to Him. They are bonded with Him in a covenant relationship that demands that they have Him alone as God and are faithful unto Him; not desiring or turning to another. To depart from the Lord, as the Israelites did by turning to other gods, is likened to the sin of adultery. And turning away from the Lord is like a woman who abandons her marriage and walks out on a husband who loves and cares for her; a husband who has provided everything to make her happy and comfortable in marriage. Such a woman is wayward and rebellious. This is a grievous sin that no child of God should commit. The consequences are dire and the effect far reaching.
In the words of Jeremiah, to turn away from the Lord is to forsake the spring of living water and to dig your own cistern, broken cistern that cannot hold water (Jer. 2:13). We are best in the Lord our God. In Him we live and have our being. He is our life. To stray from Him, is to stray from life; and to reject Him, is to reject life.
- How do you think a man feels when his wife leaves him or follows another
- What is your assessment of an unfaithful wife
- Father, I thank you for the love you have for me. Give me the grace to remain steadfast and rooted in you. May my everyday life glorify you. Amen.
FURTHER READING: 2 Samuel 17:1-14; Jeremiah 30:15-22; Matthew 26:1-13; James 3:13-16
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ESOCS Devotional 3 April 2023