Day 18

I Knew You in the Wilderness

from the Hosea reading plan

Hosea 13:1-16, Acts 4:11-12, 1 Corinthians 15:54-56

BY Raechel Myers

Text: Hosea 13:1-16, Acts 4:11-12, 1 Corinthians 15:54-56

I mean. They should know better.

These people we’re reading about—the ones who “continue to sin” and kiss golden calves (Hosea 13:2)—are God’s people. The Chosen Ones. The ones He brought out of slavery in Egypt and provided for in crazy, miraculous ways. The ones He has been calling to Himself for whole chapters and books of the Bible, year after year, generation after generation.

Still, thirteen chapters into the book of Hosea, no clanging cymbal or shockingly graphic simile is enough to shake Israel out of their sin and cause them to turn and repent.

God gave Israel food and water in the wilderness, but just as soon as they were satisfied, they forgot why they needed Him in the first place (Hosea 13:6). God is angry with Israel. Shoot, by this point, I’m angry with Israel.

But Ephraim isn’t the only chaff swirling around on the threshing floor (v. 3).

That’s me, too, Lord. Isn’t it?

And so, our frustration with the Chosen People for being so maddeningly unfaithful to their Helper, turns inward. Their “He’ll be here when we need Him” attitude—putting God in a box on a shelf in case of emergency—sounds disquietingly familiar.

Even waist deep into the book of Hosea, we may find we’re still not giving God the place He deserves in our lives—not up high on some shelf in a box, but on our door frames and at our tables and on our tongues (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). We belong in relationship with Him.

We may also realize that, like Ephraim, we sometimes talk about God’s grace like it’s a get-out-of-jail-free card (Romans 6:15). We can think of His anger as some kind of scare tactic, where we keep our heads down and toe the line. That might have worked for another generation, but it doesn’t really intimidate us anymore.

But God still knows us, even as we wander in the wilderness of our sin. He wants our hearts back. So He reminds us, “you know no God but Me, and no Savior exists besides Me” (Hosea 13:4). Amen?

We are broken, but He is faithful. We are rebellious, but He pursues. We stray. We become prideful and forget who He is. But our change doesn’t change Him. He still wants us back. And He comes for us. Oh, that we would always be amazed by His all-sufficient grace.

We are more unfaithful than we ever dared believe, but the God of Israel—and of our hearts—is far more faithful than we ever dared hope. Let’s go before our holy God today to thank Him for not giving up on us, even in our darkest moments.


Post Comments (66)

66 thoughts on "I Knew You in the Wilderness"

  1. Emily Lawson says:

    Recently I read a quote that says, “Jesus is even more patient than we are sinful.” Today’s devotion reminded me of that: a grace that extends deeper than our wildest rebellion, patiently and persistently calling us home.

  2. Carly Grace says:

    Wow this is EXACTLY what I needed today

  3. I haven’t been reading lately. Feeling overwhelmed by the world and work and so I turned away from my sweet savior.
    Today I decided to eat some of God’s word, because recently I chaperoned a trip where we discussed how we need to feed ourselves spiritually like we do physically with food. So feeling convicted I decided to do a little devotion.
    I slowly found myself wanting more. I finished my small devotion and wanted more of Him. So I did my SheReadsTruth and find myself shown how I am so much like the Israel that I sometimes mock. I forget how He has provided and loved me fiercely. I forget how He knows me, He knows where I fail and where I thrive. But I forget that I need to know Him, every single day I need to know Him.

    I don’t want to forget that He alone saves. I don’t want to worship idols that I’ve created with my little hands when my strong and powerful Heavenly Father offers His arms for rest and protection.

    Father, help me to feast in You. To thrive and flourish under your guidance and not my own. I love you. I try. Help me to love you better everyday. Amen.

    1. Susan says:

      Appreciate your honesty as this is me as well. Praying for us both today!

  4. “But our change doesn’t change Him.” Praise the Lord!

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