Each day this month, we will consider key moments in God’s glorious plan to redeem us. We will understand both the overarching story of God and the highlights of all he’s done for us in Christ.
God chose the prophets to call his people to obedience and faithfulness. When they shared God’s truth about contemporary issues, their inspired words often revealed details of the future. The seventeen prophetic books of the Bible (Isaiah-Malachi) reveal God’s passionate heart for his people. Let’s begin with Hosea.
God told Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman. Wait! What?
Wasn’t that a marriage doomed to heartbreak?
Yes. Hosea’s union illustrated a powerful divine object lesson. When his wife ran off with other lovers, Hosea deeply felt and could express what God experienced in his relationship with Israel.
God’s chosen people repeatedly gave their hearts to other “lovers” — other gods. “A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the LORD” (Hosea 5:4).
Most of us understand the heartbreak of unfaithfulness in marriage. Spiritual adultery is turning to other “gods” to meet the deepest needs of our hearts, rather than to God himself. God uses shocking language in his Word to describe how he feels when his people turn away from him.
I am unfaithful to my God in so many ways. In my pain, fear, and sorrow, I often turn to food, sex, ambition, distraction, or other people to meet the deeper needs of my heart, rather than to God, who can comfort and help. That makes me spiritually unfaithful.
Thankfully, the book of Hosea also reveals God’s tremendous compassion. Despite betrayal, God tenderly woos us back into his arms, as Hosea did with his wayward wife.
“Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites” (Hosea 11:8).
God responds to our unfaithfulness with his relentless faithfulness. At any moment, we can turn to him and race back into his arms no matter how far away from him we have strayed.
Lord God, my heart is so slow to understand that everything I need for life and for godliness comes from you. When I am tired, I often turn to things that cannot quiet my restless heart rather than to you. Thank you for reminding me that in your infinite grace, you invite me to return to you and receive forgiveness and restoration from you. Help me turn to you more and more quickly, and to other things less and less as I grow in my knowledge of your perfect provision. Amen.
Throughout This Day: Ask the Spirit to help you realize it whenever you turn from his presence to seek comfort or rest in God-substitutes. Seek to remain in his presence, resting in his love, as you go through each task today.
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