God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20 - Hosea 1-7: Hosea Models God's Love for a Prostitute Nation

Today’s Reading: Hosea 1-7

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God punished Israel and brought her back.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God's message through Hosea:
Hosea married Gomer, a prostitute. Their children's names forecasted Israel's punishment. Someday, God would set things right in Israel and Judah. But not now.
Hosea called to Gomer, "Return to me! You are alone! Let's rekindle our love like our first date. We will be one again."
Hosea bought his wife back. He told her, "No more cheating. We are one."
God spoke to Israel, "Eventually you will learn, hopefully before you take Judah down with you.
"Ephraim, you break covenants like eggs. You make sin-marks faster than I clean them. Ridicule is on its way."

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God presents Israel's worship of other gods in a way they can understand—a wife cheating on her husband.

In Hosea's day, wives were fully protected by men. They had physical protection and political protection. By cheating on their husband, they risked the removal of their protection and execution. This is similar to Israel's relationship with God, so He tells Hosea to marry a prostitute. Their three children are named to tell Israel their sin (Jezreel - the place where they committed their sin), their fate (no mercy), and their shame (not my people). By showing Israel this dysfunctional family with unusual names he hopes they will learn and return to Him. God uses any way to help us understand His love for us.

God will punish Israel for their sins.

This section of Hosea is difficult to read. We do not want this view of God. However, Israel has not only worshiped other gods they have forgotten His Law. They no longer set things right. Therefore, God must punish them. God will and must punish those who do not set things right. His hope is that Israel's punishment will happen before Judah is brought down with them.

Israel's punishment would not be permanent.

I wrote earlier how God's punishment of Israel was meant to purify the people. Today we get a different view—God's love is so great for Israel that He would buy her back from her slavery again. They would become one like a husband and wife, not a servant/master. God will go to any length to set our relationship right, with no love lost.

Do you believe God wants to buy your life back?

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