I actually wasn’t even reading Hosea, I was reading Joshua. But in reading Joshua I came across 10:25 in which Joshua relates God’s instructions to Israel and says, “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men. “Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies.” After finishing my reading I started journaling all the things that I’ve been afraid or discouraged about. There are a couple things on that list, but one of the main ones was how discouraged I am with the amount of (or lack of) time that I give to God on a daily basis.
Immediately God took my thoughts to Hosea, but more specifically his wife Gomer. If you’re not familiar with the story, the short of it is this: God told Hosea to marry a prostitute, Gomer, and bare children with her. After marrying Hosea and having children with him, Gomer returned to her life of prostitution. Upon doing so God sent Hosea to bring his wife, out of her filth, back into his home and make her his wife again. God had Hosea do this to illustrate the sin of idolatry Israel had committed. Israel had turned their back on God and began worshipping other gods. God used Hosea and Gomer to show the extent of Israel’s sin and that even in their adultery with other gods, He would be their God and return them to Him. In 2:20 God says, “I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as the Lord.” Then 14:4 says, “The Lord says, ‘Then I will heal you of your faithlessness; my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be gone forever.”
So here is how God related that to me. I’ve previously mentioned that the things of life can sometimes highjack our time with God. Of course I’m not worshiping “other gods”, but recently I’ve put some things before my time with God. What God asked me is this: Is my putting time with friends, TV, other hobbies, functions and meetings before time spent with God any different than Israel’s sin of idolatry? If I’m honest the answer is, “No it’s not.” In that aspect I share in Israel’s sin of idolatry. This isn’t to say that I’ve spent no time with God, but it gets easier and easier to make excuses for missing devotional time or to hurry through that time with God as opposed to soaking in His presence.
The bottom line is this, even though we don’t view the things that draw our attention from God as “bad” as Israel’s actual worship of other God’s…it’s not at all different. Our back is still turned and our affection for God is drawn away from Him. And God just wants to be faithful to us and make us His, so that we may finally know Him as Lord.