The DEEP

The Secret of Life

 is learning that God really does love us—and loving Him in return.

Hosea 14:4-9 (NKJV)

“I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from him.
I will be like the dew to Israel;
He shall grow like the lily,
And lengthen his roots like Lebanon.
His branches shall spread;
His beauty shall be like an olive tree,
And his fragrance like Lebanon.
Those who dwell under his shadow shall return;
They shall be revived like grain,
And grow like a vine.
Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

“Ephraim shall say, ‘What have I to do anymore with idols?’
I have heard and observed him.
I am like a green cypress tree;
Your fruit is found in Me.”

Who is wise?
Let him understand these things.
Who is prudent?
Let him know them.
For the ways of the LORD are right;
The righteous walk in them,
But transgressors stumble in them.

God concludes the book by pouring out His heart. You can just feel the love in this passage. Israel has a special place in God’s heart, and He longs for them to quit their idiotic behavior. The good life awaits if they’ll just stop “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

“I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from him.”

The point of the book of Hosea is that faith isn’t just about laws and logic; it’s about a relationship. Yes, there are laws and logic in that relationship, but the heart is the essence. A faith that’s all laws and logic is like a loveless marriage.

It may look like the real thing, but it’s just a shell.

Why go to church? Why study the Bible? Why read these DEEPs?

Are they for self-improvement? Are they just doing the right thing? Or is there a craving for something?

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
— Psalm 42:1 (NKJV)

Any practice of Christianity is a good thing, but craving God is how it soars.

I began this study of Hosea by explaining that acting like a Christian should come from thinking like a Christian. Part one of “How to Think Like a Christian” was the Jonah study. Part two was Hosea. Jonah taught the right mindset. Hosea taught the right heartset.

One of the great secrets of life is learning that God really does love us—and loving Him in return.


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.

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.