Daily Devotionals

Campfire Stories: Week 1 - Monday

When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, He said to him, "Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods." Hosea 1:2

Hosea was given quite a strange assignment. God called him to marry a prostitute who would have illegitimate children. Before he even had time to ask God the purpose of this difficult assignment, God revealed the reason for this strange command. Hosea's impending marriage was supposed to be an example for Israel. You see, Israel had been unfaithful to God by worshiping false gods. In an effort to call Israel out of their unfaithfulness and back to God, Hosea obeyed God's command and married Gomer. Their marriage was a picture of how Israel had been behaving toward God.

As I read about Gomer's unfaithfulness to Hosea, which is really a picture of Israel's unfaithfulness to God, I am tempted to judge the Israelites. How could they turn to worship other idols after everything God had done for them? How could they turn to idol worship when they knew the true God? I am learning, however, that I must not be too quick to judge. I may not become sidetracked by idol worship, but I tend to become sidetracked in my relationship with God by other things. Sometimes I become distracted by people, technology, and my own accomplishments. When this happens, I, like Israel, am unfaithful to God. When people become more important to me than God, or I forfeit time with the Lord to spend time on social media, or I become so focused on my own achievements that I forget about God's work in my life, I am being unfaithful, and it breaks my heart.

Can you relate? Are there things in your life that are distracting you from your relationship with God? Are you, at times, also prone to unfaithfulness? God has a message to us from the book of Hosea: turn back to Him. Remain faithful to Him. He has always been faithful to you.

Moving Toward Action

The book of Hosea is a reminder that many things are fighting for our attention and affection. If we are not careful, these things may become idols in our lives, leading us to become unfaithful to God. Consider the areas in your life where you are prone to unfaithfulness and write them down in your notes. Find someone you trust and share these areas with them. Ask them to hold you accountable as you fight against the temptation to be unfaithful to God. Pray and ask God to give you strength to remain faithful.

Going Deeper

Read Hosea 1:1-9 (NLT)

The Lord gave this message to Hosea son of Beeri during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.

When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”

So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son. And the Lord said, “Name the child Jezreel, for I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel. In fact, I will bring an end to Israel’s independence. I will break its military power in the Jezreel Valley.”

Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to Hosea, “Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah—‘Not loved’—for I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them. But I will show love to the people of Judah. I will free them from their enemies—not with weapons and armies or horses and charioteers, but by my power as the Lord their God.”

After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son. And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi—‘Not my people’—for Israel is not my people, and I am not their God.