Opening Prayer

Lord Jesus, there never is a moment when I don’t need you. Thank you for your constancy in everything that concerns me.

Read HOSEA 13

The Lord’s Anger Against Israel

13 When Ephraim spoke, people trembled;
    he was exalted in Israel.
    But he became guilty of Baal worship and died.
Now they sin more and more;
    they make idols for themselves from their silver,
cleverly fashioned images,
    all of them the work of craftsmen.
It is said of these people,
    “They offer human sacrifices!
    They kiss[a] calf-idols!”
Therefore they will be like the morning mist,
    like the early dew that disappears,
    like chaff swirling from a threshing floor,
    like smoke escaping through a window.

“But I have been the Lord your God
    ever since you came out of Egypt.
You shall acknowledge no God but me,
    no Savior except me.
I cared for you in the wilderness,
    in the land of burning heat.
When I fed them, they were satisfied;
    when they were satisfied, they became proud;
    then they forgot me.
So I will be like a lion to them,
    like a leopard I will lurk by the path.
Like a bear robbed of her cubs,
    I will attack them and rip them open;
like a lion I will devour them—
    a wild animal will tear them apart.

“You are destroyed, Israel,
    because you are against me, against your helper.
10 Where is your king, that he may save you?
    Where are your rulers in all your towns,
of whom you said,
    ‘Give me a king and princes’?
11 So in my anger I gave you a king,
    and in my wrath I took him away.
12 The guilt of Ephraim is stored up,
    his sins are kept on record.
13 Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him,
    but he is a child without wisdom;
when the time arrives,
    he doesn’t have the sense to come out of the womb.

14 “I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;
    I will redeem them from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
    Where, O grave, is your destruction?

“I will have no compassion,
15     even though he thrives among his brothers.
An east wind from the Lord will come,
    blowing in from the desert;
his spring will fail
    and his well dry up.
His storehouse will be plundered
    of all its treasures.
16 The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
    because they have rebelled against their God.
They will fall by the sword;
    their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
    their pregnant women ripped open.”[b]


  1. Hosea 13:2 Or “Men who sacrifice / kiss
  2. Hosea 13:16 In Hebrew texts this verse (13:16) is numbered 14:1.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Seek to rely on God for all things. Today, trust God and be thankful for all he provides as he leads us.

Think Further

Right in the midst of a passage filled with God’s righteous judgment, we read, ‘Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?’ (v. 14). Paul, of course, takes these verses and encourages his readers that, through Jesus, there is a victory that transforms the mortal into the immortal.1 The experiences we have now are not the end of the matter. For those who place their faith in God, there is a redemption that lasts into eternity.

We look backward to Jesus’ crucifixion, as we look forward to our future hope. Hosea’s listeners, however, were reminded of other works of God to inspire their hope. The trouble with their history is that it was filled with an ebb and flow of their own faithfulness. As we read in verse 6, when they were satisfied with blessings, then they turned away from God. While things are different for us who follow Jesus, it is still easy to become complacent and lose our first love. It is quite easy to slip into a consumerist approach to church and forget the grace we have received, or the mission we are all called to. Let us draw close to God in the good times as well as the difficult.

As we head toward the end of Hosea’s message, we must not forget that he must deliver this message to the people he lives with. On top of that, in some instances his life has been living out the prophetic message. The threat of God’s judgment, which he continues to deliver, is peppered with hope and grace, just as Hosea himself shows to his faithless wife. Through Jesus, our message is redemption and reconciliation, all based upon the judgment of God turned upon Jesus on the cross.


Be open to the possibility that there are areas in your life that are displeasing or dishonoring to God. Bring them to Jesus, allowing him to minister redemptive grace.

Closing prayer

Sovereign God, wherever I walk, keep me on your path, pleasing to you and ready to do your will.

Last Updated on February 28, 2024 by kingstar

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