The DEEP

Knowing Heartache

means feeling it.

Hosea 9:7–12 (NKJV)

The days of punishment have come;
The days of recompense have come.
Israel knows!
The prophet is a fool,
The spiritual man is insane,
Because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity.
The watchman of Ephraim is with my God;
But the prophet is a fowler’s snare in all his ways—
Enmity in the house of his God.
They are deeply corrupted,
As in the days of Gibeah.
He will remember their iniquity;
He will punish their sins.

“I found Israel
Like grapes in the wilderness;
I saw your fathers
As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season.
But they went to Baal Peor,
And separated themselves to that shame;
They became an abomination like the thing they loved.
As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird—
No birth, no pregnancy, and no conception!
Though they bring up their children,
Yet I will bereave them to the last man.
Yes, woe to them when I depart from them!”

No one’s sure exactly what, “The prophet is a fool, The spiritual man is insane,” means, but the bottom line is, “Israel knows!

They’ve been warned. Now, “The days of punishment have come; The days of recompense have come.”

But the point of this passage isn’t God’s coming judgement; it’s God’s heart. That’s the point of the whole book. That’s why God told Hosea to love an unfaithful woman in the first place.

“I saw your fathers
As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. …
Yet I will bereave them to the last man.
Yes, woe to them when I depart from them!”

How sad. Israel could be living the dream, but they threw it all away.


God doesn’t just want us to know His heartache; He wants us to feel it. We can because of His image in us. We know heartache because we love. Hosea’s pain is easy to understand—and feel.

Heartache is a popular theme in literature and in music. Some great songs are bittersweet looks at “the road not taken.” Here are two of my favorites. They’re just about life and love and can’t begin to do justice to the pain depicted in the book of Hosea. They don’t even focus on sin as the root cause of the heartache, but the second one has some awesome finger picking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU8hlYbNH-Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpdGvlVGZmk&list=RDLfGkOZetpi0&index=5


All the weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

The Job book is on Amazon and is eligible for Amazon Prime. The Kindle edition will be out soon.

https://www.amazon.com/Higher-Purposes-Lesson-God-Job/dp/1684719534

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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