If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 2 Kings 9, 1 Timothy 6, Hosea 1, Psalm 119:73–96. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can’t do all the readings today, read Hosea 1.
The Lord told some of his prophets to do difficult things. He allowed others to experience painful things as a result of their prophecies. The ministry he called Hosea to do has to have been among the most difficult; his marriage was to serve as a metaphor for the Lord’s relationship to Israel. As we saw in today’s reading, God commanded him to marry a woman and told him in advance that she would be unfaithful to him. Then, when she bore children, each child was given a difficult name. His firstborn son, Jezreel, was named after a valley (v. 5) but it was a valley where Jehu killed and where Israel would suffer a great defeat. His daughter was named “Not Loved” and his final son was named “Not My People.” Imagine the jeering his children took from other kids because of their names; imagine how difficult everything about Hosea’s family life must have been.
Despite this difficult object lesson of judgment, however, chapter 1 ends with words of hope: “In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’” Although Israel was unfaithful to God through their idol worship and that unfaithfulness would cause separation in their relationship with God, the separation would be temporary. True to his word, God re-affirmed his commitment to Israel and promised again that he would complete the promises of his covenant.
Let this encourage you if you are feeling defeated by sin and wondering if God will forgive you. God’s nature is to be faithful and loving and that means he is forgiving to those who claim his promises by faith. So, claim his promises and turn to him for forgiveness.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we’ll talk scripture again tomorrow.