Day 12

Wanderers Among the Nations

from the Hosea reading plan

Hosea 9:1-17, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Psalm 51:1-12

BY Amanda Bible Williams

Text: Hosea 9:1-17, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Psalm 51:1-12

My favorite room in our house is the dining room. True, it may be because we eat food there (and I do love food), but it’s more than that. It’s because of the way it makes me feel. I can’t put words to it exactly, but I knew it the first time I set foot in that room: it was home.

The intangible quality of feeling “at home” is as hard to replicate as it is to describe, but it is nonetheless deeply real—so real that we spend our lives trying to find it, create it, hang on to it. That’s why I can’t bear to change the color of our green paint-over-panel dining room walls. I want it to always feel the way it did the day I stood in the doorway and cried because I knew I was home.

Hosea chapter 9 is about home, but not the warm, fuzzy feeling I get when I walk into my green dining room at the end of a long day. Israel had forfeited all opportunities for true joy in their lives, in their families, and in their homes. Their blatant and persistent sin meant they were no longer welcome in God’s presence, not until they returned with repentant hearts.

But Israel was not interested in repentance. Instead, they settled into their sin, becoming at home in their shame. Listen to the sadness in the Lord’s description of their turning away from Him and unto their false loves:

I discovered Israel
like grapes in the wilderness.
I saw your fathers
like the first fruit of the fig tree in its first season.
But they went to Baal-peor,
consecrated themselves to Shame,
and became detestable,
like the thing they loved.
– Hosea 9:10

God’s people were called to be holy—set apart for Him alone. But they instead set themselves apart for Shame, the very opposite of their holy, just, and loving Father. What choice did He have but to kick them out of His house?

I will drive them from My house
because of their evil, wicked actions.
I will no longer love them…
– Hosea 9:15

And that’s where the story would end without the gospel—with me, you, and Israel, sitting on the curb next to a heap of our idols, none of them able to save us or give us a forever home. There we would stay, bound to our shame and humiliation.

Shame is not the same as repentance, nor is humiliation the same as humility. It is not enough to be aware of our sin, wallowing in our brokenness. We must (and we may!) repent and return to our holy, gracious God.

Praise the Lord, He loves even the wanderers. He seeks us out and beckons us home by the perfect sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. The Holy One invites us to exchange our worship of impotent idols for worship of Him, the only living God. He washes us of our guilt, breaks our chains of sin and shame, and binds us to Himself. Thanks be to God, we “who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah” (Ephesians 2:13).

In Christ, we are at home.

Post Comments (40)

40 thoughts on "Wanderers Among the Nations"

  1. Kylee says:

    Create in me a clean heart, & renew a steadfast spirit within me. Yes, Lord. Wipe it clean!

  2. Christina D. says:

    “6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” I love all the scriptural reminders that God promises wisdom to us when we ask. The older I get the more I realize how desperately I need His wisdom and how little I have on my own.

  3. Hannah says:

    Lord, please help me not to wallow in my brokenness. Help me to move forward towards you.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Praying this with you, Hannah. Grateful for you!


    2. Joanne says:

      Lord, I come together in prayer with Hannah, in her prayer request.
      Hear her pray O Lord.

  4. Christine says:

    God’s passion for us is just… Huge. There is no in between, no halfway. This study has revealed His heart for me in a whole new way. Seeing how deeply my sin pains and angers Him has shown me just how much He loves me to forgive it. I didn’t fully understand the enormity of it.

  5. Caroline says:

    What a beautiful reminder that we are set apart. Because of him we are holy. Praise you Lord!

  6. Jena says:

    I often think of how deep God’s love Is for us. To continue to pursue. To perfectly work out a way for us to always have a closeness, a connection, a way in. I’m amazed at His love and caused to love others that much deeper. I get upset when I feel like I don’t get the love reciprocated back, just like God I become jealous – but unlike Him – it can be difficult for me to forgive, to keep going in love. How amazing is His steadfast love for us! For you! For me! What an awesome God we serve.

    1. Joanne says:

      What an awesome, mighty God we serve.

    2. Natasha says:

      how deep the fathers love for us, how vast beyond all measure. that he would give his only son, to make a wretch his treasure. ❤

  7. Miranda says:

    “Shame is not the same as repentance, nor is humiliation the same as humility. It is not enough to be aware of our sin, wallowing in our brokenness. We must (and we may!) repent and return to our holy, gracious God.”
    Over and over again I read SRT and never feel worthy enough to leave a comment that’s worthy enough. I’m not a writer and I find it so hard to articulate what I’m feeling. This devotion today hit me in the gut. I struggle with idols. I struggle with the lonely feeling of sin that seeps away God’s joy and yet day after day I choose to honour idols of laziness and time wasting and it never fulfills! Never! But when I truly think about it, I get overwhelmed thinking what’s next God? What do You want from me? I know I can find so much in His Word and in prayer and yet why isn’t that always my first step? Pondering, pondering, not sure how to tie it all together, but i do know … my God He is able. He is so able.

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: xneither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 COR 6: 9-11

    1. Jennifer says:

      Thank you Miranda. I am resonating with your words this morning!

    2. Theresa says:

      Thanks Miranda. I’ve been stuck for months now and every morning I rise and read SRT and think that’s it, today I will make progress and then the end of the day arrives and again I’ve done almost nothing. Stuck. Your words helped me as I start off thinking, trusting that today will be different. I know He is working in me, I’m just afraid to let Him shine through.

    3. SuzD says:

      Thank you for echoing my own thoughts. God loves us, you & me, just as we are.

  8. Amen says:

    I wandered this morning again into the joy of accepting my sin, remembering to confess and ask forgiveness.

    It is no accident that again I accidentally turned to read the same passage numbers of today’s selected reading in the book just prior to today’s reading. I catch my unintended wandering because what I read seems to be an interrupted thought, yet still applicable to Hosea’s Ch 9 reading. So, after finishing today’s reading, and absorbing these responses, I return to my erroneous reading selections in Romans 6:9-11, and end up reading in more depth. Romans 6:1-23 and through to Romans 7:14-25. Then I read Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:1-21 again and Matthew 6:9-15 and Luke 11:2-4.

    This is a truly wonderful way to start, continue and end my day!

    1. Natasha says:

      Yes yes and yes! my exact thoughts this morning. thank you for sharing ❤

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