Today's audio is from the MSG. Switch to the MSG to read along with the audio.
1 The Lord spoke his word to Hosea, son of Beeri, when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah and when Jeroboam, son of Joash, was king of Israel.
2 When the Lord first spoke to Hosea, the Lord told him, “Marry a prostitute and have children with that prostitute. The people in this land have acted like prostitutes and abandoned the Lord.” 3 So Hosea married Gomer, daughter of Diblaim. She became pregnant and had a son.
4 The Lord told Hosea, “Name him Jezreel. In a little while I will punish Jehu’s family for the people they slaughtered at Jezreel. Then I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel. 5 On that day I will break Israel’s bows and arrows in the valley of Jezreel.”
6 Gomer became pregnant again and had a daughter. The Lord told Hosea, “Name her Lo Ruhamah [Unloved]. I will no longer love the nation of Israel. I will no longer forgive them. 7 Yet, I will love the descendants of Judah. I will rescue them because I am the Lord their God. I won’t use bows, swords, wars, horses, or horsemen to rescue them.”
10 “Yet, the Israelites will become as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore. No one will be able to measure them or count them. Wherever they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be told, ‘You are the children of the living God.’ 11 The people of Judah and Israel will be gathered together. They will appoint one leader for themselves, and they will grow in the land. The day of Jezreel will be a great day.
2 [c] “So call your brothers Ammi [My People],
and call your sisters Ruhamah [Loved].
2 “Plead with your mother; plead with her.
She no longer acts like my wife.
She no longer treats me like her husband.
Tell her to stop acting like a prostitute.
Tell her to remove the lovers from between her breasts.
3 If she refuses, I will strip her.
I will leave her as naked as the day she was born.
I will turn her into a dry and barren land,
and she will die of thirst.
4 I won’t love her children,
because they are children of a prostitute.
5 Their mother acted like a prostitute.
The woman who became pregnant with them did shameful things.
She said, ‘I’ll chase after my lovers.
They will give me food and water,
wool and linen, olive oil and wine.’
6 “That is why I will block her way with thornbushes
and build a wall so that she can’t get through.
7 She will run after her lovers, but she won’t catch them.
She will search for them, but she won’t find them.
Then she will say, ‘I’ll go back to my first husband.
Things were better for me than they are now.’
8 “She doesn’t believe that I gave her grain, new wine, and olive oil.
I gave her plenty of silver and gold,
but she used it to make statues of Baal.
9 That is why I will take back my grain when it has ripened
and my new wine when it’s in season.
I will take away the wool and the linen
that I gave her to cover her naked body.
10 I will show her naked body to her lovers,
and no one will rescue her from my power.
11 I will put an end to all her celebrations:
her annual festivals, her New Moon Festivals,
her weekly worship days—all her appointed festivals.
12 I will destroy her grapevines and fig trees.
She said that they were gifts from her lovers.
I will turn her vineyards into a forest, and wild animals will devour them.
13 I will punish her for all the times she burned incense
as an offering to other gods—the Baals.
She put on her rings and jewelry,
and she chased after her lovers.
She forgot me,” declares the Lord.
14 “That is why I’m going to win her back.
I will lead her into the desert.
I will speak tenderly to her.
15 I will give her vineyards there.
I will make the valley of Achor [Disaster] a door of hope.
Then she will respond as she did when she was young,
as she did when she came out of Egypt.
16 “On that day she will call me her husband,” declares the Lord.
“She will no longer call me her master.[d]
17 I won’t allow her to say the names of other gods called Baal.
She will never again call out their names.
18 “On that day I will make an arrangement with the wild animals,
the birds, and the animals that crawl on the ground.
I will destroy all the bows, swords, and weapons of war,
so people can live safely.
19 “Israel, I will make you my wife forever.
I will be honest and faithful to you.
I will show you my love and compassion.
20 I will be true to you, my wife.
Then you will know the Lord.
21 “On that day I will answer your prayers,” declares the Lord.
“I will speak to the sky,
it will speak to the earth,
22 and the earth will produce grain, new wine, and olive oil.
You will produce many crops, Jezreel.
23 I will plant my people in the land.
Those who are not loved I will call my loved ones.
Those who are not my people I will call my people.
Then they will say, ‘You are our God!’”
3 Then the Lord told me, “Love your wife again, even though she is loved by others and has committed adultery. Love her as I, the Lord, love the Israelites, even though they have turned to other gods and love to eat raisin cakes.”
2 So I bought her for 23 ounces of silver and 10 bushels of barley. 3 Then I told her, “You must wait for me a long time. Don’t be a prostitute or offer yourself to any man. I will wait for you.”
4 In the same way, the Israelites will wait a long time without kings or officials, without sacrifices or sacred stones, and without ephods[e] or family idols. 5 After that, the Israelites will turn and look to the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord for his blessings in the last days.
5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born from God. Everyone who loves the Father also loves his children. 2 We know that we love God’s children when we love God by obeying his commandments. 3 To love God means that we obey his commandments. Obeying his commandments isn’t difficult 4 because everyone who has been born from God has won the victory over the world. Our faith is what wins the victory over the world. 5 Who wins the victory over the world? Isn’t it the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
6 This Son of God is Jesus Christ, who came by water and blood. He didn’t come with water only, but with water and with blood. The Spirit is the one who verifies this, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 There are three witnesses: [a] 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood. These three witnesses agree.
9 We accept human testimony. God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony that he has given about his Son. 10 Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony of God in them. Those who don’t believe God have made God a liar. They haven’t believed the testimony that God has given about his Son.
11 This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is found in his Son. 12 The person who has the Son has this life. The person who doesn’t have the Son of God doesn’t have this life.
13 I’ve written this to those who believe in the Son of God so that they will know that they have eternal life.
14 We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has his approval. 15 We know that he listens to our requests. So we know that we already have what we ask him for.
16 If you see another believer committing a sin that doesn’t lead to death, you should pray that God would give that person life. This is true for those who commit sins that don’t lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I’m not telling you to pray about that. 17 Every kind of wrongdoing is sin, yet there are sins that don’t lead to death.
18 We know that those who have been born from God don’t go on sinning. Rather, the Son of God protects them, and the evil one can’t harm them.
19 We know that we are from God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
20 We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we know the real God. We are in the one who is real, his Son Jesus Christ. This Jesus Christ is the real God and eternal life.
21 Dear children, guard yourselves from false gods.
1 “If the Lord had not been on our side . . .”
(Israel should repeat this.)
2 “If the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us,
3 then they would have swallowed us alive
when their anger exploded against us.
4 Then the floodwaters would have swept us away.
An overflowing stream would have washed us away.
5 Then raging water would have washed us away.”
6 Thank the Lord, who did not let them sink their teeth into us.
7 We escaped like a bird caught in a hunter’s trap.
The trap was broken, and we escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
A song for going up to worship.
5 A person who flatters his neighbor
is spreading a net for him to step into.
6 To an evil person sin is bait in a trap,
but a righteous person runs away from it[a] and is glad.
7 A righteous person knows the just cause of the poor.
A wicked person does not understand this.
8 Mockers create an uproar in a city,
but wise people turn away anger.