The Roots of Unfaithfulness
How did you pick your mate, or how will you? You probably will not search for the least faithful person, right? And yet that is exactly what God calls Hosea to do. As another object lesson for Israel of both the behavior of God’s people and also a vivid reminder of what Christ did for us, Hosea is told to marry an unfaithful woman—a prostitute. Just like Gomer, we can be unfaithful to God. Discovering the roots of unfaithfulness can help us to return to our faithful God.
Bible Reading of the Day: Hosea 1-7
Today we are starting a new book of the Bible—the book of Hosea. And whenever we start a new book of the Bible, we dive in to see what we can learn about the book overall.
“Hosea wrote in the middle of the eighth century BC (Before Christ). He gave most of his messages to Israel, the country in the north. But some of the messages were for Judah, the country in the south. The book has many curses and blessings, but there are many more curses than blessings. If we want to understand this book, we need to understand the covenant at Sinai. The curses and blessings of Hosea are connected to this covenant” (Easy English Bible Commentary).
Overview of Today’s Reading
Through the example of Hosea we see both our waywardness and the faithfulness of God that loves us even when we are faithless.
Hosea 1:2, “When the Lord first spoke to Hosea, he said this to him: Go and marry a woman of promiscuity, and have children of promiscuity, for the land is committing blatant acts of promiscuity by abandoning the Lord.”
What amazes me about this chapter is that in the same chapter where the sins of Israel are called out, God still offers hope and gives His people a promise.
God’s Discipline is Kind
8 “After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. 9 Then the Lord said: Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not my people, and I will not be your God. 10 Yet the number of the Israelites will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or counted. And in the place where they were told: You are not my people, they will be called: Sons of the living God.”
God disciplines His people because He loves them. When we have a wayward child, it would be unloving to let them continue in sin. God’s discipline is always to redeem. It is not merely punitive. God disciplines us with a desire to bless us.
Hebrews 12:6, “For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
Deuteronomy 8:5, “So know in your heart that just as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.”
Psalm 94:12, “Blessed is the man You discipline, O LORD, and teach from Your law.”
Psalm 119:75, “I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.”
Proverbs 3:11, “My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD, and do not loathe His rebuke.”
Proverbs 3:12, “For the LORD disciplines the one He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
The Roots of Unfaithfulness—The Cause of Our Rebellion
Hosea 2:8 reveals one key reason for Israel’s waywardness. “She does not recognize that it is I who gave her the grain, the new wine, and the fresh oil. I lavished silver and gold on her, which they used for Baal.”
We don’t recognize all that we have is from God. We can take it all for granted.
And the shiny objects in our culture pull us in.
The Roots of Unfaithfulness—The Fruit of Unfaithfulness
We see the fruit of sinful living, the condition of God’s people and the leaders of God’s people in Hosea 4: 1-8:
“Hear the word of the Lord, people of Israel, for the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land: There is no truth, no faithful love, and no knowledge of God in the land! 2 Cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery are rampant; one act of bloodshed follows another. 3 For this reason the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes, along with the wild animals and the birds of the sky; even the fish of the sea disappear. 4 But let no one dispute; let no one argue, for my case is against you priests. 5 You will stumble by day; the prophet will also stumble with you by night. And I will destroy your mother.
The Roots of Unfaithfulness—The Cause of our Condition
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from serving as my priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your sons. 7 The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against me. I will change their honor into disgrace. 8 They feed on the sin of my people; they have an appetite for their iniquity. 9 The same judgment will happen to both people and priests. I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds. 10 They will eat but not be satisfied; they will be promiscuous but not multiply. For they have abandoned their devotion to the Lord. 11 Promiscuity, wine, and new wine take away one’s understanding.”
Hosea 4:6, 10-11 reveal the cause of their destruction. Notice what led to their destruction, which is also the Scripture verse of the day:
Scripture of the Day: Hosea 4:6
“My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children.”
Hosea shows us the way back is repentance. It is not feeling sorry for ourselves, but sorry for our sins. And sin is deceptive. It prevents us from returning to God.
Hosea 5:4, “Their actions do not allow them to return to their God, for a spirit of promiscuity is among them, and they do not know the Lord.”
The Roots of Unfaithfulness Are Healed When We Return To God
Hosea 6:1-3, “Come, let’s return to the Lord. For he has torn us, and he will heal us;
he has wounded us, and he will bind up our wounds. 2 He will revive us after two days, and on the third day he will raise us up so we can live in his presence. 3 Let’s strive to know the Lord. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land.”
The Roots of Unfaithfulness Are Healed When We Know God.
Hosea 6:5-7, “This is why I have used the prophets to cut them down; I have killed them with the words from my mouth. My judgment strikes like lightning. 6 For I desire faithful love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. 7 But they, like Adam, have violated the covenant; there they have betrayed me.”
Hosea 7:10, “Israel’s arrogance testifies against them, yet they do not return to the Lord their God, and for all this, they do not seek him.”
Hosea 7:13-14, “13 Woe to them, for they fled from me; destruction to them, for they rebelled against me! Though I want to redeem them, they speak lies against me. 14 They do not cry to me from their hearts; rather, they wail on their beds. They slash themselves for grain and new wine; they turn away from me.”
- God’s discipline is always redemptive.
- Feel sorry for sin, not self.
- Don’t let lack of knowledge keep you from God.
- Our waywardness is healed when we return to God.
- Faith in our faithful God heals our faithlessness.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #220: Hosea 1-7
Scripture of the Day: Hosea 4:6
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