Thank the Lord for the ways he has shown his patience to you in the past and for his patience today.
Read Hosea 3:1-5
 The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”  So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.  Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.”  For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods.  Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD and to his blessings in the last days. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is the meaning behind Hosea's redemption of his wife?
The patience of God never runs out. We have all experienced it in our lives. Though we resist him and refuse him, he keeps pursuing us. Hosea is commanded by the Lord to love the woman who has betrayed him (1). The parallel continues to shed light on the faithfulness of God toward Israel in buying them back from slavery, just as Hosea did with Gomer (2). Hosea tells Gomer that she must be with just him for a number of days (3). Similarly, Israel will be required to live with no earthly leadership and no opportunity for sacrifices to false gods (4). This seclusion will serve the purpose of leading to purification and restoration. It is prophesied, “Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God” (5). Even in the twenty-first century, God finds ways to pull us away from the things we are foolishly attached to. In our “exile” from our “idols,” we see our need to return to our Savior. He patiently waits for us to understand that he is all we really want or need.
How might God be working to separate you from things that are bad for you and pull you closer to himself?
Lord, help me not to cling to my idols or fight Your redeeming work in my life. I want to be a purified bride for You.
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