God’s Saving Word: Mercy and Forgiveness
Hosea 3:1—4:3: Hosea is told to love his unfaithful wife, and his love for her is to demonstrate the LORD’s continuing love for unfaithful Israel.
Hosea and the Unfaithful Woman
3 The Lord said to me, “Go again[a] and show your love for a woman who is committing adultery with a lover. You must love her just as I still love the people of Israel, even though they turn to other gods and like to take offerings of raisins to idols.”[b]
2 So I paid fifteen pieces of silver and seven bushels of barley to buy her. 3 I told her that for a long time she would have to wait for me without being a prostitute or committing adultery; and during this time I would wait for her. 4 In just this way the people of Israel will have to live for a long time without kings or leaders, without sacrifices or sacred stone pillars, without idols or images to use for divination. 5 But the time will come when the people of Israel will once again turn to the Lord their God and to a descendant of David their king. Then they will fear the Lord and will receive his good gifts.
The Lord’s Accusation against Israel
4 The Lord has an accusation to bring against the people who live in this land. Listen, Israel, to what he says: “There is no faithfulness or love in the land, and the people do not acknowledge me as God. 2 They make promises and break them; they lie, murder, steal, and commit adultery. Crimes increase, and there is one murder after another. 3 And so the land will dry up, and everything that lives on it will die. All the animals and birds, and even the fish, will die.”
Today’s Key Verse: Hosea 3:5
The time will come when the people of Israel will once again turn to the LORD their God and to a descendant of David their king. Then they will fear the LORD and will receive his good gifts.
Reread 3:1-5. What words of hope are offered? What promise is given? What accusations are cited in 4:1-3? What punishments will be meted out? What does today’s reading teach you about God?
God of truth, you alone are my God and I worship you. Help me not to be led astray by false teachings and guide me in the way of your truth. Amen.
And now, join us in praising God that audio Bibles are bringing families together in the Philippines. Gracious God, audio Bible listening groups are helping people in the Philippines to experience new life in Christ. Whole families now gather and enjoy listening to their audio Bibles together. Thank you, Lord God, for the ongoing support of Bible-A-Month Partners who are helping to transform lives through your precious Word. Amen.
Hosea 4:4-19: The LORD accuses the priests and condemns pagan worship.