God’s Case Against Israel

Open Your Bible

Hosea 4:1-19, Hosea 5:1-15, Romans 2:1-4, Revelation 3:19

We picked out the brown velvet curtains at Ikea not long after we got married, and hemmed them with the iron-on adhesive strip that came in the package. They hung in our first home and then in our second, even though they were about a foot too short with the higher ceilings and taller windows. I always meant to get around to changing them, or at least mending the falling-out hem, but come 2009, I decided I didn’t mind.

She was two years old that year, with wild, thin hair that stuck straight up and a smile so bright it could knock you out. Those too-short curtains were the perfect hiding place for her new favorite game: hide and seek.

I have a few precious minutes of video of the usual scene: our little girl hiding conspicuously behind the brown dining room curtains, her pink sneakers poking out at the bottom and her giggle audible from the other side of the room. Her papa would sneak up slowly and the giggles would get louder, and she would squeal with delight as he threw back the curtain. Hiding was fun, but the true joy was in being found.

Hosea 5 is a painful read. Israel was playing hide and seek with her God, but this was no game. The people’s very lives were at stake, yet they kept turning to idols, a choice that reaped only destruction and desolation.

God warned them through the prophet. His tone, gentle and wooing in the first chapters, became booming, insistent, and firm. The call from the Lord was clear: Return. In running, only disaster and sure destruction awaited.

Yet Israel was “determined to follow what is worthless” (v.11). The sin did not disqualify them from returning and repenting; it kept them from returning and repenting. God’s warning to Israel was His mercy to them; so was His discipline. God turned away so that they might turn back to Him (v.15).

The priests and the people of Israel hid in their idolatry and their sacrifices, hoping their rituals might hide their hearts. But there is no hiding from God. He sees all; and, even more, He knows all (v.3). But as we often do, Israel hid anyway, their tell-tale sneakers sticking out from under the curtains of their sin. We hide, believing we know better, believing we and our “little-g” gods can outsmart the one true God.

We hide, but He seeks us out. He seeks us out so that we will seek Him.

Israel’s attempts at deceiving God resulted in devastation, just as He said it would. But God prowled in guard of her heart, doing whatever it took to frustrate her desires for lesser loves, to thwart her attempts to run and hide (v.14).

Are you hiding today? I am. I feel the Holy Spirit calling my heart to return from places where I’ve gone to hide from my sin, to hide from my own brokenness. Hear our God speak words of hard, merciful truth to us, His children:

 I know you, He says. You are not hidden from me.
You turn to false loves, but they cannot cure you. They cannot heal your wounds.
Seek me. Return and repent (vv.3,14–15, my paraphrase).

Dear friend, there is joy in having the darkest parts of our hearts uncovered by our merciful Father. Surrender to the truth that you are known. You’ve been found out, you’ve been found, and you are still loved.

(80) Comments

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80 thoughts on "God’s Case Against Israel"

  1. June Pimpo says:

    It is so humbling to read this chapter .

  2. megan widder says:

    God knows us and there is no hiding from him. Even so, he still loves us!

  3. Brittany Korver says:

    I need to spend time repenting from the sin that I think I’m hiding from God and those around me. I need God to shine His light on those dark spots in my heart and to show me what I’m hiding.

  4. Izzy Sutton says:

    God knows our hearts and will reveal the darkest places of them. It isn’t easy when they come to light, but it’s pruning and beautiful as we come to know them so we can turn away, repent, and become more like Jesus

  5. Izzy Sutton says:

    Amazing reminder that God knows where we hid and how we hide. Just like Israel hiding in their sacrifices and ways. Meanwhile God knows our inner thoughts and bc of His mercy and kindness He doesn’t want us to stay in that. He wants to bring it all to light and have us repent so we can walk in His way.

  6. Rachael Leatherman says:

    I am thankful God is calling me out of hiding. I have been hiding for too long behind things I think will bring me comfort when only He can fulfill every longing. He is calling me to turn to Him today.

  7. Cammy Carbone says:

    I do need help turning from my sin it is so strong and it’s been in my life so long.

  8. Heather Schmudlach says:

    I am thankful He continues to seek us

  9. Iyanna Wallace says:


  10. Brianna Peterson says:


  11. Adriana Scott says:


  12. Hannah Brown says:

    4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? – Romans 2:4

  13. Jovita Setiawan says:

    I realized that I am hiding too. I am hiding from God and the truth….. A call for me to seek His face, not His hands. To know Who He is.

  14. Sarah Morrison says:

    Search me oh God reveal my dark places and bring light!

  15. Gabriella Martinez says:

    Loved this

  16. August Stansbie says:


  17. Becky LaGrand says:


  18. Bailey Bowers says:

    I needed this reminder SO deeply. His kindness is more than we could ever fathom. I don’t ever want to take it for granted.

  19. Daniela Ramirez says:


  20. Kassie Sikes says:


  21. Brandie Wade says:

    How incredibly comforting and healing it is to know that I am completely and fully known yet even with that I’m also completely and fully loved by my Creator and Father. Thank you for that reminder today ❤️

  22. Clare says:

    This is beautiful ❤️

  23. Kristen St. Aubin says:

    I love the paraphrase giving in the devotional of verses 3 and 14-15. So good! More recently I have truly felt God seeking my heart and pulling on me. It makes me feel a bit alone sometimes when I realize I don’t have as many people in my life who are seeking God as intently as I am. But I am reminded that I don’t need the approval or comfort of friends or the world. I only need it from God. And it makes me all the more happy with the trust and the relationship I am building with him

  24. Hannah Carson says:

    I needed to hear this! Thank you for your words Sky. ❤️

  25. Moriah Nichols says:

    4Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
    The last part of this verse stuck out to me. God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance. I think we often overlook God’s kindness to us and the “me” mentality starts to creep in. We start to believe that we have earned things or that we have worked hard for something and that is why we are where we are in life. It’s easy to begin to leave God out of our lives and take all the credit, which then leads us down paths of pride and destruction. I’m taking a moment today, to recognize God’s kindness in my life even when I am undeserving and to thank Him for His unrelenting love for me ♥️

  26. Abigail Berger says:


  27. Devonne Taylor says:

    He seeks us out so we will seek Him ❤ how amazing that He does that?! That the God of the universe desires a relationship with me that he actively seeks me out even as I keep turning away… unfathomable.

  28. Traci Gendron says:

    So many good comments today! SARAHJOY thank you for your comments today. I read the feather story over and over.

  29. Katie J says:

    Seek the Lord’s face!

  30. Vanessa Green says:


  31. Karen Weido says:


  32. Sky Hilton says:

    I think a lot of us forget that God wants to help us and is NOT in pursuit of making us feel like failures for messing up. When we do sin, when we make our problems our idols, or different people our idols instead of God, that is our time to pick up our cross and to return back to Him. He just wants us to admit to our own faults, for us to let go of our own egos, and apologize. At the end of the day, God loves us, and wants to save us from ourselves. Sure he might have to discipline us, but that’s because He is a good father. I think tonight, we should all take a break from our own egos, and repent to Him for the sins we have committed. I love you, my sisters. Have a great night!

  33. Pamela Pacheco says:

    The first king of the Northern Tribes came from the tribe of Ephraim.

  34. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I love how God sees us, and he still loves us. We are fully known and fully loved; weaknesses, scars and all.❤️

  35. Jordan Tazehzadeh says:

    Knowing that God sees and knows all but still allows us to seek His face and repent is so reassuring! He is slow to anger and His mercy is sure.

  36. Andrea P says:

    We hide but He seeks us out! Amazing love! Thanks be to God!!

  37. Chelsea Little says:

    This was soooo good! I needed this today❤️

  38. Jessi S says:

    I kept wondering “who is Ephraim?” and when I looked in my study Bible found out it is another name for Israel. Just thought I would point that out in case anyone else had the same question.

  39. PamC says:

    Thank you Amanda. SarahJoy your comments…my life. For so long my life. I just sat & cried. Thank you.

  40. Mari V says:

    Praying for you right now K Swenson

  41. Mari V says:

    I am still loved. And that’s all I need to know and “hear”today. 

  42. Dorothy says:

    Amanda caught my attention with “But there is no hiding from God. He sees all; and, even more, He knows all (v.3).” The Lord knows every move I make and every breath I take. The Lord is with me through the good and the bad and I need to remember this. I need to not stray. I need to remind myself God will give me what I NEED.
    Sisters be blessed and happy first day of autumn (fall).

  43. K Swenson says:

    It was a hard reading today! I did thoroughly enjoy listening to the podcast for this week through. Francine Rivers and the SRT ladies did a great job(in my opinion) of explaining God’s heart in the text. If you wouldn’t mind, I would love your prayers! I’m still praying for healing from PTSD and battling every day. Currently, I’m looking into other therapy options and need discernment and provision. Thank you for your prayers and I pray that you would know the love and acceptance of the Father today!

  44. Susie H says:

    I agree Barb. I have been reading through the Bible this year and have been slogging through the major and minor prophets for some time. One thing that stood out to me is that God sent these warnings to Israel for over a hundred years! He was so patient giving them a chance to repent even though he knew they wouldn’t as a nation. Hard to read but in that context still full of love.

    1. Chris Swan says:

      I hadn’t noticed that time amount before. Really interesting.

  45. Victoria E says:

    Arina what a good thought! I have also felt the same way. Foster Mama praying for you in this situation.

  46. CeeGee says:

    “Loving raisin cakes may seem like a weirdly specific—and harmless—thing to condemn, but we need to look past the dried fruit itself and think about what it signifies: distraction, complacency, self-centeredness, pride, and a willful rejection of the providing hand. The Israelites are guilty of all that. And yet they are the people whom the Lord loves.” by Katy Morgan on CoreChristianity.

    I didn’t get to comment on the mention of raisin cakes in Chapter 3, so forgive me for mentioning it late. When I read the verses in chapter 3, I was intrigued by the mention of raisin cakes so this morning I finally had the time and looked it up. This quote came from a very enlightening article and I encourage you to check it out. I don’t recall using that site before, but really learned a lot from the piece.

  47. Nicole Stiles says:

    It’s easy to forget that a reprimand comes from someone who loves you when you’re on the receiving end of it. If God didn’t care for the Israelites or for us, he would just ignore us. Because he loves us and hurts to see us destroyed by our sin, he corrects us and leads us to a place of healing and restoration.

  48. Tash P says:

    I am guilty of judging others, showing contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience. (Romans 2:4). This verse is convicting me today.

    Lord, remove from me a spirit of judgement. Draw me near to you, that I might have your heart for all people that you made! Forgive me.

  49. CeeGee says:

    “Hiding was fun, but the true joy was in being found.” I had the pleasure of
    playing Hide and Seek with my grandson a few days ago and one time I hid so well that he couldn’t find me even though he was only a few feet away. I began to grow weary of my crouched position in that hiding place and LONGED for him to find me so I could be free again! I was stunned when I read Amanda’s quote and immediately drew on this memory!

    Also, the lack of knowledge jumped off the page as I REMEMBERED the command that they teach the Word and write it on their doorposts, etc. Just another reason for our generation to seek revival and make God known. So much to ponder in Hosea!!!

  50. Kelly says:

    Foster Mama – praying the Lord will give you His words and peace

  51. Robin Fox says:

    I’m brand new to She Reads Truth but I’m enjoying thr

  52. Allison Bentley says:

    What stood out to me this morning was 4:6 “ my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. My my how we’ve come full circle. We were destroyed when we ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge because we wanted “to know” so bad and now we refuse “to know” and turn away because it’s so much harder to follow the right path. Here again in Hosea we want to ignore the truth and satisfy ourselves by ourselves!! Then fast forward to 2021 and we/me are still doing the same old thing!! Lord help me to hear your truth and follow it, help me to be better!!

  53. Haley McGinnis says:

    When talking about Hide and Seek, I can’t help but think of Adam and Eve. They hid from God in the garden. God called for them asking where they were. Did He not know? Of course He knew. He just wanted them to come to Him.

  54. Ellen Hartfield says:

    “Sin does not disqualify us from returning and repenting. It keeps us from returning and repenting.”
    Wow, amen.

  55. Ellen Hartfield says:

    “Sin does not disqualify us from returning and repenting. It keeps us from returning and repenting.”

  56. Maura says:

    Created in the image of God and yet, detoured, derailed, distracted and devastated by sin. But, God so much love, pursues us even by His silence, even by turning away. Overwhelming grace. Love to you Sisters, remembering those times of His faithfulness. Give us eyes to see all you have done and are doing, Lord Jesus and ears to hear, and love to have grace for others. Foster Mama, praying for truth and conviction of those listening to truly hear what is needed, even if you are silent, may God intervene and bring His good. Hugs dear Sister you are not alone, know He is fighting too.

  57. Erica Chiarelli says:

    How many times do we figuratively inquire of a piece of wood or listen to a “staff of oracles”…trying to obtain wisdom from foolishness. Instead listening and receiving from God & His Word? He alone is wise!

  58. Kathy A says:

    Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

  59. M H says:

    “…you are still loved.” Thank you, God.

  60. Foster Mama says:

    I have another meeting THIS MORNING and NEED discernment and wisdom to speak boldly when needed (I’m tired of willingly being bulldozed!) and be silent if appropriate.

    Please God give us favour and please continue to have Your hand lovingly on this situation.

    THANK YOU SISTERS…you’ve been instrumental in getting me to be more confident as well as learning to surrender (even when I want to scream at the top of my lungs!) to the parts of the situation I can’t control.

  61. Brooke Parker says:

    SARAHJOY—incredible thoughts, thankyou for this example, I will think about those feathers & what would be an uplifting & gratifying to the Lord before I join in. Thank you.—Today’s reading was so spot on for what I’ve felt in my own life and what I’ve seen in our world. When I’ve run without discernment, in search of acceptance, in search of being seen, understood and loved in every place except for God, I’ve been hurt, defiled, lonely, lost and without hope. BUT GOD, put thorns in my path, BUT GOD departed and returned to his place until I recognized my guilt and cried out for him in my distress. I confessed my sins that drove a great chasm between me and the Lord,I turned to him & ran from what ensnared me, repented & began to pray throughout my day to be focused on him. Repenting constantly when I don’t get it right but praying for discernment & a spirit of devotion & for His Spirit to sanctify me. How I desperately need to confess daily & turn to him daily. “People without discernment are doomed” Hosea 4:14c — “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”
    ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭84:10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  62. Taylor says:

    Lord I ask you to reveal the areas of my life that I put above you (definitely have a few in mind already). I also pray for a heart of surrender that I will seek You above anything else that tries to draw my attention away from you. Thank you that you seek me even when I try to run and hide from you. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you that ONLY YOU can heal my wounds and turn beauty out of these ashes. Amen <3

  63. Sissy M says:


  64. Aimee DiCicco-Ruhl says:

    God I need you. Amen

  65. Joy Lockwood says:

    Amanda, I love your heart and your insight!

  66. SarahJoy says:

    One more thought:
    I read the comments from yesterday, and I missed reading ERB’s comment. It had me thinking this morning.
    My friend got married this month, and her relationship has been for her a continual manifestation of God’s love for her. As she continues to love him despite his lack of faith. She married this man knowing he was not a believer, and she firmly feels God has called her to that. As a longtime friend, I sat her down and discussed this decision when they got engaged. It seemed ridiculous. Why would God call her to that? What in the world? God says “not to be yoked with unbelievers.” AND Hosea… So I set this story here. My friend believes she has sought God and followed Him to this union. My heart questions. But who am I to doubt God’s plan?

  67. SarahJoy says:

    “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” 4:6a
    “…They exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful.” 4:7b
    “Then I will go back to my place
    until they admit their guilt.
    And they will see my face;
    in their misery they will earnestly seek me.” 5:15

    The storyline of me – going my own way and seeking a false identity, fools gold and counterfeit fulfillment. I have replaced Glory for something disgraceful- my true name is daughter but I have tried to be popular and liked for fitting in and looking like whoever I’m with. My true identity is princess, yet I grovel for acceptance by joining gossip.

    My two part-time jobs put me in the midst of many opportunities to talk about people: patients, students, co-workers. What’s the harm? What difference does it make? I heard a story recently of a woman who went to confess her gossip, and she was told to put a feather on each doorstep represented in her gossip. When she returned, they said now retrieve the feathers. She could not because they had flown away. My words have power. My silence or my choice to walk away has more power. Only in the strength of God can I walk in the righteousness He paid to give me.

    Holy Spirit- continue to break my heart over my idols. Open my eyes to show me my sin, so I don’t have to get to the point of misery (every time) before I seek You again!

  68. Danielle says:

    Lord God thank you for prowling and seeking me when I hide!

  69. Tori Hanson says:

    Through the good and the bad growing closer to Him.

  70. Tori Hanson says:

    Yes Arina. Seeking Him through every circumstance. Going closer to Him in every experience.

  71. Margaret says:

    “ Hiding was fun, but the true joy was in being found.”

  72. Julia Guice says:

  73. Barb Huff says:

    Hosea is a bit of a hard read.

  74. Kim Hill says:

    Beautiful! No more hiding!

  75. AG says:

    Amazed by a God that loves even through sin. Everything He does is for us to be closer to Him.

    Kelly – I love your insight. I am going to keep that in mind when sowmtbjbg doesn’t go ‘’my way”.

  76. Kelly says:

    God was willing to do “whatever it took to frustrate [Israel’s] desires for lesser loves, to thwart her attempts to run and hide . . . there is joy in having the darkest parts of our hearts uncovered by our merciful Father. Surrender to the truth that you are known. You’ve been found out, you’ve been found, and you are still loved.” Thank you, Amanda.

    No words to express the overwhelming awe of God’s love. He is worthy of so much more than I give Him…am I even able to give Him? No but He gives grace to this unworthy creature because of His lovingkindness (hesed).

    Unfathomable. Inconceivable. Beyond what I can think or imagine.

    When things are not going “my way,” do I examine that it may be God frustrating my plans so that I refocus on His plans?

  77. Angie says:

    Beautiful and profound words this morning Amanda Bible Williams. Thank you Arina also. The depth of a love that does not leave us in our sin. Thank you Savior and Lord.

  78. Arina says:

    Maybe repenting, recognizing our guilt and turning back to see God’s face doesn’t mean that we promise to serve God perfectly afterwards. That’s so often keeping me from repenting, the thought: if I will fall in sin again, go back to my idols maybe even the same day, what’s the use of turning back to God? What do my words even mean when in the end nothing changes and I am still my old sinful self? Maybe the thing God wants most isn’t for us to be perfect, but in all our imperfectness to seek His face and confess our need for Him.

  79. Anita Darko says:

    God bless you