Hosea 1-3 💙 A Picture of Forgiveness

forgiveness written in the sand

Today’s reading is longer than most. The story is a powerful example to bring to life the theme of “Salvation, Forgiveness, and New Life.” I encourage you to read the following text with that lens. What is God’s message to you today in terms of this theme?

Read Hosea 1-3

I am impressed with Hosea’s faithfulness in the first place. We don’t hear how he had to set his own feelings aside as he watched his wife get pregnant time after time. But the story Hosea’s life tells is very significant for the people of Israel.

God’s chosen ones were rebellious and required a time-out. They were even given an explanation for what was happening and why. As children, we weren’t always privy to the reasoning behind our parent’s discipline. Often, we simply accepted “because I said so” as the reason. Yet, despite God seemingly disowning his children, in the end God’s love for them couldn’t keep them separate.

I love how these verses use a bit of shock value to teach a valuable lesson. It starts with God telling his prophet to go marry a prostitute. God had his reasons and made them clear. Israel had broken his heart, and there was a price to pay for that. How do you think the Israelites felt when they were abandoned? Did they notice when they went “without a king or prince, and without sacrifices, sacred pillars, priests, or even idols!” What could they have been thinking? Did they ever miss God?

Were you a little bit challenged by all the imagery in this story? I know I was at first. But when looking deeper, we see the love and heartache God felt. It seems only right that God would have to correct the Israel’s behavior in some way. God made these teachable moments come alive using the lives of Hosea and his wife.

Despite the rebellious nature of his people, God loved them. He couldn’t leave them. He tried to wash his hands of them, but God’s love was so much stronger than any burning anger or disappointment, any ravenous jealousy or frustration.

How does that make you feel knowing God loves you so completely like that? Do you have a rebellious side? Do you push the limit with God’s grace? The Bible says, “In the last days, they will tremble in awe of the Lord and of his goodness.” Have you ever trembled in awe?

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray. Father, I do tremble with awe at the thought of you loving me so deeply that you fight for me every day. I know the battles rage around me, yet I feel safe in your loving arms. I know the temptations are screaming at me, but I trust you for your strength and way out. Forgive me for my carelessness and rebellious ways. Help me to be more focused on you and your will for my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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