Daily Devotionals

Campfire Stories: Week 1 - Wednesday

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. Hosea 2:8

"I need a waitress!" This is the sentence that Abby, my friend's adorable two-year-old daughter, exclaimed one day. After having a good laugh, I realized that this statement was not only funny, but it was also ironic. You see, Abby truly did not need a waitress because she had her mom. Her mom made her meals and brought food to her. She even fed her, which is a step further than any waitress would take! Abby did not realize that because of the way her mom provided for her, she did not need a waitress.

As cute as Abby was when she said, "I need a waitress," it was certainly not as cute when Israel acted similarly. We learn through the book of Hosea that Israel had been unfaithful to God. Hosea 2:8 reveals that Israel did not realize that God was the one providing for them, even though they gave false gods credit for God's provision. God had been providing Israel with grain, wine, olive oil, and even silver and gold, yet the people of Israel did not even realize He was the one providing for them.

Once again, I am quick to judge Israel and wonder how the people of Israel could fail to recognize God's provision in their lives. However, I must humble myself because I have done the same thing. I am quick to question God when something bad happens in my life, but I am very slow to give God credit for all of the good things in my life. I have given credit to other people or even myself when something good happens, when all the while, God has been providing for me every step of the way.

Hosea 2:8 calls us to pause and think. To whom are we giving credit for all of the good things in our lives? Are we recognizing that God has been providing for us for our entire lives? He has been there, providing everything we need.

Moving Toward Action

Do you find yourself quick to forget about God's faithfulness in your life? During the difficulties and unknowns, do you have a hard time remembering the very detailed, specific ways that He has always taken care of you? Like the Israelites, we are all prone to forget. Because of this, we need to take time to remember God's faithfulness. Spend time today remembering the ways He has been faithful to you. Write them down in your notes. Thank Him for being faithful to you and tell someone about His faithfulness to you today.

Going Deeper

Read Hosea 2:8-20 (NLT)

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.

“But now I will take back the ripened grain and new wine
    I generously provided each harvest season.
I will take away the wool and linen clothing
    I gave her to cover her nakedness.
I will strip her naked in public,
    while all her lovers look on.
No one will be able
    to rescue her from my hands.
I will put an end to her annual festivals,
    her new moon celebrations, and her Sabbath days—
    all her appointed festivals.
I will destroy her grapevines and fig trees,
    things she claims her lovers gave her.
I will let them grow into tangled thickets,
    where only wild animals will eat the fruit.
I will punish her for all those times
    when she burned incense to her images of Baal,
when she put on her earrings and jewels
    and went out to look for her lovers
but forgot all about me,”
    says the Lord.

“But then I will win her back once again.
    I will lead her into the desert
    and speak tenderly to her there.
I will return her vineyards to her
    and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope.
She will give herself to me there,
    as she did long ago when she was young,
    when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.
When that day comes,” says the Lord,
    “you will call me ‘my husband’
    instead of ‘my master.’
O Israel, I will wipe the many names of Baal from your lips,
    and you will never mention them again.
On that day I will make a covenant
    with all the wild animals and the birds of the sky
and the animals that scurry along the ground
    so they will not harm you.
I will remove all weapons of war from the land,
    all swords and bows,
so you can live unafraid
    in peace and safety.
I will make you my wife forever,
    showing you righteousness and justice,
    unfailing love and compassion.
I will be faithful to you and make you mine,
    and you will finally know me as the Lord.