Bible Reading / Book By Book: Proverbs to Luke
Day 38 / Hosea 3-4
In chapter 3, God reassures that he will forgive Israel. They will spend time separated from God’s protection, but he will buy them back. Chapter 4 begins a list of the things Israel was doing that God saw as spiritual adultery.
Even after a time of wandering from God, he is faithful. Many experience that today. We often hear stories of those raised knowing God and then rebelling against him. Later they return to God and see those years of rebellion as wasted.
Hosea 3 (NASB)
Hosea’s Second Symbolic Marriage
3 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.” 2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver and a homer and a half of barley. 3 Then I said to her, “You shall stay with me for many days. You shall not play the harlot, nor shall you have a man; so I will also be toward you.” 4 For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols. 5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.
Hosea 4 (NASB)
God’s Controversy with Israel
4 Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel,
For the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land.
2 There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery.
They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed.
3 Therefore the land mourns,
And everyone who lives in it languishes
Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky,
And also the fish of the sea disappear.
4 Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof;
For your people are like those who contend with the priest.
5 So you will stumble by day,
And the prophet also will stumble with you by night;
And I will destroy your mother.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being My priest.
Since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.
7 The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me;
I will change their glory into shame.
8 They feed on the sin of My people
And direct their desire toward their iniquity.
9 And it will be, like people, like priest;
So I will punish them for their ways
And repay them for their deeds.
10 They will eat, but not have enough;
They will play the harlot, but not increase,
Because they have stopped giving heed to the Lord.
11 Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding.
12 My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them;
For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray,
And they have played the harlot, departing from their God.
13 They offer sacrifices on the tops of the mountains
And burn incense on the hills,
Under oak, poplar and terebinth,
Because their shade is pleasant.
Therefore your daughters play the harlot
And your brides commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot
Or your brides when they commit adultery,
For the men themselves go apart with harlots
And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes;
So the people without understanding are ruined.
15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot,
Do not let Judah become guilty;
Also do not go to Gilgal,
Or go up to Beth-aven
And take the oath:
“As the Lord lives!”
16 Since Israel is stubborn
Like a stubborn heifer,
Can the Lord now pasture them
Like a lamb in a large field?
17 Ephraim is joined to idols;
Let him alone.
18 Their liquor gone,
They play the harlot continually;
Their rulers dearly love shame.
19 The wind wraps them in its wings,
And they will be ashamed because of their sacrifices.