Faithful Love: Week 4, Thursday Finding Fruit in the Desert

Hosea 9:10-17

The Lord says, “O Israel, when I first found you,
    it was like finding fresh grapes in the desert.
When I saw your ancestors,
    it was like seeing the first ripe figs of the season.
But then they deserted me for Baal-peor,
    giving themselves to that shameful idol.
Soon they became vile,
    as vile as the god they worshiped.
11 The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird,
    for your children will not be born
or grow in the womb
    or even be conceived.
12 Even if you do have children who grow up,
    I will take them from you.
It will be a terrible day when I turn away
    and leave you alone.
13 I have watched Israel become as beautiful as Tyre.
    But now Israel will bring out her children for slaughter.”

14 O Lord, what should I request for your people?
    I will ask for wombs that don’t give birth
    and breasts that give no milk.

15 The Lord says, “All their wickedness began at Gilgal;
    there I began to hate them.
I will drive them from my land
    because of their evil actions.
I will love them no more
    because all their leaders are rebels.
16 The people of Israel are struck down.
    Their roots are dried up,
    and they will bear no more fruit.
And if they give birth,
    I will slaughter their beloved children.”

17 My God will reject the people of Israel
    because they will not listen or obey.
They will be wanderers,
    homeless among the nations.

The early fruit of the fig tree is especially good, and Israel was special to the Lord. But this joyful experience didn’t last –

Read the full devotional

Deuteronomy 28:64-65

For the Lord will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship foreign gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods made of wood and stone! 65 There among those nations you will find no peace or place to rest. And the Lord will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair.

Psalm 77:7-9

Has the Lord rejected me forever?
    Will he never again be kind to me?
Is his unfailing love gone forever?
    Have his promises permanently failed?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
    Has he slammed the door on his compassion? 

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