It is helpful to read this difficult passage as a study on the relationship between God and God’s people rather than a biography of the prophet Hosea and his family. As they have time and time again, the people of Israel have forsaken their covenant with God. They have turned from God and towards the worship of idols. It is Israel’s faithlessness that has led God to take away Israel’s future and strength, and to withhold mercy. The promise, “I will be your God and you will be my people,” is on shaky ground when Israel fails to be God’s people. Verse 10, though, affirms that, despite everything, God is faithful to restore the relationship.
What or who are the “idols” in your life? What or who are the “idols” in our culture? When have you experienced God’s faithfulness despite your faithlessness? When has God restored a relationship that seemed beyond repair?
Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s mercy and redemptive love.