Hosea 2014: Day 3

Around the back door

by

Today's Text: Hosea 2:1-23, 2 Samuel 12:1-10

Text: Hosea 2:1-23, 2 Samuel 12:1-10

“For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more.”
-Hosea 2:17

How familiar are you with the story of David?

He was the shepherd boy who was anointed king, defeated a giant with a stone and a sling, wrote the Psalms, and ruled wisely over Israel (along with a whole lot of shenanigans) until, in his old age, he passed the throne to his son Solomon. He was chosen by God and he messed up a lot, which got him into a lot of trouble.

One day, the prophet Nathan comes to David and tells him a story about a rich man with a lot of land and livestock and a neighboring poor man with one small sheep, which he treasured very much. Nathan tells King David that one day the rich man had a visitor and, not wanting to sacrifice one of his many sheep, he instructed a servant to go next door and require the one precious lamb of his poor neighbor.

David, upon hearing this story, objects heartily, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die!” (2 Samuel 12:5, NIV). The prophet Nathan retorts, “You are the man,” and he proceeds to show David that taking another man’s wife (Bathsheba) and arranging to have him killed in battle made him very much like the guilty rich man.

You see, approaching David directly with his sin would have met Nathan with pride and plugged ears. But coming around the back door of his defenses allowed David to see objectively exactly what he had done and how he had been wrong.

And so it is with Hosea.

The sovereign Lord is calling the people of Israel to Himself. And, like David, they stand, ears plugged, unwilling or unable to see their own sin. So, God instructs Hosea to love and marry a woman that he knows will not be faithful to Him, to father 3 children with her (2 of whom are likely not his own), and to live out a painful, shameful, real-life allegory of Israel’s wild unfaithfulness to their Groom.

It’s a maddening story to read. It’s cyclical to a point of wanting to slam the book shut in irritation with Gomer’s unfaithfulness.

But before we shut the book on Gomer, Sisters, let’s allow this story around the back door of our own defenses. Before we condemn this unfaithful bride, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to show us ourselves as the unfaithful brides of Christ. And, let’s watch the prophet Hosea as he demonstrates the Lord’s unfailing love for us—even in His severe mercies—ever calling us to Himself for reconciliation and relationship.

Lord, show us our unfaithfulness.

3 3b

  • francie harp

    i love this study. Makes you look at things in a different way.

  • MinaMama

    Many times we give the devil TOO MUCH credit. Often, it is our own deliberate choices that cause our pain in life…NOT an “attack from the devil”.
    I am NOT claiming the enemy’s attacks are not real, but ask yourself how many sad things in this life are direct consequences of “whoredom from God.”

  • Alyssa Frey

    We are so loved by the lord. He is FAITHFUL to me. He LOVES me. This is convicting because sometimes I think I take advantage of it. Jesus deserves so much more than I give Him every day.

  • How often we leave our first and only true love the Lord Jesus who gave His life for us. Such Holiness to us undeserving sinners. Amazing.

  • whew.

  • blessedwithnine

    Curious if anybody else finds it hard to absorb scripture when reading on a device as opposed to a printed bible.I find I get the most out of SRT studies if I have my own personal bible to reread the scripture a 2nd time before diving into the devotional content

    • Katelyn Aponte

      Try reading the words out loud rather then in your head. It helps me immensely.

    • mabelmonique

      Was anyone else incredibly convicted when it mentioned us as unfaithful brides? And then was anyone else comforted by the genuine patience and compassion the Lord has for us? I’m such a sinner and the Lord still chose ME. That’s such an undeserved blessing and I could never be more thankful

  • I LOVED verses 16-20. It was as if I could feel God’s loving glance on me the entire time I was reading it. Thank You, Lord, for Your absolutely unconditional love!

  • I find it hard to wrap my mind around the scriptures sometimes so I’m really thankful for the devotional at the end. Nonetheless any devotional is incomplete without the grit of scripture, so I am thankful!

  • Samantha Edwards

    Endlessly grateful for the Lord's great love and compassion.

    Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

    God is faithful when we aren't, and we start every day, every minute, every second, every breath anew because of His faithfulness and His redemption and His compassion and His love and His mercy. He knows more than we can and He knows what is best for us, much more than we know what is best for us. He loves us and He cares for us and we are His. His plan is greater than ours, and anytime we take the plan into our own hands and try to work on it on our own is when we are most unfaithful and not trusting. Faithfulness is submitting everything to Him and never trying to take matters into our own hands. When we don't get that, we get anxious and we worry and we fear. And of that I am guilty every day.

  • Emely Reyes

    7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes?…

    This hits home. It makes me reflect on all that God has done in my life and how sometimes I turn away from him without a thought, even though I know that he is able and willing to provide all that I need and want. How many times do I seek comfort or approval in other things and people instead of God? I need to remember that He wants me and he is my comfort in times of trouble. He loves me so much, even though I don’t deserve it!

  • Ali Hamel

    Convicting.

  • This has been a long week of many struggles, my sisters in Christ. I am convicted about looking to others for affirmation and seeking their approval- when it is Christ who I should be seeking and serving . Worshipping the things of the world . Lord show me my unfaithfulness. Amazing Grace, indeed.

    • Andrea Kay

      I hear you Cheryl. This world is vying for our affection and attention. It’s a convicting reminder of our unfaithfulness. But being convicted is good, God is working on us! He deserves all of us even though we don’t deserve Him.

  • Christina Rebecca

    The readings and the conviction that the Holy Spirit has brought to my heart each day has broken my heart. Tears, yes. Sadness, yes. But, oh, thank You, God, for the redemption and love and the peace that passes all understanding. I feel like Gomer come home, and has been forgiven. All is not lost. All is well. I am in the protective arms of my Savoir.

  • Christina Rebecca

    AMEN!

  • Why do I talk more about my issues than I pray about them? Wow. Eye opening versus. I am unfaithful and what does God do? He doesn’t punish me, instead He pursues me harder! I thank God for His relentless pursuit of me!

  • “Before we condemn this unfaithful bride, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to show us ourselves as the unfaithful brides of Christ.”
    “I am Gomer. I am unfaithful to my first love, my Husband, my Bridegroom. I return when He fences me in with thorns, turning back to him when I have to because there is nowhere else to go. Father, forgive my unfaithfulness, forgive my seeking after idols and placing obsessions before You. Jesus, show me how to be faithful. Spirit, keep me faithful. I’m so sorry Lord, that I turned from you, seeking after something better, something different. There is nothing better. And yet, my heart wanders. And yet I seek connection in other places than at Your feet. Forgive me, Father, for being so foolish.” •And Lord please remind me to turn to You in prayer at the first sign of trouble, not to worldly things!•

  • It is so frustrating to realize that I am no different in my actions than Gomer. I pledge my faithfulness to my Father and then turn around and sin again. God, give me the strength and the persistence to pursue you as you pursue me. This plan is so eye opening.

  • Give me the strength to pursue you and the courage to give up my fruitless wandering. I feel like the unfaithful bride, unloved and lost. Allow me to feel you, father. I miss you.

  • I love the rest of the passage in chapter 2, that after we realize our unfaithfulness, God says that still, although we have been unfaithful, He wants to “allure” and woo us; He wants to romance us. He still loves us and wants us. Praise God!

  • I felt like so many times I had been that woman running through horridness when all along my creator is ready to love me and show me what I am worthy of. Amen

  • I have been so unfaithful and far to cowardly to admit it. Selfish. Abusing your grace. Lord remove these ways from my spirit. They are not of you. Show me where to go so that I may follow you righteously and with a clean heart. Amen

  • Maryssa Lewis

    Thankful for a God who approaches me when I am wrong, but approaches me in a tender loving manner, and uses things in my life to get me back on track. This is a beautiful story of grace and mercy, and I am so glad I am apart of it:)

  • Berenise

    So many times I’ve played the victim with the Lord but this opened my eyes. My past does not define who I am….God is sooo good to reveal our unfaithfulness to us…..holy is he forever & ever❤️❤️❤️ he is too Good to us ❤️❤️❤️

  • Juanita DJ Camarillo

    Abba, thank you for your faithful pursuit of my heart, thank you for choosing me as your Betrothed, thank you for loving me even when I despised you by my unfaithfulness, like David. Lord God, thank you because you have promised to love me and you are not a man that you could be anything but perfectly faithful to your Word. It is I who make choices against our covenant. Please help me love you with all my heart, body, soul, and strength. Please help me see that when I sin, I am despising you and your love. Help me not do that. In your Holy Son’s name I pray, amen.

  • Show me my unfaithfulness and make you the desire of my heart.

  • My unfaithfulness: turning God’s beautiful blessings and gifts into idols rather than worshipping the Giver, my gracious Lord. Humbled.

  • Beautiful pairing of scriptures. As much as I love the second half of Hosea 2, it can’t be removed from the first half. And the first half can’t be read with distance–we have all been the woman who accepted the gifts of the Lord only to turn around and offer them to idols. What a wondrous God we have who calls us back and loves us home.

  • Over the last few weeks I have been shown what my unfaithfulness is. I pray that Through this study Jesus will draw me closer to him and that in 2015 I become the woman of faithfulness that he desires me to be.

  • Selinaaaaaa

    Hosea 2:14. It’s beautiful.

  • Tara Marie
  • Laura Kate

    This is where the study is starting to get uncomfortable. I know that I, like Gomer, will run to others when it all gets too hard, and seek comfort in friends, and find solace in drowning my senses. I seldom pray about issues as much as I talk about them. Father, forgive my lack of trust in you. Hoping and praying this study draws me closer to the lord and having him as my go-to.

  • Jack Conner

    Thanks be to God and all his glory and for being the one and only God.

  • Margaret S

    I am not an island unto myself? Others are watching and listening and evaluating me. How do I live so that my own promise to follow God and God alone will inspire, instruct, encourage and compel my own daughters and younger friends and my granddaughters and their generation to choose the path of Christian discipleship? Hosea proves a point — this is a challenge of first order! By Grace we live, in Grace we die — such is our promise and our hope.

  • Lord, give me the strength and the desire to forgive certain people in my life. Open my heart to it.

  • Jennifer LaPrees

    Show me where I am not allowing you to change my heart, to break down so that you can rebuild me. Show me there areas I am being stubborn and a fool.
    Please give me the gift of a repentant heart. Please sustain me as I walk away from ways if thinking and attitudes that while wrong and idolatrous have become a source of comfort, make me feel protected.
    I know in my head they don’t, but I’m afraid to change. I need you Lord. Open my eyes, help me see these sins for what they are, make me horrified by them so that I reject them flat out.
    Change my heart, make me clean. I never want to be this person again.

  • Kathleen

    Take me deeper o Lord. Make me a true worshiper of you kingdom. Lead me to the way of everlastings. From glory to glory, in Jesus name amen.

  • This book always enlightens me to my unfaithfulness. I pray God would just give me a passion and desire for him and only him, that’s heart would be so completely enemies with him. And that he would give me an unrelenting desire for that!

  • I feel like my walk with Christ could be defined as unfaithful. I suck at this whole Christian thing, but that’s because I didn’t really have a desire for it. That lack of desire is what brought my unfaithfulness about. So God has shown me my unfaithfulness so now I just need to desire him and let him restore me to him! Thank you Lord.

  • Madison Guthrie

    This is such an eye opener. What a brave thing to do to ask God to show us our unfaithfulness….but how comforting to know that he can do a work in us and make us better so we begin living FOR HIM!!! Our God is absolutely amazing. So forgiving and oh so loving!

  • Wow. Reading these comments and the hearts of this community has brought a new and deep conviction for me. How easy it is to simply go through the motions of a bible study, read a devotional, and check it off your list. We know we need The Lord, so we squeeze it into our routine where we can and pat ourselves on the back for “spending” time with Him. How wretched am I! As I read through the hearts and emotions of such wonderful God fearing women, I am struck by the fact that I was not feeling what I was reading. As so many of you write with tears streaming down your face, I begin to feel the work of the Holy Spirit convicting me and reminding me of my Savior’s unrelenting love for me. I begin to feel and be reminded of the great love of our Father. Father God, forgive me for simply going through the motions of spending time with you. I repent of my lack of discipline in lowering my guards and allowing vulnerability to be at the forefront of my heart. I praise you God, for passionately and relentlessly pursuing me, in spite of my faithlessness. Father, my prayer is that my life be a true relentless pursuit of You Lord. May I never take my eyes off of you. Thank you for this bible study!

    • Amy

      I love your reflection because I can totally identify with it. I feel the same way. I’m so grateful that God continues to love me and never gives up on me, even when I neglect him and let the chaos of life take precedence. It’s one of his promises that I hold most dear & need to continually remind myself of.

    • Allyson

      You took the words right out of my mouth. I’m right there with you tonight!

  • I am struck by the phrase, “I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now (v7).” Jesus used these words for the prodigal son–also an allegory of Gods faithless people. We think we are returning to God in holiness when really we are just looking out for our own interests: “I was better off with him than I am now….” Thankfully, God knows this about us and takes us back anyway–and THAT is the moment we awaken to the truth of His merciful love!
    Overwhelmed……..

  • Brittany Attard

    I wish that it didn’t take our disgrace and nakedness for us to realize the unpardonable sin we are in. I feel very much like the nation of Israel and David. The Lord has continually taken me out of bad situations, and when I do not go willingly he drags me. It is only when I get to the other side that I can see clearly for what it is— that god is my rescuer and redeemer. This lesson is a great reminder to keep moving forward, pushing past old temptations. Man may make elaborate plans, but GOD has the last word.

    • Lauren Edwards

      it’s so easy to turn away from our faithful God without even realizing what we are doing!! i never thought about it this way… when we sin we turn away from God and we become unfaithful to Him! this really opened my eyes today. Lord, give me faithfulness in You and continually remind me of your reedeeming love!

  • This hits deep todAy

  • Kate Wagner

    I am always the FIRST one to love some one…who is worth loving. Then, it becomes one of the hardest things in my life to do, to truly love some one who hasn’t “earned it.” This study has been showing me over and over how under serving I am of Gods grace and mercy and yet He still loves me and he tells us to do the same.

    • Diane Ross

      I love the way you put this. So very true for me as well. Thoughts to remind me of who I am

  • Katie Sikkema

    As a married woman, it saddens me to hear about an unfaithful woman. My heart breaks that a woman would feel the need to break that intimate bond of marriage for cheap thrills… And yet I am she. How quickly I sway from the faithful and loving pursuit of the Bridegroom. Forgive me, Father and may you continue to pursue me into eternity.

  • “Before we condemn this unfaithful bride, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to show us ourselves as the unfaithful brides of Christ. ”

    I am Gomer. I am unfaithful to my first love, my Husband, my Bridegroom. I return when He fences me in with thorns, turning back to him when I have to because there is nowhere else to go. Father, forgive my unfaithfulness, forgive my seeking after idols and placing obsessions before You. Jesus, show me how to be faithful. Spirit, keep me faithful. I’m so sorry Lord, that I turned from you, seeking after something better, something different. There is nothing better. And yet, my heart wanders. And yet I seek connection in other places than at Your feet. Forgive me, Father, for being so foolish

    • Melissa Ray

      This is beautiful, raw, and so so poignant. “Jesus show me how to be faithful. Spirit, keep me faithful”. This is going in my journal to be revisited as often as the prayer needs to be made so that I remember it! (I will quote you:)) thank you for the words!

  • Sally Shake

    How sweet is our Lord that he does not harshly confront us but instead gives us the lens of the cross to see our sin. The back door is a sign of grace and invitation for my heart to come and have a chat with The Lord in quiet and confidence. He is so gracious to us!

  • This is so good! In reading this passage I'm so quickly reminded how often i stray and don't realize it. I'm so quick to point out when I'm offended and at times unwilling to forgive. This is helping to humble me and reminding me that no matter how correct I am in a situation I'm still broken and unfaithful to Christ. Thanks!

  • Gina Zeidler

    So good. So good

  • Brittany H

    Unfaithfulness. Lord forgive me for not honoring you as my King! Daily I lean on my own strength and consume my thoughts with the things of this world. Please help me to fill my mind with your words; to put on the fruits if the spirit every morning. Thank you for new grace everyday and your unending mercy!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Amen, Brittany! SO thankful for unending mercy! We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Loved this!!

  • Nikki Smith

    Bless! Show me my unfaithfulness!!! The sin in our hearts wants so badly to condemn others. Let us examine ourselves first and our unfaithfulness to our spirit, to our Lord and his message. Wow!!

  • Hilliary Hallman

    Dddxxx

  • Liz Crawford

    One of my favorite aspects of this study is this comment section. It’s been amazing to share in what God is doing in the hearts of the other women participating in this study. It’s beautiful to be going through this Bible study as a community.

    I just read most of the 190+ posts & went through & copied my favorites to the notes section of this app so that I could add your insights to my notes & mull over them myself.

    Thank you my sweet sisters for blessing & encouraging me so much by sharing your hearts & Biblical insights into the passages we’re studying together! ❤️

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi, Liz! We are so glad you\’re joining the conversation in our community! We love having you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Gods jealousy for our time and attention is so vast, powerful and violent. He will do whatever it takes to get our attention. He is in control of all we have, so when we make him second place to an idol he can, and will, take it away and make us seek him first. (He will take us out to the desert, strip us naked and leave us without food.) He does remind us that it is not in our own power that we have success and comfort and food and clothing, but by his own will!

  • Life is busy. It’s intense. And, if I’m not careful, each day becomes about me if I don’t sit down, quiet myself and focus on Him. It seems the last few weeks, on and off, as I’ve been doing “his work” (I work in ministry), I’ve neglected sitting in His presence. Listening to His sweet voice. Reading His promises. I just go and go and think, I feel so lost today. The thing is, each day he’s reaching for me to just lock eyes with him and I feel it, but I divert them in my business.

    Today that stops. Lord, help me in my unfaithfulness. Help me as I try to please you with my works remember that in that, I am being unfaithful. You want me — you’ve chosen me and call me your own. As I desire with my own child, help me remember to sit at your feet, talk with you and connect with you daily. I repent of my selfishness and pride. I confess my need and dependence on you. Thank you for constantly pursuing and loving me. You are so good, Jesus!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Susie, I LOVE this prayer. Praying these beautiful words with you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • AshPal

      Love this prayer. Thank You!

    • Jessica

      I work in ministry too and this completely resonates with me. Thank you! ❤️

  • That was spot on. Straight to the mark.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Thanks for joining us, Andrea! We love having you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • carlybannister

    What I love about this Bible study is the fact that it gives so much room for the Holy Spirit to show each individual exactly what He wants to show us. The big thing that I took away from this particular day is massively shifting my perspective.
    I forget that He is actually jealous for me. A lot of times I dwell on the fact that He is faithful even when I'm faithless, but I never think about what that says about His emotions towards me. He is JEALOUS. He is not casually remaining faithful to me as I give my heart to other things. He is PASSIONATELY and WILDLY jealous for my heart. That is a game changer. That changes my attitude from, "Well, He's patient. He'll wait on me to get my act together. He can't stop being faithful, just cause that's His nature." TO… "Wow, He really wants to spend time with me. He really wants my whole heart. He's faithful because He really enjoys and loves me."
    That is what makes me want to drop my nets and follow Him.

    • Kathy Luongo

      Carly I love this!! The comment about individuality is so right on. I believe often times, in the church, we clump ourselves together and assume the growth and revealing process is the same. I’ve read the book of Hosea a few times yet The Lord is revealing fresh perspectives for such a time as this. For example, typically it doesn’t feel good when someone is jealous for you – it’s very constricting and makes you want to squiggle out of their grip; yet with God, it causes me to desire to jump up into His lap and rest for a while. Thanks for sharing your heart – very encouraging thoughts!

    • Camille

      So true Carly!!! Thank you for that awesome reminder!!

    • Amanda

      I so love what you said!!

    • Lori O

      Amen, Carly! Thanks for reminding us of His heart!!!!

  • I know I have been unfaithful to The Lord lately, and have just become so consumed in other things like school and health and kids that I have been asking for help in bad times, but not been near enough diligent in the good times! I pray The Lord pulls me closer to him in ALL times!!! I do not want to become lost!

  • Czarina Kaye

    As a Christian, it is so easy to get caught up in the cycle of going to church and "doing good deeds" that I become so glazed over and forget to take a deeper look at how I am in my relationship with God. I do not want to become so comfortable with myself that I loose sight of You and Your will for my life. Lord show me my unfaithfulness! Draw me back to You again and again.

    • evhornbeck

      It is hard work to constantly challenge ourselves this way — but this is what we are called to!

  • Christine

    Before I knew of this app or study I began the process of being brutally honest before God. Then Isaiah came to my mind ” behold I’m doing a new thing” now this week a friend posted about this study. Today this post. So much affirmation from God, accepting along with justice. My prayer has been to put Him first every single day. It’s been a challenge but I feel such peace.

  • Beth Starkey

    14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
    Bring her into the wilderness
    And speak kindly to her. 15 “Then I will give her her vineyards from there, And the valley of Achor as a door of hope. And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
    As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. 16 “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord,
    “That you will call Me Ishi
    And will no longer call Me Baali.
    17 “For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, So that they will be mentioned by their names no more. —- 14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
    Bring her into the wilderness
    And speak kindly to her.
    15 “Then I will give her her vineyards from there,
    And the valley of Achor as a door of hope.
    And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,
    As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
    16 “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord,
    “That you will call Me Ishi
    And will no longer call Me Baali.
    17 “For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth,
    So that they will be mentioned by their names no more.” – Hosea 2. —- truly one if my favorite passages! Even before this study. I know very well of my unfaithfulness. :( But, praise God, I have experienced an intimacy with the LORD as He allured me… Spoke tenderly to me… Made the hurt and terrible things in my life into a door if hope… And he forgave me!! <3 yet I STILL mess up!! … Yet… He is still God. Always will be. HE IS GOOD. Faithful and forgiving and righteous. Thank you SRT gals and community :)

  • Most days, I read from The Message. And sometimes, the simplicity of the writing just takes my breath away.

    "And now here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to start all over again. I'm taking her back into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I'll court her. I'll give her bouquets of roses. I'll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope."

    Guys, this is me. For the past 7 months, I've felt like nothing. I've felt like everything had been taken away from me. Like, there was nothing left and I was worthless. But for the past couple months, something has been changing. My relationship with my father has gone from theory to real and living. I think that this was once again, just God meeting my needs. He's taken this opportunity to show me how loved I am. He's shown me that I am cared for and that I am worthy of being courted. Deserving? Absolutely never. But so precious and worthy in the eyes of my father? Always.

    • Beth Starkey

      Truly. Love that verse as well! God is love. :)

    • SheReadsTruth

      LOVE this, Meg. So thankful God\’s revealing His love and plan for you! We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • What I really loved about this story in the passage was how when we sin and turn away from God, running after other gods and ending up in the desert…then we have a eureka moment and decide, actually I was better off with God, why did I ever turn away? But what’s so amazing about God is, He doesn’t just go – ok, fine now you’ve come to your senses you can come back and be restored. He doesn’t just take us back, grudgingly…almost just barely tolerating us (which, mind you, even if He did we’d probably just be so thankful he even forgave us in the first place). No…what he does is woo us. While we are still out whore-ing the heck out of ourselves to work deadlines, more and yet more material things, postings on Instagram, bla bla bla…while we are mired deep in that state of whoredom…he woos us. Buys us flowers, takes us on date nights, tells us how beautiful we really are and how much he loves us, promises and gives us the world…truly and utterly sweeps us off our feet! This isn’t just forgiveness, this isn’t just ‘taking us back’…this is a whole new level, this is loving us…really really loving us! Wow, what an unbelievable Husband we have in Jesus!!!! What a beautiful, patient and loving God we all serve!!!!

    • Beth Starkey

      Love this. SO SO SO TRUE!! Doesn’t it just lift your heart up…!? Wow!!

    • Joyjoythomas

      I love your insight here. Truly scandalous of Him! I’m worth that? Makes me have those feelings of being pursued madly that I haven’t had in YEARS. We are not worth his scandalous love.

  • Allison VanHoozer

    This book speaks to me so so so much. Hosea 2 literally brings me to tears every time i read it because it shows God's unfailing mercy in love. in the first pasrt of chapter 2 God is so mad and is talking about how Isreal is a whore and he will strip them naked and how he doesnt even know their names, but at the end of the chapter he calls them his people and that they will no longer call him "Master" and he will take care of them. And i just really love that because how often do we "cheat" on God and worship other things, be that music, friends, family, or anything yet at the end of the day He loves us more than we can even put into words and i just really love that.

  • How have I been unfaithful as the bride of Christ? Wow….didn’t like this one so much. But as I pondered my unfaithfulness, I kept thinking-He is tenderly speaking to me. His love never fails in spite of my failures. He gives me the desires of my heart, even when I think I know best what they are. He never gives up on me…HE is my God and I am His. I am blessed beyond measure!

  • loveHimso

    Lord show me my unfaithfulness….we can see others through a different lens once we realize that we are all a work in progress. I rejoice in my trials for they continue to shape that lens.

  • V. Elliott

    As I read today’s study, I began look at my back door and I discovered that I am allowing the business of the world become more important than God; spending less time or no time at all with God. Lord I ask Your forgiveness for placing worldly tasks before you.
    The Lord is my source of strength and guidance and without Him guiding me I am lost.

    • Suelong88

      Right? This is me also. We make time for so many other things that don't matter. But don't make time for what matters most. I'm so grateful for this study and you ladies. :o)

  • “I will lead her into the wilderness & speak tenderly to her” (Hosea 2:14)

    Boy, this struck me like a broken string or a tree branch being snapped back in your face. Both of them sting.
    This was me. As I read this I paused, wrote that down and began crying & laughing at the same time. Oh Lord, do you ever work in mysterious ways. It wasn’t until I began exploring His world (hiking, climbing, etc) that I began getting out of my depression. My fiancé has seen me bloom the past year and boy, is he ever glad that he stuck around. I don’t think that he has ever seen me as happy as I am now, and he now joins me on my hikes because I can’t shut up on them. In some crazy way, hiking has brought me closer to God and mended me.

    • Hannah

      Kelly I am the same way. When I feel depressed or weighed down I have always found rest, peace and comfort in God’s nature. He truly does use His creation to draw us closer to Him.

  • “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.”
    I sit here reading these verses, devotional, and comments and all I can think is how wretched I am. Consistently unfaithful to my Jesus. My Savior. The One who gave his life for me.
    I am so grateful for my Jesus and His faithfulness. His grace and mercy. His unfailing love for me. The thought of Someone loving me through my sin and unfaithfulness. That He still wants ME. It has tears flowing down my face.

  • "This is the gospel story in the Old Testament. God comes to woo us tenderly to himself; he promises us fullest hope and safety; he starts over with any who will come, and offers us the most intimate and pleasure-filled relationship possible… God wants your heart, not just your hands, because if he has your heart he has everything." — John Piper

    I found this beautiful notes by John Piper with regards to Hosea Chapter 2… it brings a new light to it :) http://www.soundofgrace.com/piper82/122682m.htm

  • Rebecca Sadtler

    Wow I needed this today! So easy to pick apart others when we have so much unfaithfulness! The mercy of God is so evident everyday! I love how He picks us up right where we are!

  • Idols are anything that takes place over God in our hearts, that being said, He calls us His bride and yet, like Gomer, we lend our hearts to other people and things above God. And still, He loves us in our unfaithfulness. Lord I pray You would show us what else is sharing the alter of our hearts today and bring us to a place of repentance. Thank You for Your unrelenting love.

  • Today was a hard passage for me. I am that unfaithful bride..to my husband. Wow the disgust I have as I read this passage and see these words.How angry we get with Gomer…I feel that for myself. Anger, shame, disgust, embarresment, regretfulness, the list goes on. Lord I am here begging for forgiveness. I know we are a community here and I ask that I wont be judged, just prayed for. I have turned from my ways and regret my mistakes. Each day I live with shame. I am praying that God will do a work that only he can.

    • Eko

      Be still in His presence, Sue. God thinks you’re worth fighting for!

    • Onfaith

      Oh Sue, my heart aches for the shame you are feeling. I am so thankful for your transparency here! God loved Gomer enough to set out a plan to provide a loving & faithful earthly husband, to straighten her course and will her back to Him and to her husband. Sue you are no different. Valued and treasured in the same. He knows you heart and your sufferings. He seeks you still and as I said in an earlier comment, when you turn your face from Him, He turns it back. He looks you straight in the eyes and whispers, "You're loved, you're beautiful, you're mine! I will never leave you!" and Sue, He forgives you.

      I pray peace over you dear sister. Peace over your past, over your choices, over your hurts. I pray that He reveals to you in bold form the areas He wants to work out in you, that you hear His voice audibly when you doubt or are troubled. I pray, in Jesus name, that the enemy not only loosen the grip he has on your heart, but that he runs at the sound of Christ's name. That He be trampled like the snake he is. I pray that you recognize the lies he tries to fill your ears with and you turn your face from him and to God. I pray protection over your marriage, peace over your husband's heart, over his tenderness to you. I pray that there is Grace in your relationship, that he sees you as God does and you see him in the same. I pray that there will be vast fruit from this season and that your testimony will save other marriages and other women! Sue, we have all fallen terribly short in our roles. We do not have enough paper to write out our errs, but we have a Savior that has nailed what we do have. KNOW who you are, and that is a precious, beautiful child of God….loved, adored and adorned!!!!! I will keep you in prayer! ~ B

    • Mel

      Sue–asking God to turn your Valley of Achor into a door of hope.

    • Kelsey T

      Sue, I am in the same situation. I understand exactly how you feel as I have made the same choices. It hurts, and even though we know God is forgiving and redeems those who love him, I’ve had a hard time allowing myself to be forgiven. I am praying for you as a fellow sister in Christ who has fallen. I pray for your healing. Know that there are other women out there like you.

      • Sue

        Wow you have no idea what it means to have another christian woman be in the place I am in. It seems few and far between. I am right there with you, not allowing myself to be forgiven. Praying for you too sister!

      • Kelsey T

        I know what you mean! If you’d like, id be more than happy to be your prayer partner in all of this. We could exchange emails or something. It’s definitely hard to find someone that’s not on the opposite side of this kind of crisis.

      • Kelsey T

        Hi Sue! I completely spaced and never sent my email. It’s [email protected]. Hopefully you see this!

    • Kendall_S

      Sue – You are not alone. There is a celebration on the other side of repentance and forgiveness!!! God can do a mighty work in your life that will be a testimony and blessing to others. Keep seeking Him. I'm so proud of you!

  • Ashley S.

    We’re all so quick to point out others sins & shortcomings that we forget to check our own. I feel that we could all use a heart check every now and then to make sure we are still on the path God would want for us to be on.

  • Suelong88

    We are often so blind to our own sin. Sure we can see it in others, but when it comes to ourselves we do such a great job (we think) of covering it up. This is my prayer today: That God would lead me in through the back door of my heart where I can catch my sin in action; to truly see it and get rid of it!

    • Haley

      Yes, this is so true. Holy Spirit show me where I have been unfaithful so that I can see clearly.

  • What an awesome picture. I have never read Hosea before but basically knew the story. Although I hadn’t related it to David and Bathsheba like that. What an awesome reminder.

  • Melissa Jeanne

    vs 14 is a life changing verse.
    He will bring me into the wilderness and speak tenderly to me … when I have ripped Him apart piece by piece … lying to His face and choosing other things to worship.
    how undeserving I am..
    how abounding in Love our Husband is..

    this study is wrecking my heart, and i could not be more thankful.

  • I love Psalm 139:23-24 for this:

    Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

    I've never been disappointed when I ask God to reveal hidden sins in me. He brings them to the surface, and I'm left saying, "Oh wow! How did that sin sneak in unnoticed? How did I never know that was wrong?" And I am thankful!

    • Sarah

      YES. I love that verse. It’s my son’s first somewhat scripture memory verse and has served us both well!

  • Sloane Stallone

    So so so so gooooood

  • We are only two days into this study and I am already so moved. I have struggled with giving something over to God throughout the summer, and just in these two days am now realizing that I perhaps I have made it my idol before God. God often asks us to do difficult things (like Hosea marrying an unfaithful woman). Our faith in him is revealed in how we respond. Do we obey like Hosea, believing and trusting that there is a special purpose in God's request or do we ignore him?

    I especially liked the 14th verse in chapter 2…I will allure her….I will bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak comfort to her. I so often cry out to God from the floor by my bed, or in traffic, or at my desk at work. But when I truly feel comfort and hear him speak to me is when I am in the 'wilderness'…outside, alone, surrounded by his creation, quiet and solitude with nothing but God's mountains around me. I know you can interpret the usage of that word differently, but that just stroke a chord with me.

    Has anyone read Francine Rivers' book Redeeming Love?? It is a beautiful love story using the book of Hosea. It is an emotionally charged story, but I highly recommend reading. It gives a wonderful understanding of what this book is truly about.

    • Trish

      I have always felt drawn to Hos 2:14. I feel that God takes a into the “wilderness” (or “desert” in the NLT version) because that is where we truly listen and hear. He brought me through a the desert (metaphorically) and spoke love and mercy. He brought me back to Him with his gentle hand. I love this verse!!

      I’ve started reading “Redeeming Love”. I’m only about a third of the way through but I love it so far. It’s hard to put it down.

    • Eliza

      I hadn't thought of the "wilderness" like that but it's so true Susan! In moments of solitude, away from 'it all', its always so much easier to feel God's gentle nudge on my heart. All the senses awaken when we just give pause for it. :) What a lovely way of looking at things!

    • Jen

      I totally agree, the book is absolutely brilliant! I’ve decided that once this study is finished I’m going to read it again :)

  • katherine

    I can’t imagine me being unfaithful to the one I love, my best friend, my husband! But my eyes are opened to the unfaithfulness I have shown to the one I love, who loves me no matter what, MY LORD. He has forgiven my sins and called me his own. But I have wandered and bowed to other gods and turned a deaf ear to his calling for me. I want to surrender completely and walk the path he has set for me. Thankful for the images and messages of Hosea that are helping me see clearly my unfaithfulness and God’s faithfulness to me.

  • DVineSpeaks

    Great lesson on today I can't say that I lived a dedicated life for Christ as I grew up in church. I did stray away but upon my TRUE return to God the Father it grieves me so that I hurt Him even when I was hurting I understand so much more now that God is EVERYTHING I could ever need, want ask for.

    The question that rose up for me today in this study is yes we could tell the story of Hosea and Gomer, Sampson and Delilah, David and Beth-Sheba but when people are enjoying the fleshly aspect of sin we can pull a back door and it still not be recieved. Today, what examples could you all provide where this could have the prophet Nathan's effect? Thanks for those who will dialogue with me. I do know that there will be many times where we are just to plant the seed and let God water and nuture it.

    Be Blessed my Sisters in Christ.

  • Jennifer

    16 “In that day,” declares the Lord,
    “you will call me ‘my husband’;
    you will no longer call me ‘my master. ’ <<<— that flip from rules to relationship. I loved reading that today. :)

  • Mandi O'Connor

    Love looking at Hosea in a brand new light (Gomer as well for that matter) there are so many times I have been an “unfaithful bride” to Christ; giving my affections and energy to things that distract from spending quality time with Him daily. As a minister, I can see where the church does this as well. It is time for us to come back to our true source.

  • I'm kind of conflicted – I hope that's ok? You guys are all so positive and into it..and I am too! But I wonder… is it that shocking that each of us is unfaithful to God? After all, He created us with our own (i.e separate from His own) free will right? Isn't that what makes being faithful and accepting God so special? That we would choose, by our own minds, independent of what God does or did, to follow His teachings? I feel like our unfaithfulness, our tendencies to fixate on the wrong things, to forget what matters, etc… tall that is to be expected because, well… life outside the Kingdom is hectic, and fraught with madness and confusion. I mean, yes it IS certainly difficult and uncomfortable to turn the mirror on ourselves and say 'Yes, this is me too. I have been unfaithful'. Ugh, I don't know where I'm going with this. I guess I just feel like what's really extraordinary and hard about this passage is more the idea that God would continuously redirect each one of us so that we might find our OWN way back to him.

    (i.e this part : I will block her path with a wall
    to make her lose her way.
    7 When she runs after her lovers,
    she won’t be able to catch them.
    She will search for them
    but not find them. ")

    To me that's what stands out. And looking back on my life, I can definitely see times where I am either to weak or to concentrated on other things to admit that I need to refocus and realign my life with my intentions, with His intentions, and all of the sudden there is that path I thought I should take being blocked for whatever reason. And here I am being forced to rethink what it is I'm doing! That is what's wonderful, amazing and uplifting to me about this book so far :)

    • Amy

      I really appreciated your thoughts. It is amazing how even when we are taking a different path, following our own life story instead of the one God has for us, He hedges our path to bring us back Him. I love that you shared this insight. Thanks!

      • Eliza

        Thanks Amy :) When I first started to comment I thought I was feeling differently from everyone else but as I continued to write I realized we're all celebrating the same love and acceptance. God is good!

  • Elizabeth

    The book is breaking me piece by piece. But oh how I have needed it so badly! I have been abusing the Lord's good grace and choosing to sin because I know I am forgiven. But He is turning by face back to His and it feels so good. I am quick to think that I am not like Gomer, but I am. Thank you Lord for showing us our unfaithfulness so we can draw closer to You. Praying for all of you! xo

  • I know exactly where God’s going to show me my sin; in how I lose my cool with my precious children. This is scary and raw and real, and I’m jumping in.

  • God is so disgusted with my sin. He sees me as obscenely unfaithful unless I am covered with Jesus robe of righteousness. How lost I would be without Jesus! I think I have only the tiniest glimpse what You have done for me, Lord. I am in awe of Your holiness and Your mercy.

  • tawnimarie

    Only HE can truly satisfy the hunger in our hearts! ❤❤❤

  • oh my, open my eyes to see Lord what my unfaithfulness could be, sometimes we go through life with blind folds not realizing our faults, that they could actually be damaging to ourselves and others, love, love, love this study…

  • Abigail Ruth

    Am I prone ( like Gomer and David) to believe my idols fulfill my needs? YES! I run after them thinking that they give me what I want and what I need. But they only disappoint. And at the same time The Lord is standing offering me so much more than I can ask or imagine. Offering Himself. This is my daily unfaithfulness.

  • Jennifer

    Oy. Being presented with my own sin I often comes in the form of disciplining my 13 year old daughter. “Why do I always have to have the same conversation with you?” I ask. “Why can’t you just have self-control and be obedient?” Ouch. Exactly what God says to me at the very same rate it’s coming out of my mouth.

    • shereadstruth

      Ouch! Great example, Jennifer. I am so often feeling the same way! So thankful for His faithfulness. We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Amber Chanel

    The love of Christ is amazing. Every time we take the reigns and try to run our own lives God is waiting to for us to come back and set us on the right path. I wondered for five years and was stripped of everything distracting. He never gave up and finally when I opened my ears to hear I was set on the right path. The Lord is good. This study is astounding me.

  • Robyn Baker

    This was hard hitting this morning. We are on a family beach vacation.

    My woes:
    My kids woke us up early. Come in guys it’s vacation!!!!
    Everyone is screaming and I’ve yet to have my first sip of coffee.
    Everyone is dancing and screaming about going to the beach while I am trying to do my devotional.
    I am snappy with my husband because he didn’t pack the bags right.
    I am a control freak and have to have the lay out just like I like it.
    I sit and sulk in all of the above, never thinking any of this is sin.

    The opposites of any fruits of the spirit.

    My around the back door moment comes when I see my youngest child.

    Fussing about sand on her feet.
    Screaming at everyone that she is SERWIOUS!!!!
    A tantrum or two on the beach.
    A discontentment in her soul.
    Always an issue, always something awry.
    Never in the moment and never enjoying life.

    What an around the corner.

    Had God told me those things through an adult–I would shrug them off. I would make excuses and I would justify my behaviors.

    When I see it in my child–it’s a painful awakening that I am not taking my own advice.

    I tell her to relax! You have no problems you are 2! I tell her to calm down. It’s not that important. Go with the flow.

    From the actions of babes–to my own heart. From God’s mouth in the only way I could hear it.

    • Heather Appling

      Thank you for being a blessing to me through your honesty and your transparent words. I echo so much of what you said yet I am not a mother just a newlywed wife struggling to stop and enjoy my husband and my gloriously blessed life that seems like such an annoying inconvenience many days… I must repent and allow God to place back on the path of “righteousness and justice, in love and compassion and faithfulness.”

    • Onfaith

      Spot on sister! I have been many times where you were this morning. So incredibly enlightening those moments. I am awakened to that with my little people more than I care to admit! Thanks for sharing! ~ B

  • I really liked the addition of the story of David. Like him I too am quick to judge the sin of others and have a prideful attitude. My prayer is that God help me extend the grace to others that He gives me. In those moments when I give in to a critical mindset and judgmental attitude I forget how much of a sinner I am. The worst part is sometimes when I hear the Holy Spirit convict me before I speak out my thoughts I still end up choosing my flesh. Lord, help me to move past this and make an effort to choose you each time.

    • lisalouneu

      Yes, exactly Jimena. Me too! Oh how judgmental I am. And oh how much I don’t want to be. And how hard it is to listen to God telling me STOP, just stop. I am stubborn and don’t listen the first or 2nd (or 3rd) time he speaks. Each day my prayer contains thanksgiving to God for having patience with me and continuing to remind me I am not the judge! Anyway, wanted you to know that your message struck home with me. Thank you!

      • Jimena

        Lisa, I totally forgot to check back in the comments! I thought about it just now as I was reading today's devotion. I pray God helps us to continue to surrender daily to Him in this area. That we may be able to honor Him with our words and thought life.

  • Name *Tina

    B, what truth you speak… and another AMEN to your prayer for Melissa….God bless you, B….and I pray He continue to grant you the desires of your heart…B, ..God be with you..xxx

    Melissa, will hold you and yours up in prayer…God be with you in this season…BIG hug, Dear heart…xxx.xxx

    I aa struggling to get this reply in, in response to your comment to Melissa….sorry….there is definitely something dodgy going on….

    • Onfaith

      Thank you so much Tina! You are a greatly valued sister! And I love the term "dodgy" …. Definitely agree. Glad to know the weirdness I've experienced today wasn't me alone. :) ~ B

  • Just yesterday on the discussion board I wrote how I believe God has a bigger plan in my life right now but my ears are not open… Today in the devotional was this: “The sovereign Lord is calling the people of Israel to Himself. And, like David, they stand, ears plugged, unwilling or unable to see their own sin. ” I think that is confirmation that The Lord is telling me to just listen. Praying that today I get better at listening and quiet my mind. Lord, I so badly want to hear what you have to say. Even if it throws me out of my comfort zone and turns my world upside down. Please give me a purpose for you, to make that purpose known, and to help me trust in that purpose. Amen.

    • shereadstruth

      Wow, I love that, Jenn. Echoing your prayers!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • This study totally wrecked me. I rejected on my continual unfaithfulness and how I continue to run run run… But, Jesus continues to stand with is arms wide open waiting for me, Everytime I run away or am unfaithful.

    • shereadstruth

      Amen, Meyuna! I am so thankful for His wipe open arms. We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Diana Anunda

    Reading the study this morning gave me comfort in knowing that when I feel isolated and nothing seems to be going my way, God is at work in my life. He’s revealing to me things that I need to let go of. He is drawing me closer to Him and bringing me to the realization that ALL my hope and treasure should be found in Him.

  • There is a book called Reedming Love written by Francine Rivers. It is based the story of Hosea which takes place in the 1800’s. Such a good book and reveals how much the Father loves us and how patient, loving and kind.

  • “Hatred of sin as sin, not only as galling or disquieting, and a sense of the love of Christ in the cross, lies at the bottom of all true spiritual mortification.” -John Owen

    Saw this posted on a friend’s FB page this morning and thought it apt. It’s when I don’t take time to realize and confess the sin that creeps into my heart that I begin to feel self-reliant and to forget God’s overwhelming goodness to me and his sufficiency to kill sin’s hold on my life and use me for him. Sweet confession.

  • “…but Me she forgot,’ declares the Lord.” Hosea 2:13

    That hit me like a ton of bricks. Oh how many times have I forgotten the Lord? How many times have I chosen to worry instead of pray? Do my own thing instead of trust Him for His plan?

    “Therefore I am now going to allure her, I will lead her… I will speak to her tenderly…” Hosea 2:14

    Whew. What a precious Savior we serve who is willing to pursue me even when I’m a brat! ;)

    • Onfaith

      Seriously humbling! The creator of the universe is verbally sharing that He was forgotten. So thankful He doesn't hold us to that and lash out….that He is a "Precious Savior". ~ B

    • Stephanie Swain

      Me too Erica how many times am I just to busy.

  • This morning while seeking to understand all that God was saying to me I came upon this quote.
    "When our lives are filled with ease and we have what we want, our
    incredible tendency is to turn away from the One who gave everything to
    us. We were designed to be in concert with our God. To live any other
    way, is to find a nagging ache that can never be satisfied. If we are
    brought low, it is to bring us to God, who will allure us, give us
    His love, and speak comfortably (kindly) to ME. He longs for the moment
    when we will LISTEN to His love."
    Lord, You speak to me in this chapter. Help me to LISTEN to your love— Lord help me to be honest about the sin in my life that I hide from others but is not hidden from you. Here in these verses you called it "unfaithfulness hidden beneath her breast". What do I treasure above my faithfulness to my God? "Search me, oh God, and know my heart; test me , see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in YOUR way everlasting".

    • Rosalie

      Thank you for sharing the quote & your prayer. Such a hard question to ask ourselves & God. May He show us in His love so that we can be more like Him.

    • Diana Anunda

      Amen

    • tina

      Lord, help me to LISTEN to your Love…beautiful….Thank you Shirley for sharing this quote…Blessings..xxx

      Am going to have to go in the back door….excuse the pun….can't seem to send replies…

  • Abigail Wright

    Ahh, I am beginning to love the book of Hosea! His redemption and faithfulness to us even in our own sin is so humbling!
    There is a book by Francine Rivers called Redeeming Love and it is a loose re-telling of the story of Hosea and Gomer. It is absolutely amazing! I read it when I was younger and even back then it really impacted me and changed the way I thought about love and redemption. If anyone has a chance, I would really recommend reading it!

    • shereadstruth

      I love Redeeming Love, Abigail! We are so thankful you're in this study with us!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Onfaith

      That's one that has been mentioned, but I've yet to read. Ordering it and adding to my pile! ~ B

  • “I will show my love to the one I called, ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people'; and they will say, ‘You are my God.'” vs. 23

    This passage displays the harsh realities of God’s discipline in our wandering. When we are wrapped up in sin, we often forget that God’s favor doesn’t rest with us. However, even in that He is protecting us, disciplining us, and setting the stage for redemption and restoration. And redemption is possible!! The end of this chapter beautifully displays the act of redemption. Sometimes though, I wonder will this process hurt? Will it feel good to be redeemed? What do we expect real love to feel like? I hope we don’t miss God’s ongoing process of redemption (Hebrews 10:14), because it doesn’t come in the package we except. Praying that God can help me submit to His redemption in my own life–the ongoing process of being made holy in the midst of being called Holy by the cross (Heb 10:14)– even when I don’t feel like He is working. Praying that we can all become more aware of God’s presence in our life as He really is, not as we think he should be.

  • "She didn’t know that it was I all along
    who wined and dined and adorned her,
    That I was the one who dressed her up
    in the big-city fashions and jewelry"
    (The Message)

    I love this! How often we want to find all of these other things to comfort us and we go running and searching and God says, "all along, I am the one who provided those things. I am the one who gave you what you needed, not anything or anyone else."

    Lord, forgive me where I fail to see you. Forgive me when I think everyone else is what brings me joy. When I get caught up in buying a big house, or dressing a certain way, or flaunting around my hubby and kids because they are so precious. HElp me remember it's YOU! You gave me everything. You are my everything. You bring me joy.

  • ofDustandWonder

    Yes, yes, yes. This is so good and so desperately needed in the Church culture (and really the world) we live in. So many times I hear people say things like, "man, those Jews were so unfaithful. Pfft." and I'm totally incredulous. So are we! How quickly we forget that we serve a God who knows all, and turn to our own desires and our own control– and how fine the line is of being in, but not of, this world. I experience and observe that constantly. I love (and hate) the part in this passage from Hosea where she casually says that she'll just, oh you know, return to her first husband because that was better than the mess she's currently in. It angers me how light she is about this, especially when it mentions the silver and gold that have been lavished on her (by her first husband) have been used for Baal (v.8)! But then I realize, I have done the same in my life– used my gifts or resources towards worldly, empty things. I have been so unfaithful. But the scene in the wilderness (v.14 on) has also been blessedly true, and I marvel everyday that I serve a God who cares that much! Beautiful stuff, that passage. :)

  • Sue Zierden

    Search me, oh God and know my heart….. and lead me in the way everlasting. His faithfulness to me is the "But God" that keeps me going back to the cross daily!

  • There is nothing quite as humbling as reading God's word and having it strike directly into your heart and gut. How often do we excuse our unfaithfulness to God? If you are like me, it's much more often than I like to admit.

    Even as a parent it's hard for me to think of watching my children perform this level of disrespect, and yet, I am guilty of disrespecting my God, my father, my groom, on a daily basis. But how amazing is it to know that even in all my disrespect and following a path away from Him, My God works to bring me back to Him?!

    "Therefore I will block her path with thorn bushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them." Hosea 2:6-7

    He will ensure that I am safe and protected from that which will take me farther from Him. It's unbelievably powerful to know that even when I'm unfaithful, when I'm disrespectful to my God, He doesn't just cast me aside as a lost cause. No, my Father, my Betrothed casts a net to keep me safe and narrows the path so that I return to Him and then He showers me with love. Amazing.

  • I was really convicted by today’s reading from Hosea. I am asking God to show me my idols, because my heart feels calloused right now. He is already loving me by showing me all the things I worship beside him. I am so thankful that Jesus defines me, not my performance or efforts to be “holy”. I fall short every day, but this is the beauty of the gospel. While we were still far away, he came near through Jesus Christ to cleanse us of our impurities. The wording is so intimate in this chapter-and it almost makes me weep. We serve a beautiful Lord.

  • Verses 19-20 The Lord betrothing us to Him is such a beautiful picture it doesn’t say anything about what we do it’s all Him. Then verse 16 we will no longer call Him master but will call Him Husband. I know that I am guilty of thinking about Christ as a person to follow rules from a ungrateful “I have to attitude” at times. My thinking is wrong I need to think about it as He is my husband. If I really love and respect Him I will want to show Him that love.
    Ladies is he master or husband? Can you call him your lover or just your savior?

  • It has been a wonder to me when studying the prophets to see how often God pronounces judgment…His righteous, extreme judgment–and then follows with His promise of loving pursuit and redemption. I cringed in shame reading the first part of the scripture, as I recognized myself as an ungrateful wanderer from my Lord. Then I recognized the righteousness if his judgment. Ah, then a was overcome with His grace and mercy in not only accepting me back, but wooing me anew, showing how much He loves me despite my unfaithfulness.
    He loves me/us so much more than I can comprehend! Lord, do open my eyes to see all the ugliness of my unfaithfulness as You see it. Let me see those things that attract me as the poor shams that they are. Then as I repent, Lord, let me delight in the richness of Your presence, the warmth of Your embrace, and the strength of the life You pour into me.

  • nafisara

    Amen, Amen, Amen!! God is so amazing!! Hallelujah!

  • I have been unfaithful, please lift me up father

  • Brittany

    Talk about a home run! This passage hit home for me. I’ve realized that there is no greater relationship than the one we have with God. We put more emphasis on being faithful to our boyfriends or spouses, then we do with God. We want to do right by our family and friends to please them and show them that we truly care, but we ignore the word of God.

    My eyes have been open to my own unfaithfulness to God by this passage.

  • The (self-)deception of adultery is the craziest part. She straight up thinks her lovers provide what she wants/needs when all along it’s The Lord who provides all she wanted. Oh man, reality is my friend. The best idols can only offers mud-pies in comparison to our God!

  • Name yvette Moye

    So blessed by today’s devotion. I love Kara’s post, I will copy it. I’m Yvette and I’m unfaithful.

  • The most amazing part of this passage for me, in light of my own unfaithfulness, is the “therefore” in v.14. The Lord has spent the last five verses talking about how he strips away all the things that distract us from him, that could seem like punishments. But in that one word, we see that all of that has been for one, good, merciful, purifying purpose! So that he can allure us, love us, woo us! He doesn’t do this begrudgingly, only wanting to punish us. He doesn’t allure us IN SPITE of his justice, the mercy he shows us is part of his character. Who He is. This makes me in awe of the goodness of our God, even more so in the awareness of our unfaithfulness.

    • Danika

      Thank you for this comment. I was struggling seeing the punishment- it felt begrudging to me and reviewing it I can see His love in every verse now and not only I'm the obvious ones. He truly is redeeming ALL things ALL the time, including me despite my unfaithfulness. I am in awe and thankful for this God.

  • Caroline

    So grateful for God's relentless pursuit and His gift of redemption…

  • Verses 5-8 in chapter 2 are really capturing my attention today. I see the adulterous bride going after her loves and after things that she perceives to be better. But then her way is blocked and can't get to them. It becomes an empty chase. So she returns to her husband because it's better than wasting her time pursuing something she hasn't been able to find and attain. And in verse 8 it's revealed that her husband has given her so many good things all along; she just doesn't know it.

    I can so relate to this. I am guilty of pursuing my "lovers"– the approval of others, more money, vacations, success in general. These are often times empty pursuits. My way gets blocked. And I get angry and cry that "it's not fair." And then I return to God, to my groom. And I hate admitting it, but I return to Him because I'm hurting and because my "lovers" didn't provide. He shows me mercy and redeems me. And this chapter reminds me, particularly verse 8, that when the good things, the blessings come along, it's been Him all along– even when I give the credit to myself and to my "lovers."

    As an English teacher, I relate to anything told in story form. Hosea is going to be a hard book to read and process for me, because ultimately it's about me. But I want God to reveal my unfaithfulness so I can return to his mercy and justice and be redeemed and be faithful.

  • Wow! In Hosea this part caught my attention….
    "6 “For this reason I will fence her in with thornbushes.
    I will block her path with a wall
    to make her lose her way.
    7 When she runs after her lovers,
    she won’t be able to catch them.
    She will search for them
    but not find them.
    Then she will think,
    ‘I might as well return to my husband,
    for I was better off with him than I am now.’
    8 She doesn’t realize it was I who gave her everything she has—
    the grain, the new wine, the olive oil;
    I even gave her silver and gold.
    But she gave all my gifts to Baal."

    After all that she (Israel AND Me) has done to turn from God, on purpose, He still loves me so much that when it comes down to it He'll STOP me, put a wall in my path and surround me with thorn bushes to make me stop. I've seen it in my life. I've seen Him downright STOP me in my tracks. Thank you! Thank you! That's all we can say! It doesn't mean I'm finished disappointing Him, that's for sure! But if we can recognize those stumbling blocks he puts in our way as His protection….WOW! It doesn't sound warm and fuzzy but that's Love! :)

    Doreen

    • nafisara

      Man!!! It don't get no real-er than this!!! This is God!! This is our Husband!! LOL! I'm in Awe!

  • My unfaithfulness has been shown to me in the fact that I had a REALLY busy day yesterday. Woke up at 5:30 and didn’t stop until I passed out in my bed at 9:30. Guess how much time I spent with the Word? None. I said prayers with my children before I tucked them in, but in the 15 minutes of time I spent reading last night, I chose to open a novel, rather than do my devotional. Well, guess what greeted me this morning?! Lol. Point taken, God. Point taken.

    • Tina K.

      Oh Erin.. We have ALL been there. What's amazing to me though is that our God doesn't fault us for that. He just sends us reminders, like Hosea, that those busy days are quite possibly when we need to look to Him most.

      I hope you have a WONDERFUL day. :)

  • Alicia Roberts

    To be real with myself and asking God to show me my unfaithfulness to Him. Its like I’m unfaithful to Him alot. Sometimes I dont want to read my Bible. Sometimes I don’t want to have quiet time. This is study is showing me alot. And how everyday we are more compared to Isreal and how they turned their backs on God. Got to do better each and everyday

    • Elizabeth

      I am in the same boat! Glad God is teaching us that beautiful lesson :)

    • Mekesha

      Alicia u r nt Alone in that i have found myself doing the something but since I have joined shereadtruth I have found myself reading more….so hang n there

    • eddlewoman

      Remember also that we can't overcome our sin with more Bible reading or quiet times. The power is in HIS love for you, and his mercy, so our freedom is admitting our unfaithfulness and receiving His love anyway. He will give us new hearts that desire Him…just like He told his people in Ezekiel 36:
      I Will Put My Spirit Within You
      22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. 23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. 24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.[a] 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

      Hope you can celebrate his love for you today…quiet time or not. :)

      • Ifi

        Thank you for sharing this passage, Eddlewoman! Really spoke to me – love reading these comments for the different insights and perspectives all you wonderful ladies bring…thanks again for sharing this! xx

  • My sin, my whoredom, my unfaithfulness, and my pride. Open it all up to me. Let me see the ugly, graphic reality of it all. Dont spare me of seeing it, don’t sugar coat it, dont flag it ir block it. Humiliate me until like David I say, I have sinned against the Lord. Until I cry out in repentance, and then sweet jesus take me to the place where you will speak tenderly to me and forgive me of my sin and let me renew my vows to you.

  • Angela Hunt

    Our human nature is so quick to look at other’s shortcomings, to point out where they fall short, and not look at where we do. God loves us! We don’t deserve it. We sin and disobey and screw up daily, but God’s grace is there. I grew up knowing God’s love and his word. I look back and remember how I always felt David’s story connected to me. Little did I know then as a kid, the sin I would bring upon myself, and the need to be restored by God. I had God’s word and Psalm 51 (David’s response to being called out by Nathan) to cry out to God. God loves us in our sin and unfaithfulness, he just wants us to come to him, to leave our ways, and to walk with him.

    • Kendall_S

      Angela, "the sin I would bring upon myself" – relating and rejoicing with you in the celebration of repentance and restoration to our Father!!

  • I haven't read Hosea before and reading the second chapter this morning has me in tears. How beautiful that the Lord rebukes and shows His jealousy and, in the end, continues to pursue the sinner. The first part of this chapter is overwhelming because it shows the jealous side of God. And to know that all of the things that He promises are things that I deserve is humbling. And then He says such beautiful words about His plan to court her and build relationship with her, even though it's the last thing she deserves. Thank you, God, for grace and relentless love.

    • shereadstruth

      Echoing your praise and thankfulness, Katie! We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • AisforAshleyKay

    Painful and beautiful. Today’s reading was much needed.

  • Nathan's approach reminds me of Jesus' parables, by which He teached most times. We must be careful and considerate when approaching people with regards to their sins, you must definitely let them know how wrong they are and the consequences but do it in such a way that they understand what was done and they too will see the wrong themselves. There and then will they feel the remorse and want to repent. Our duty is not to condemn but to love at all cost. Christ didn't condemn us and He came to save and not condemn the world. Before we approach anyone, or point fingers, let us ensure our hands are completely spotless by asking the Lord to show us our own unfaithfulness. Sometimes we really don't know what we have done, and how unfaithful we have been and so Lord with humble hearts this morning, we ask that you reveal every area of our lives in which unfaithfulness lies.

    I am enjoying this study, thank you Rachel for such warm, heartfelt mesage this morning. SheReadsTruth, God bless you all.

  • Christine

    I am initially stunned that my unfaithfulness is equated to whoredom, but why am I surprised? This is truly my sinful nature, but greater still, the word of God puntures and convicts: "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Heb. 4:12) This morning, I am convicted of this paradox: while God's righteousness reveals the filthiness of my sin and allows me to taste its consequences, His mercy allows me to be reconciled to Him in spite of this.

    At first, it stings to be likened to a whore who chases after her own passions, but O, how painfully accurate this is. Like David and Gomer, how often do I covet, desire, and question God's provision? How often do I shake my fists toward the heavens and am displeased that what God gives me is never enough. Surely, God is angered and I deserve His wrath, but I can also imagine His grief when He says to David (and to me): "And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more." (2 Sam. 12:8) I cannot fully fathom how pained He must be when we scoff, turn our backs and essentially say, "God, even as you have given everything for me, including yourself on the cross, that is still not enough for me." Thank God that even in His righteousness, He chastises and disciplines us out of love. The wages of sin is death and the cost is misery, but it is the conviction and realization of these that leads me to repentance.

    In his writhing in Psalm 22, David laments why has God forsaken him. I'd say one of the greatest tragedies of sin is not just unholiness, but rather separation from our Heavenly Father. Yet in His mercy, He does not leave us in that state: "For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:9) Praise God for His unceasing kindness. Because of this, my heart's desire is to respond and abound in faithfulness.

    Forgive me, sisters, as I notice that I often quote a lot of referential Scripture in my responses. I can't help it as Scripture truly affirms Scripture! :) Be greatly blessed today; you are loved!

    • Morgan

      Ugh, your thought, "Even as you gave given everything for me, even yourself on a cross, still that is not enough for me…" Wow! How often have I pursued things on my own, gone ahead of The Lord instead of patiently waiting for Him, etc? His cross, his "severe mercy" are more than enough. Thanks for sharing this insight. And thanks so much for affirming your thoughts with other scripture! Don't ever apologize for that…that is exactly how truth works into our hearts!!!

    • KayLee

      I love this!! Thanks so much for sharing your words and your heart! I know I often say ‘Pour your blessings on our family, Lord’ and often I feel Him saying ‘Open your eyes!!!!’ He has given so much already.

    • shereadstruth

      So powerful, Christine. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us! I love the Scriptures you shared and that God's grace is consistent through and through!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Nicole

      Christine, there's a divine reason why all of us see connections between our study in Hosea to not only our lives but also the rest of God's Word… :) Thanks for reminding us that the Bible is truly God's love letter to us!

  • Today’s devotional made me realise how ungrateful I have been. Lord I repent. And soak up Your abundance over my short sighted wants. You are more than enough

  • Admitting that we’re unfaithful is the first step sometimes. I suppose that’s why Alcohol Anonymous works.
    “I’m Kara and I’m an unfaithful, broken sinner.”
    Praise The Lord He still lavishes His divine love upon me, no matter how messed up, how unfaithful I am.
    Loving the Hosea study so far!

    • Lauren2024

      When I was in college someone shared an illustration with me that I have not forgotten. When a person comes across a log on the ground and flips it over they will probably find lots of gross things hiding underneath it. Bugs, mold and decay live in the hidden places. But simply exposing those things to the sunlight kills the mold and sends the bugs running. The humble and honest acknowledgment of our sin can have the same effect in our lives. When we admit that we need Christ to change us is like flipping the log over and “his light” begins our restoration process.

    • Elizabeth

      Amen!!

  • ….But before we shut the book on Gomer… ..NO chance…..Jesus said…'Let he/she who has not sinned, cast the first stone…..'I am in NO position to cast that first stone….

    God show me my unfaithfulness….
    Lord, I have been Gomer…I have searched for love in places I shouldn't have, I have looked for acceptance in all the wrong places, I have dreamed, hoped, held out my hand to anything that would make me feel good, wanted, part of…I have sold myself the idea that taking care of No.1 was the only way to survive, to get ahead, to be somebody….I have walked a path, that Gomer, if this story, this sorry, story were about pride, would have been proud of….No, I am not proud of the road I have travelled, I am not proud of the things I have done, … I am not proud….How can I be…?
    I sit here, looking out of the window, with a sad ache, and out of the corner of my eye, I glimpse a picture of me, 'unfaithful' as a child, in my earthly fathers arms….how I long to be that child again…living free and feeling safe and secure, with love, no pressure, just a life of Love and childhood things….so much hope, so many dreams, dreams that didn't involve heartache, to myself or anyone else…..I am trying to remember when I started being unfaithful…I guess when the big wide, shiny, it's yours for the taking, world happened…and I was hooked…it seemed then and for a long time, there was no turning back….But God ….Israel's Savior,….My Savior…He has loved me, 'unfaithful', from the beginning, ….He has loved me when I hated myself, ….He has loved me when I was lost, and sold myself to anything that would satisfy the need for love, acceptance, a place to call home…to be wanted…to belong….And ….He continues to, even now….as I try to navigate my life towards Him, and slip ….from time to time…….He is there with out stretched arms, faithful and true, leading me back to Him, where it is so safe and secure, with a love that goes beyond beyond,… with Forgiveness,… Mercy…Grace… And Hope…always Hope, and a promise that I am His…that I am 'His People…. '

    Lord God, I have sinned against you….I have been unfaithful to You, time and time and time again…here I stand, ashamed, broken and repentant of all the wrong I have done You….for breaking Your heart so, for causing you pain…Lord, I come before You now with my heart in my hand, a small offering, to say THANK YOU for loving me with such a love, as to forgive me my sins, my unfaithfulness, my wanderings….Thank you Lord God for the hand You stretch out to me….each and every day…Thank you Lord God, for your unfailing love, that holds me to your heart, for always….Thank you Lord God .,Thank you…
    _
    A Hug and love to you all, my Dears…xxx

    • Onfaith

      Amen Tina! The daily forgiveness and love God has for us is so astounding. So undeserving. I am so thankful He counts me among "His people". ~ B

    • Michelle

      I appreicate this.. more than you know!

  • joanne sher

    Wow. His love for His unfaithful brides is unrelenting. Like Hosea’s for Gomer. We are – I am – unfaithful to Him on a regular basis – yet He remains faithful.

  • Excited on this morning about Hosea learning alot…. Lord show me my unfaithfulness….

  • God's faithfulness in the midst of recurring sin, is unrelenting. In raising my children, there are times, I feel like I have said the same thing 20 times over and yet, they persist in their disobedience. There are times I feel ready to throw in the towel on it, but God never does. He never even turns His head from me or takes a walk to calm Himself of frustrations. He is the same moment to moment with us. He even makes intentional ways to guide us, like a lighthouse, out of our sin and waits patiently for us to take that first step out of it.

    This also makes me think to Isaiah 43:19 in a way I hadn't before….."For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." I was given an image once, years ago, of myself entrapped in a forest, unable to see straight in front of me because of the branches and thorns in my way, when Christ appeared and reached His hand out to me. I grabbed His hand and He began leading me out. He would hold back branches so I could pass and beneath His feet the thorns would cave. I began to see a light and He held back the last of the branches and moved me forward to the end of the forest only to see a beautiful field, covered in unspeakable colors and light. I knew at the time, He was sharing that He was working through the pain in my life, that He would not just walk with me, but lead me safely out. Today, I can look at that and see that the forest is also my sin. I entrap myself in thorns and each time, He not only patiently escorts me to safety, but provides an unspeakably brilliant place for me. Just as He reveals to us in Hosea 2:18 & 19, His intentions are FOR US! HE is faithful in our failings! ~ B

    • Janet

      Beautiful!

    • Christine

      I love when God grants us imagery and analogies to further reveal Himself and His attributes! That vision of the forest is so beautiful and apt in displaying entrapment and by contrast, God's tender, relentless work of redemption. It reminds me of David's language in Psalms 25 & 124 where he describes God's deliverance as releasing us from the snare of sin and plucking our feet out of the net. Thank God that He sets us free indeed! Thanks for sharing this as well :)

    • Candacejo

      Wow…that is so, so good. ♥

    • Melissa

      Thanks for sharing your personal revelation that Jesus was working through the pain in your life by not only walking with you, but also leading you out of it. I'm so there now in my marriage and have been for the majority of it. Hard to believe it's ever going to change, but your post brought me encouragement this morning. Blessings!

      • Onfaith

        Melissa, God is so good, I shouldn't be surprised by His connections anymore, but yet I still am. The season I referenced in my image was a very shaping season for my marriage. 14 years of constant strife in my marriage resulting in another separation and I was feeling so stuck. God was so faithful to me and to my marriage in that. I am so thankful for His covering and comfort of me in that time. I am praying that God comforts you as well. That He lifts you to a place in relationship with him that allows Him to reveal what He desires for you daily. That you remain in the understanding of who you are in Him. That He allows you to know Him personally as your husband, that He reveal your preciousness, His desire for you and His grand love of you as His bride. That where your relationship with your husband is hurting, He provide healing, that God strengthen you for the journey and provides a clearing in the forest for you. That He not only push away the branches and thorns that entrap you, but that He snaps them, that they break under the weight of His unyielding pressure. That He reveal a marvelous clearing that is just for you. One that helps you to know that what He has for you, in all of this, is beyond this world. I pray healing over your marriage Melissa! My thoughts and prayers will remain with you. Know that this is just a season, there is a grand end, it's just the time in between that is harsh, but it's also a profound time to fall in love with Jesus! ~ B

        • Melissa

          Just now reading your reply and tears are flowing. Thank you so much for your beautiful prayer over me and my marriage. It's exactly what I sense the Lord speaking to me: draw closer to Him, know who I am in Him…of great value- worthy of being pursued- and to allow Him to be my husband in a season (nearly entire 21yr marriage)of neglect and being shut out. I've allowed my marriage and the healthy ones of those around me to become an idol before my Lord. He wants all my devotion and gaze. Only in Him will I be able to walk in Love, forgiveness, steadfastness and peace. So very thankful for His Love for me and how He uses others like you to remind me of His faithfulness. Blessings!
          Melissa

          • Onfaith

            Oh Melissa, we just celebrated 20 years……I know that what God has done for us, for me, He can do for you. Once my focus shifted to me in this marriage, God revealed so much. It's never easy, changing years of habits and cyclical responses takes LOTS and lots of time, but I am praying that God does just that for you. That He wake you in the mornings with a kiss and you fall to sleep each night in the same way. And that one day soon, God will awaken His spirit in your husband as well. ~ B

    • tina

      What an amazing and loving God we have….to calm your heart, He shows you a picture….Wow, ….He loves you Betsy…No doubt…Praising you Lord for your unfailing and faithful love…..with love to you B…x

      • Onfaith

        I'm just so thankful that He knows me so well that my absent minded self requires such keen insight from my maker! :) ~ B

    • Sheri

      Isaiah 43:19 is the verse God gave to me about 6 months ago. Every time I’m in distress I think on it. I love the vision you shared. I always picture myself waiting for God to clear a path- but I never envisioned Him doing it Himself. And really, isn’t that what He does? Oh gosh- thanks for sharing!!

    • Chanel

      Thank you so much for sharing this story about the forest. I needed to read that. Sometimes I forget all the terrible things that have happened in my life AREN'T me, they just happen to me, and God uses all my flaws to create something beautiful.

  • We come broken, and we are loved. Profoundly beautiful.

  • Candacejo

    "But coming around the back door of his defenses allowed David to see objectively exactly what he had done and how he had been wrong."

    The book of Hosea IS difficult because we ALL can see ourselves in the trespass of Gomer. We may not be adulteresses but we ARE sinners. We DO wander and have to be wooed back by our Lord.

    What mercy! What faithfulness! I love Him today because He first loved me…and KEEPS loving me with mercy every single morning.

    Blessings sweet sisters!! Thinking of the Chris Tomlin song this morning, "At the Cross"

    There's a place where mercy reigns and never dies
    There's a place where streams of grace flow deep and wide
    Where all the love I've ever found
    Comes like a flood, comes flowing down

    At the cross, at the cross
    I surrender my life
    I'm in awe of You
    Where Your love ran red and my sin washed white
    I owe all to You

    Here's the link…this song is followed by "How Marvelous…how wonderful…" Oh my! Be prepared to worship! ♥ http://youtu.be/6t0Tdj5cgno

    • Emily

      “We may not be adulteresses, but we ARE sinners…” Love this statement! It helps me connect the ugly realities of my life with Gomer’s. Thank you for sharing!

    • Onfaith

      "Where streams of grace, flow deep and wide." So incredibly fitting for me today CandaceJo! Thank you! ~ B

    • shereadstruth

      Love, love, love this, Candacejo! So thankful to study truth with you every morning!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Kendall_S

    While reading the 2 Samuel passage, I came across in my commentary that Psalm 51 was written by David after being convicted through Nathan of his sin. Just wanted to share since it really encouraged me this morning as I continue to discover my own unfaithfulness and seek restoration to our Father.

    Psalm 51: 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (ESV)

    So convicting again today….I can hear God telling me….You are the man (woman)! It's your unfaithfulness that needs to be dealt with. It's your sin that you continue to minimize and ignore. Lord, forgive my unfaithfulness.

    Psalm 51: 8-12 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (ESV)

    Right there with you, David. Couldn't think of any better way to say it. Thank you Father!

    • Traci Cooley

      Thank you for the additional reading from Psalm 51! I needed that so much in addition to the Hosea passage. So many things have happened over the past year that I have allowed to take way the joy of my salvation. So thankful for this study.

    • shereadstruth

      So thankful for these truths, Kendall! I love the insight given by your Bible commentary. Thanks for sharing!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • mayag

      Thanks for bringing this together, David lived a transparent life, and shares all his ups and downs. I don't often study beyond the posted verses. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sheri

      I love Psalm 51- thank you for sharing. What a whole new light now!

    • Kaitlyn

      I know this was from over a year ago but thank you for sharing this and I just wanted to know that this helped me a lot today. Keep up the good work and keep doing what God is calling you to do because you can and will and are changing lives, even if you don't see it at first.

  • Kari @ ADamnGoodRead

    “Before we condemn this unfaithful bride, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to show us ourselves as the unfaithful brides of Christ. ”

    So convicted by this. Isn’t it easy sometimes to get caught up in judging the people we are reading about or more pridefully, to think of people we know in our own lives and say, “they need to read this.” When we need to first take a long hard look at ourselves and remember that Jesus had to go to the cross for us, just as He did everyone else.

    I pray God will continually humble our pride and keep our hearts glad for the grace we’ve received.

    • Candacejo

      Surely we are all guilty of what you said here, that OTHERS need to read this. Ouch. Lord, help us to pull the plank out of our own eye before we tell our sister about the one in hers! ♥

  • A couple things stood out to me in this passage. First in verse 14 it says, “I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.” He leads them to the dessert, not the mountain stream but the hot, sandy, windy, barren desert. He knows where to put us so we will hear and respond to His tender voice.

    He blocks the paths that we might choose to run back to our other loves. He removes the names of our idols from our lips.

    He transforms the valley of trouble to the gateway of Hope.

    Thank you God that you pursue us, speak tenderly to us, woo us. You are faithful to the end.

    • Deborah Thompson

      This is so good. Echoing in much better words what I was thinking as I read.

    • Carolyn

      “…into the desert to speak tenderly…” I totally missed the significance of that! When I find myself in a spiritual desert, perhaps that’s where I need to be…all distractions removed…so I can hear the love He wants to speak to me and that I need to hear. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • Lauren2024

      Yes :) very true.

    • chichi

      I love this statement: "He knows where to put us so we will hear and respond to His tender voice."
      Sometimes in order for us to realize who God is, he has to take us certain places so that we can recognize and acknowledge Him.

      • Christina Rebecca

        chichi, the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me about this a lot lately! I saw it referred to as “pruning” once. We must be pruned in order to receive the proper care and TLC that we need to fully flourish & grow into the beautiful souls that God created us to be!

        Peace be with you!

    • Jenny Raymond

      Oh, amen! The Gateway of Hope, how I love (and know) that!

    • lisalouneu

      Thought provoking and eye opening to me – thank you for sharing this. I have not studied or read the bible before (much). Love how so many people such as yourself, Melinda, share your knowledge and thoughts! So much for me to think about and pray about today!

    • Stacey

      Wow thank you for pointing those parts out! It's eye-opening to be able to see this lonely place I've been in a new light! He has lead me here to this barren desert and blocked the paths to my other loves because He knows that only now, when I have no where else to turn, I will hear and respond to His tender voice.

    • Denise

      I didn't even look at this verse this way but you opened my eyes to it in a new way. How amazing is our God? He loves us despite. So thankful and humbled.

    • Sheri

      I didn’t slow enough to catch this. But you pointed out exactly where God has brought me. And it’s so true. I have a deeper, closer, more intimate relationship with The Lord here in my wilderness than I did before He allowed me to be here. As much as this is the hardest struggle of my life- and I’ve had lots- I also consider myself so blessed to be able to have this close relationship with The Lord. I wondered if some other Christians may not have this closeness and it made me realize how blessed I am for this awful hard time I’m facing. This verse you pointed out just confirmed what I have been thinking these past few days. Thank you for sharing! Xo <3

    • Emily

      God just moved me to the desert… the real live Southern Nevada desert. And you catching this…has brought tears to my eyes. He DID move me here for this purpose among so many others. Thank you. My heart needed this.

  • kristaonpurpose

    What is like super mind-blowingly incredible to me here is that despite the fact that Israel is has been unfaithful, God STILL promises to call them His own!

    Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth,
    And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy;
    Then I will say to those who were not My people,
    “You are My people!”
    And they shall say, “You are my God”
    (V. 23)

    God’s anger with Israel was righteous and He used Hosea to show the people their brokenness. But their was always hope. There was always Jesus! From the very beginning, there was always our Savior.

    In my own brokenness and struggle and shortcomings, I’m so humbled and awed to know that God will still sow me for Himself in the earth. <3

    • shereadstruth

      I love this, Krista! Thank you so much for sharing truth and encouragement with us today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • Brandi Williamson

      yes!!! i agree so much. thank you.

    • Jana

      This book is definitely not an easy book to read…and at first glance, God seems harsh (even though we objectively understand the harshness). But on re-reading, we see His love and kindness…His 'second-chance' nature for people. Ultimately, He desires to redeem and reconcile us to Him. It is very hopeful because of this. He doesn't just want to leave us in our sins. God desires to reveal them to us so that He can call us His. What a beautiful, loving Savior we have.

  • Savannah

    Phew! Asking the Lord to show me myself as the unfaithful bride of Christ – how scary and how necessary . How beautiful and messy and glorious and unrelenting the Gospel is. Thanks for this study. Day 3 and I am totally challenged and and encouraged by Gods love for us… For me even when I’ve been and will be unfaithful… Glory!

    • Feevabee

      Amen! This is exactly how I feel, as well. My pride wants to overlook the big elephant in the room, but God, ever faithful to complete the work He has begun, desires to refine me. This painful process will produce a better me: more willing to love, honor, and praise Him. That is all our gracious King desires…our willing hearts.

Further Reading...