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Monday, June 27, 2016

Loving a Harlot (Hosea 4:2-3)

"When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD."

Someone once told me that wives are more ready to forgive adulterous husbands than vice versa. For men adultery by a wife is a respect issue while adultery by the husband is a love issue.

Israel has disrespected God by going after other lovers. Throughout Israel's history God has been nothing but faithful to her, yet Israel has gone after one idol after another. Further, she has produced unbelieving children and a syncretistic religion. Yet God loves her still.

To demonstrate His love to Israel He has his prophet Hosea marry a known adulterous. This seems odd since God established regulations regarding the marriage of priests in Levitcus 22. Yet, it is out of all the people's of the earth that the Lord chooses Israel to pour His love upon. Odder still, that Israel would turn away from the Living God and worship false Gods. Could it be that she doesn't comprehend His love or could it be that she has something innately wrong with her? I think that perhaps both apply. It is only after Hosea takes her back after she has two children by other men that she begins to comprehend true love. Paul picks up this theme in his epistle, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:8).

Love can't be earned. It is a free gift. Some women think that they deserve love. Women who need a lot of forgiveness appreciate love more than those who think that they deserve it. The story of Hosea and Gomer reminds me of just how much I need the LORD's love and just how much He loves me.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading: Amos 7:1-9:15
  • How does Amos respond to the visions of the locust and the plumbline?
  • How does the high priest respond to Amos' visions?
  • What does this tell you about the religious leaders at this point in Israel's history?
  • What does Amos then prophesy about Amaziah?
  • What kind of famine does the LORD promise to send upon Israel?
  • How does Amos' message to Israel end?
Hosea 1:1-3:5
  • Why does the LORD command Hosea to marry Gomer?
  • Why does the LORD command Hosea to love Gomer?
  • What does this narrative teach you about God's love?
  • How does the LORD view those don't remain faithful to Him?
  • As you consider the story of Hosea and Gomer, what does this story teach you about the LORD's love?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the LORD to speak His love to your through the story in Hosea. Ask Him also to open your eyes to women around you who need to know His love.